# Need some help

• @krios, you have some pretty good walking in your videos. How do you do for walking?

• @fbs7

@krios, you have some pretty good walking in your videos. How do you do for walking?

Looks like I missed your question Fbs.
My workflow for walks is based on Richard Williams' teachings: 5 well posed keyframes per step:

Other then that, it's a combination of straight ahead and pose to pose animation, much like your style of animating, where you work things out in various passes increasing the frame rate with each pass.

• Thank you; what do you do to avoid foot slip? You're always with IK on and you move the hips XYZ and move the toon around? Or you move the figure XYZ and keep moving the feet around to compensate for the figure XYZ movement?

• @fbs7
Plot your contacts (as shown by Richard). Then pose the toon's legs without IK for the passing position. Then adjust the hips to make sure the foot is where it should be. Once the UP and DOWN positions are figured out the same way, there will be little to no foot slip even without IK.

Working this way (in FK mode) is a bit harder, but it forces you to create natural movement by adjusting the hip correctly. Otherwise you end up with those really odd CG walks where the hip is moving forward and the feet just kinda "pretend" to be carrying the body.

• Right, but here's the problem.

Say you want to walk from Z=0 to Z=10.

You can have hipZ=0 at frame 1, and hipZ=10 at frame 100, then move the feet alternately, like leftFootZ=3 at frame 5, then rightFootZ=6 at frame 10, and so forth.

That works and is easy to do, but then you can't rotate the body any more, as bodyZ=0, so all rotations are around Z=0 even when hip is at Z=10.

On the other hand you can basically leave the hip at Z=0 through out (except for small oscillations), and then move bodyZ=10 at frame=100. But then the feet Z are relative to bodyZ, and now bodyZ is moving. So in order to keep the feet grounded while in contact, the footZ needs to move in a ramp down to compensate for the changing bodyZ.

So it's a conundrun... either lose the bodyXYZ rotations, or have the IK feet move down a precise ramp to compensate for the moving body. The example above uses this 2nd approach, plus an invisible mat to avoid calculations when there's a rotation, but I wish there was a simpler way to do this.

• @fbs7

From a lot of experimenting, it's best to leave the body at X,Y,Z = 0
No movement or rotations for the body , and work your walk starting with the hip.

You can have hipZ=0 at frame 1, and hipZ=10 at frame 100, then move the feet alternately, like leftFootZ=3 at frame 5, then rightFootZ=6 at frame 10, and so forth.

If you mean to say that you start at frame 1 and then you move the hip to Z=10 at frame 100, then you are going about this in a way I don't understand. If the character needs to start at 0 and end up at 10, then just walk it over there step by step. Are we on the same page?

That works and is easy to do, but then you can't rotate the body any more, as bodyZ=0, so all rotations are around Z=0 even when hip is at Z=10.

Not sure I get this part. If you animate starting with the hip, you can rotate the character all you want (from the hip), so long as the feet are in the right place.

• @fbs7
Here's a little visual to help us out:

This is blocking at 3 FPS. At this stage the walk is figured out only with the contacts and the passing positions.
It's all in the hips with FK. The only time IK is turned on is to adjust the hip without messing up the feet.
This way you can have natural movements compared to the Mr. Robato (aka walk designer), or feet nailed to the floor type IK stuff.

• I think we're talking about the same; in order to move the girl to Z=10, you're moving the hip to Z=10 and leaving the body at Z=0, and so you lose the body rotations but instead are doing only hip rotations - but on the other hand the feet have absolute positioning, because the body XYZ does not change.

I on the other hand get irritated on seeing the big body circle staying back at Z=0 while the toon is actually at Z=10, as that makes difficult to select the body with the mouse (have to press F2 all the time to get the body). When the body circle is far away it may even get out of camera.

Now, one thing I still didn't get; you said you like to use FK, and to move the hip around and keep the body back at XYZ=0, correct? So how do you keep the feet grounded without IK? The advantage of moving the hip is that you can position the feet XYZ absolutely with IK, but you use FK. So, do you use several keys to minimize foot slipping while in contact?

• Oh... I think you're saying you use a walker script, is that not? Those foot shadows at the floor are from the script?

• @fbs7
For me the body circle just keeps getting in the way, and the further it is from the character the less likely it is to be selected accidentally, even when it's turned off.

So how do you keep the feet grounded without IK?

The feet stay in place simply by using correct poses. 6 keys per second is more then enough to get 80% of the animation correct. The rest are just minor adjustments. Try it when you are in the mood to experiment. You'd be surprised how big of a role the hip plays in animating a correct walk cycle. With IK, you'd be tempted to move the feet if they go through the ground, but with FK you'd have to adjust the hip, and or a combination of the thighs and shins.

The advantage of moving the hip is that you can position the feet XYZ absolutely with IK, but you use FK. So, do you use several keys to minimize foot slipping while in contact?

This was animated almost entirely with FK. It didn't even require too many major keyframes, and only minor adjustments every 2nd or 3rd frame. With IK it might not be possible to get such a smooth action. It would look/feel too mechanical.

Those foot shadows at the floor are from the script?

Those are just simple torus props as a guide for the feet, because there is no IK used to block out the steps. They are scaled so that the heel is at one end and the toes at the other ;]

• I see; thank you for the explanations!

Man, Poser really should a Walker thingie, that you move the footprints around the thing move the feet to them automatically. Would be a huge time saver!

• @fbs7
Wouldn't that be nice? And you're welcome Fbs.

Here's another example that favors FK:

Notice how the last few steps she takes are on her toes... IK would not be very helpful with those kind of steps.

• @krios the IK chains are editable. You can certainly add the toes. In fact, you can have as many different IK chains as you might need and select them as appropriate.

Here's an example from a modified V4 figure (First the four default ones, then IK chains for a kneeling figure, and IK chains for a tiptoeing figure):

``````	inkyChain     LeftLeg
{
off
name LeftLeg
goal lFoot:1
}
inkyChain     RightLeg
{
off
name RightLeg
goal rFoot:1
}
inkyChain     LeftArm
{
off
name LeftArm
goal lHand:1
}
inkyChain     RightArm
{
off
name RightArm
goal rHand:1
}
inkyChain     LeftKnee
{
off
name LeftKnee
goal lShin:1
}
inkyChain     RightKnee
{
off
name RightKnee
goal rShin:1
}
inkyChain     LeftToe
{
off
name LeftToe
goal lToe:1
}
inkyChain     RightToe
{
off
name RightToe
goal rToe:1
}
``````

• @krios said in Need some help:

@fbs7
Wouldn't that be nice? And you're welcome Fbs.

Here's another example that favors FK:

Notice how the last few steps she takes are on her toes... IK would not be very helpful with those kind of steps.

I'm actually loving that foot shadow there; tell me what you use that for, again? is that to plan the position of the feet?

• @fbs7 said in Need some help:

@krios said in Need some help:

@fbs7
Wouldn't that be nice? And you're welcome Fbs.

Here's another example that favors FK:

Notice how the last few steps she takes are on her toes... IK would not be very helpful with those kind of steps.

I'm actually loving that foot shadow there; tell me what you use that for, again? is that to plan the position of the feet?

By the way, I once heard from Josh Whedon from Firefly and Serenity that the actress that did River acted with her feet. I never really understood that very well, but I can tell you got some real acting there with those feet! Very expressive indeed; you can clearly identify 4 states of mind from her feet alone - careful first, then doubtful or watchful, then uncertain, then decided.

Real skill on those feet, nicely done!

• @anomalaus
That code looks scary... do you plug it into the texture map editor? ;]
But it's good to know that it's possible to have multiple IK chains.
So it would be possible to switch IK chains between heel and toe for steps? Sounds technically advanced.
Thanks for the tip anomalus!

• @fbs7

I'm actually loving that foot shadow there; tell me what you use that for, again? is that to plan the position of the feet?

It is just a simple morphing torus that comes stock with Poser. You could use just about any prop, but the morphing torus is useful because it can be shaped into an interesting looking rectangle to indicate the direction of the step. The location of it can be animated with constant keys.
Figure out where the next step is (the contact position) set the torus at the heel of the character and move the keyframe of the torus back to where the passing position is so that you have a reference for where the foot is going during a step.

Pro tip: Limit the up and down movement of the torus so that it's about half way through the floor. This will help in moving it around without having to worry about the Y axis. You can also zero out the X & Z rotations so that it can be turned only on the Y axis. Makes it easy to manipulate.

Here's a little something you might get a kick out of:

Can you guess which set belongs to who? Here's a [ hint ]