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## New to Pixel Animation Need Critique

3 replies to this topic

### #1FeminaTaisho  Members

Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:46 PM

Hey, I'm new to Pixel Animation, working on a game, solo, and in very beginning phases to design. I need helpful critiques on some of my pixel animations and art so that I can improve based on said critiques.

This is the main character's initial design and a starter walk cycle.

### #2dbaumgart  Moderators

Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:15 PM

Hey! It looks like you're just getting started with character animation -- and ah, I remember being there. And I get the impression that you're going in cold, without training, which is tough. Walk animations are a largely solved problem so I think there are a few quick tips that will make life a LOT easier for you.

I recommend checking out a couple walkcycle tutorials to get an understanding of the structure of walk animations. There are a ton of these, so literally just put "walkcycle tutorial" into Google. You'll find excellent tutorials in writing, video, and images. For example, here's the first image I get on google with that search (from http://www.angryanimator.com/word/2010/11/26/tutorial-2-walk-cycle/ ):

You could cut out half the frames from that and it'd still look good. Key thing here vs. what you've got is it looks like you're keeping the body completely still while modifying the limbs to add motion; this makes it feel oddly pinned-in-place. You've got to move the entire body to get a feel of shifting weight and motion. You can see in the example image how the entire body lifts and dips, and the limbs really swing (though it's a bit exaggerated there for emphasis).

I recommend trying a re-draw after going through some tutorials and using some of the images as a motion guide. & I suggest rendering the figure in shapes of colour, no details, to get the movement of the masses feeling right first before adding the details. You don't want to commit to the finicky details too soon, it's important to render loosely at first so you can experiment to get the movement looking correct. To show an example, here's a monster animation I was working on a while back:

Just messy masses of colour to get the movement right. If the movement sells the character, then it works. The detailing is just icing on the cake.

Anyway, good luck!

Edited by dbaumgart, 19 March 2017 - 09:13 PM.

### #3nullie  Members

Posted 20 March 2017 - 08:45 PM

The pixel art looks pretty decent, and the animation itself is decent as well. It's much better than *most*  all beginners i've seen take their shot at it.

I can see a jump in animation from what i assume is the end of the animation, and where it loops back to the start. I recommend using software that allows for onion-skinning between the first and last frames of the animation.

A core value of animation is *keyframes*. You can probably just google that to find better suited tutorials on what it is and how to do it, but i'll summarize:

Start by focussing on the important parts of the animation. For walking, you've got:

"Standing"
"Raising First foot"
"First step."
"Raising Second foot"
"Second Step"
"Intermediate Loop"
"Last Step / Transition to Standing"

In your animation i can see that your character is using your base *standing* frame as part of the animation. But people do not *take a step* then stand still before taking another step. You must transition into walking, walk, and then finally transition into standing when you are NO LONGER WALKING, in order for the animation to look more natural. If this is for a game, this makes up 3 animations in total, two of them being a transition between walking and standing.

Your key poses do not need to *flow* very well. The goal is for the FRAME to look like they are taking a step. Not the animation as a whole. At the same time it should not be a hugely jarring change from the keyframe before it.

Once you have your keyframes, add a few frames in between each of them *as needed* in order to make for a smooth transition between each keyframe. If my keyframes are: || and =, and the two lines are rotating, i would add // in between the two.

Feel free to adjust your keyframes and transition frames as needed to make them look more natural. For a walk cycle, timing is important.

It's good to see that you are animating the entire body, many people fail to do that, and animate only the legs.

But you still seem to be animating the body separately from the legs. Think about anatomy, and how your limbs are connected, and center of gravity shifts as you walk. Your legs should not 'get longer' when stepping, and 'get shorter' when standing.

~Nullie

### #4FeminaTaisho  Members

Posted 21 March 2017 - 01:47 AM

Thank you both so much! I guess I kinda goofed on that whole keyframes thing... it was in the back of my mind, and I got ahead of myself and tried to do it all at once, transitions and all.

You could cut out half the frames from that and it'd still look good. Key thing here vs. what you've got is it looks like you're keeping the body completely still while modifying the limbs to add motion; this makes it feel oddly pinned-in-place. You've got to move the entire body to get a feel of shifting weight and motion. You can see in the example image how the entire body lifts and dips, and the limbs really swing (though it's a bit exaggerated there for emphasis).

I will definitely try to keep this in mind too... I was sort of irritated because I totally caught the pinned in place feeling but couldn't figure out how to fix it, so thank you! These were also my first adventure into a brand new program I'm trying to get a feel for, so in the mean time, I know I'm missing out on some key features, that I have been working on looking up and figuring out what's what.