Walking is a basic behavior we would want our character to have in order to deliver the illusion of movement. Making walk cycle animations manually requires a high level of expertise and tons of time to get it right. It is actually one of the hardest things to master as an animator. Luckily with Adobe Character Animator *, this process can be automated. Of course, the result won’t be as magical as a professionally drawn manual walk cycle. Yet with a bit of tweaking the walk can look quite good.
Follow these 5 simple steps and your character will be walking.
For the puppet to walk in Adobe Character Animator it needs to have at least one profile view artwork. However, it is best practice to import a character that has a front, left profile and right profile views.
Each view (Front, Left, and Profile) has to have its own head and body folder.
In the body folder for the profile view, the character needs to have a right leg layer, left leg layer, left arm layer, right arm layer, and torso.
Add the + sign before each arm and leg names for them to be independent when you import the character into the software. +Left Arm, +Right Arm, +Left Leg, +Right Leg.
- Go to the rig view.
- Double click the character name you imported in the project panel.
- Select the top-level puppet in the puppet panel.
- Click the + sign next to the Behaviors in the properties panel and add the Walk behavior.
Perform the next steps for both Left and Right Profile:
(In some cases ‘Hinge’ can work better for the walks, you need to experiment on your own puppet and see what works best for you).
The default mode for the walk behavior is set to ‘immediately’. That means that once added to the scene the character will start walking in place right away. That is very convenient for rigging and problem fixing but usually not something you would want later on. So once you are happy with how the character walks set the mode to ‘Left and Right Arrow keys’. That will allow you to trigger and control the walk with left and right arrow keys.
Your puppet should now be able to walk. Just press left and right arrow keys during the recording and your character will walk in your scene. The rigging might seem like a long process at first but it can actually be completed in a matter of minutes once you are familiar with the process.