Creating the Walk Cycle Using IK Bones

Today, you will learn how to use the IK Bones and then you will use them to create a walk cycle animation. The animation you create will use one figure that has multiple parts.

IK Bones

IK Bones allows the user to create and arrange symbols or shapes in a collection called an Armature. These armatures contain bones that have relationships with other elements which can be animated.

Tips for Creating Bones:

  • You can use shapes or movie clips to create bones
  • Once you have created the IK Bones use the Selection Tool or the black arrow to set poses.
  • When you create an Armature using IK Bones all of the items connected to that Armature will go on one layer that is green.
  • When creating a starting point for the first bone start at a fixed point.
  • You can use the Transform tool to move an entire armature or fine tune the positioning.
  • You can set the rotation on a Bone to control how far it rotates around.
  • To animate the Armature layer you can right-click on the timeline to insert a Pose.
  • Here are some properties that can be adjusted while working with armature joints: Rotation or non-rotation, rotation range and speed, armature easing and spring. You can also enable joint translation, meaning a joint could also slide left/right or up/down or both.

The Walk Cycle

Walking, running, jumping, shuffling, skipping, hopping, swimming and other forms of character locomotion are rhythmic cyclic actions. Walking is a complex repeating pattern of movements consisting of all sorts. The body bobs up and down, the arm’s swing, the pelvis rocks, and the feet move up and down.

Walking or running is a continuous process of falling off-balance and putting a foot out to save balance. The faster the character moves the further the center of gravity shifts outside the body until it leans forward in the direction the character is headed.


Planning Your Character
You want to begin by planning on how to segment your character. This can be done quickly on paper. Having a diagram or a plan of this type is really helpful once you begin to work with your character.

1.Establish Tempo – A standard walk will have a slower rise in the body.

2.Establish Stride – The stride can give the character personality. Think about what you want your characters walk cycle to express.

3.Timing- It is important to develop timing between the steps of the feet and the rise and fall of the body. The fall should be most noticeable after the foot hits the ground because the front leg is ready to accept the body’s weight.

4. Plan Your Artwork –



Walk Cycle Examples:


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