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The Art of Animation:Master (Online)

Please add your exerices to this topic and others will join in.

The Art of Animation:Master is being completed on a continual basis in the New Users Forum. Meeting deadlines can be an important skill to master early on but this course is self paced to allow each person the flexibility they need to learn the basics of Animation:Master. The course can be completed in as little time as necessary or as much as is needed by each participant.

Note: You may want to download the videos first.
All available Video Tutorials related to TAOA:M can be found on one page:
The Art of Animation Master Video Tutorials

The Art of Animation Master Part I: Animation

1 - You're the Director
2 - A Chorus Line
3 - Move It
4 - It's a Pitch
5 - Take a Walk
6 - The Door's Stuck
7 - Can You Say That?

Modeling Takes Talent, TAoA:M: Part II, Exercises 8 - 13
Technical Directors Training, TAoA:M: Part III, Exercises 14 - 19

The Art of Animation:Master
Exercise 5: Take a Walk
Approx. time to complete:

Web/Online ( 18MB )
Download Zip ( 17.5MB )

Rig Tip for Rabbit in "It's a Pitch"

Rabbit uses a rig called AM2001. By default that has something termed "autobalance" ON. In actual practice this is not a helpful feature and you will find it much easier to pose Rabbit (and any other AM2001 rigged character like Knight or Shaggy) by turning it OFF.

After you have the character in a Choreography, select the character and press ALT-3 to open the Properties window if it is not open already.

Scroll down to UserProperties>Rig and set both "Balance" and "Balance Rigid" to 0%.

Remember to do this for any AM2001 rigged character such as Knight, Rabbit, Thom, Shaggy

See a screen capture of the settings in "It's a Pitch" post #409
Name:† Den Dotson

Exercises Completed:† Five 1/4 of the way there.

Date Completed:† Sunday March 13, 2005

Instructor:† Rodney (the "Strollmeister") and that guy on the web tutorials

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement:†Nice day for a walk, eh?

Here is a link to the fourth completed exercise:

Thanks Rodney,
Holy... for a second I thought he was going to run into the camera. I actually cringed!

For those looking in... other video tutorials that nicely complement Exercise 5 include the following:

simple walk and wheel cycling actions (Note: This has some good info on basic Paste Mirrored keyframing)
web (17.3MB) zip (16.8MB)
constraints and compensate mode
web (30MB) zip (29MB)
Path Ease (walk, then wave)
web (4MB) zip (3MB)

They can all be found in the Misc section at:

Not only useful... but "must see" in my opinion. smile.gif
unsure.gif Hey Rodney,

I am getting ready to do the walk and wheel cycle exercise and I don't have "FatGuy". Is this a model that is not included with the Macintosh version of the software? Or am I supposed to get the "guy" from someplace else?

Any help would be appreciated....

-Den unsure.gif
The Fatguy model (Homer) can be found on the Hash FTP site.
Thanks Rodney,

That was fast. No more excuses for loafing on with the show.

Name:† Den Dotson

Exercises Completed:† Six A-Simple Walk Cycle

Date Completed:† Sunday March 13, 2005

Instructor:† Rodney (the "Strollmeister") and that guy on the web tutorials

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement:†D'oh

Here is a link to the fourth completed exercise:

Thanks Rodney,
Exercises Completed:  Six A

Hey! Don't confuse me like that.
Six is "The Door's Stuck" right? wink.gif

I can't view your latest just at this moment but will at the earliest possible opportunity.
Well the walk cycle, wheel cycle and the constraint exercise are Chapter Six in the web tutorials but "The Door's Stuck" is chapter six in the book. I like to think of them as Chapter Six A, B, C, and D. respectively.

Don't worry I'll do them all before I count them as done.

Take your time checking them out. I have to go back to working for money tomorrow so it will be awhile before I get back to this fun stuff.

Thanks for starting this Rodney. I have enjoyed the excuse to push myself with my favorite program Animation Master; and I have learned a lot; and I feel like I have just gotten started.

Thanks again,
-Den biggrin.gif
Looks like you've got this one in the bag.

Fans of the Fat Guy take note! You too can "Doh!' with the best of them. smile.gif
Just download and go...
Name: Chris Thom
Exercises Completed: 5 of 19
Date Completed: Apr 12, 2005
Instructor: Oh, I don't know

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: Here's my walk. I tried to make it look intresting by adding a little bounce in his toes so they're more "flaffy". Kinda like big clown shoes.

For some reason still I have some skating going on though I really tried to get the stride length just right. It's like he has a slight forward/backward pulse going on but I'm not sure where it's coming from. Maybe within the animation itself.
You're definitely coming close.
As you suggest, I think your walk cycle is set up just a little bit off.

If you haven't seen the following video on walk cycles it's a good one.

Simple walk and wheel cycling actions:
View on Web (17.3MB) Download Zip (16.8MB)
Name: Tom Jansen
Exercise: #5 Take a Walk
Date Completed: April 18, 2005
Comments: Well, in addition to just setting up the walk cycle, I wanted to learn more about Path Ease (so I did that wave tutorial too). It took some time to understand how to apply it, so there are a couple of things I'd like to fix about how the Rabbit starts his walk (he just abrupty starts, I'm guessing that I need to copy the first keyframe of the walk so I can allow him to get into that pose just before he starts walking) and ends it (Once he stops, I added in some ear movement, but since I didn't copy that last walk cycle keyframe, it over-rode the ear bouncing that is built into my walk cycle).

Here's my Clip:

That was a mighty fine job Tom.

As you suggest a few transitionary actions would really smooth the action out a lot.
It goes beyond the scope of this exercise but a little anticipation with the eyes (looking before moving etc) might help.

I think one of the reasons the Warner Bros cartoons read so well to the eye is the extreme poses that they had the character hit prior to a movement.

The next time you try a scene like this (or if you decide to experiment further with this one) you might try to overexagerate and place a anticipatory pose prior to the primary action.

You do have some great secondary motion in there that adds a lot to the scene. smile.gif

Keep it up!

Well #5 is done. It's a pretty basic walk that I may tinker with later. I do want to do some secondary motion on him as he looks like an unblinking zombie-rabbit at the moment. smile.gif

Here's the link

I do want to do some secondary motion on him as he looks like an unblinking zombie-rabbit at the moment.

Heehee. True dat.

There are definitely times when I wish the good folk at Hash Inc had included a little piece about adding eyeblinks in this exericise. Actually, come to think of it.. they did! It may not be obvious but in Chapter 5 the Production Notes (starting on page 59) there is some great information to considered in *any* animation project.

The specific areas are:
Pre-production - Character Design, script writing, storyboards and dialog
Production - Animating!
Post-production - Lighting and rendering, soundtrack/dubbing, music, sound effects, credits

Hmmm... we're gonna haffa hit this area harder I think.

At any rate... you've successfully completed 'the walk'. Good job! smile.gif
Heh, I saw the production notes in the book, but thought they were part of the next lesson. They start on the page after you do the final render for lesson 5. Anyways, I am going to do more with the bunny-walk, it was just too late last night and I didn't even notice his blank stare until after I watched my final movie the 2nd time...I guess I was watching his feet too closely. biggrin.gif
Name: Tenez Waggoner

Excercise Completed: 5 Take a Walk

Date Completed: May 15, 2005

Remarks/Suggestions: It's important not to rush when doing these excercises. I was in a rush and I didn't even realize that I missed the part stating rabbit should walk like he's on a treadmill. So he ended up slide walking. Had to do it over. I think I'm ready for my midterm. biggrin.gif
Oh yeah. That rabbit is walkin' with some zip in his step. smile.gif

The number 1 mistake of walkcycle creation is thinking you have to move the character forward in the cycle. Looks like you overcame that one!
Name: Doug Fall

Excercise Completed: #5 Take a Walk

Date Completed: June 2, 2005

Remarks/Suggestions: I actually have #6 finished, too, but I am tempted to do it over - after I rendered it for 5 hours I noticed his hands come completely off the doorknob at times, so it may be a couple of days until the next one is done. As for #5, I still think rabbits feet slip -- I tried several stride length measurements - oh well...


Yeah... you may have some minor feet sliding there. Not bad at all though.

The change in lighting at the beginning really threw my perception out of whack.
My brain thought maybe the ground was moving. That also may have added to the perception of sliding feet.

Name: Neil McGarry

Excercise Completed: 5 Take a Walk

Date Completed: June 2, 2005

Remarks/Suggestions: I should have started using this software 12 months ago when I bought it! cool.gif
Good job Neil!

Woo... that rabbit is movin'! wink.gif
I played with the cycle rates and the fast one looked funny... I have just changed it to a more normal walk speed... LOL
Name: Paula Waslen

Exercise: 5 Take a Walk

Date Completed: Jun 3, 2005.....but it took me this long to get my web space up and running.

I tried this one a few times. It was difficult to get it so that the feet weren't slipping. It is still not very smooth, but I think I need to take a break from bunny for now.

Bunny Walk
Nice! I like the eye blinks. No zombie bunny for you. wink.gif

This exercise has a lot of areas that an animator can get stuck on.
Stride length... arcs... path constraints... zombie bunnies...

Sometimes it may be best to set a project aside and return to it at a later date. This is also one of those skills (animating walk cycles) that often people just one day 'get it' and it seems to flow.

Looks like you soldiered though though! smile.gif

Glad to hear you've found some webspace. That will certainly be useful in the future.
I'm trying this one, but the Rabbit on the 2003 CD seems a bit... strange. His eyes are sunken balls, and there are a few missing patches. I downloaded the one from Eggington, but his rig is a bit different from the one in the tutorial. Could someone please post a working version of Rabbit.mdl? I'll post mine here so you can see what I mean. Thanks.
This is an interesting case.

I haven't been able to check your rabbit model as I'm away from home)

If no one else can help you troubleshoot this maybe someone can help.
You can also try a different model. (I see Fat Guy is now on The Free Models Page)
Name: Zev Eisenberg
Exercise Completed: Exercise 5 "Take a Walk"
Date Competed: 30 June 2005

I went ahead and did the tutorial with Eddie. Someone on another forum sent me his Rabbit.mdl, but it had the same problem. Anyway, I set up a walk cycle with Eddie. It was cool adapting the tut for another model. I did the preliminary action, then went back and did a lot of tweaking in the motion channels. I rendered a shaded mode preview to check the timing. I decided it was too fast. I went back into the action and selected all the points in the timeline and scaled them to take up more time. That's when it got weird. Luckily I kept the realtime render so I'll post that. I'll also post what happened next. Oh, by the way, I notice that rotation has channels for X, Y, Z, and W. What's the W axis?
PS Movie requires QuickTime 7 to play.
Is it just me, or is something seriously wrong here? that little dot in the middle? That's his head. All I did was stretch out the motion channels. They don't seem to have changed other that that.
Gotta "Take a Walk" (in a hurry no less)
Completed 6/9/05
Book and video

Enjoyed this one because I immediately thought of several uses for it in projects I want to tackle after the classes.
Good job Doug.
I'm learning all this animation stuff as well and I still haven't explored all the concepts and resources that the exercises from TAoA:M point us too.

Together we are getting there though. smile.gif

My apologies for not getting to all your exercises... I am watching as you post though. Keep the faith!

Is there anyway you've accidentally turned 'Onion Skinning' to 'On' in [Tools][Options]?

Cheryl McKinney
EX: 5 Take a Walk
Ex: Completed July 22, 2005
Den Dotson
linda s hill exercise #5 the walk completed july 19 instructor: den dotson
Having a great time following through this forum. Everyone has such imagination! Everything went fine with this project through frame 15. Now nothing on the EDIT menu seems to work. Paste, Paste Mirror, Delete Keyframe...) The project plays through 1:10 but rabbit stops animating after 15. any ideas?

A belated "Congrats" to you Cheryl and Linda on completed Exercise 5.
Sounds like Den has you exercising your talent.

We may need some more information (if you are still having the problem that is).
It could be that 'Animate Mode' is turned off but... don't know.

Can you elaborate further?

Name: Leo Mitchell

Excerise Completed: #5 Take a Walk

Date Completed: 25 June 2005

Instructor: Web tuts and manual

Remarks: I did this one a while ago, but things have been crazy and I haven't been able to touch Master for a while, but now I am back on track and looking to finish up and move onto better things.

Take A Walk
Sorry. Yes still having trouble. I do have animate mode on. It just doesn't seem like the EDIT menu is working for copy and paste. I'm using Ver 11.1b. All the tutorials have worked through this one with the same settings. I start each project from scratch with NEW->PROJECT and NEW->CHOREOGRAPHY. I am in the ACTION window when I'm copying and pasting. I am copying from frame 0 and when I paste mirror in frame 20 nothing changes. I know it must be something simple but I can't find it.

(editing..Sorry. I really shouldn't be posting problems here. Rodney can you delete or move my posts to the correct forum and I will only post my successful animations here! Thanks.)

You are more than welcome to post your progress (to include difficulties you may run into) right here.

Behind every success is generally a lot of experimentation and adjustment.

Name: Melissa "Elissa" Heldenbergh

Exercises Completed: 5

Date Completed: Sept 9th, 2005

Instructor: A few years of A:M use under my belt and web tutorials, plus also doing the mentor program with Paul Daley.

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: I need a better sound card, I crank my speakers up to 11. I don't have any memory of completing this exercise before. I've grown rather fond of toon render, too.
Name: Chris Wheeler

Excerise Completed: #5 Take a Walk

Date Completed: 10 September 2005

Instructor: Frank Silas

Two walks- a quick rabbit from the book, and what I did for Frank
Name: Erik Kirschberg

Exercises Completed: Excersice 5: Take A WLk

Date Completed: 9/10/05

Instructor: A:M Community

Comments: Here's my version of exercise 5.
Name: Dhar Jabouri
Exercises Completed: 5- Take A Walk

Date Completed: 9/13/05

Instructor: On-line tutorials and TAoAM handbook.

Comments: Learned more than a walk cycle. Learned how to reduce the file size while maintaining acceptable quality.
Dhar, you have some really nice things going on there! I like the way you have her feet on the same line, and the way the shoulders tilt. You even have some head and secondry eye movement as well.
There are some ways to improve next time, however.
Her hips could be swayed more from side to side to emphasise her femininity( check out Jessica in Roger Rabbit), and the hands could move in more of an arc as well. This is what I mean:-
user posted image

There is an excellent book called The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams which I recomend for anyone learning animation.

ps Rodney I hope I'me not stepping on your toes!
Thank you Chris for your very welcomed critique. I'm really glad you mentioned the hips movement, that was something that didn't even cross my mind.

I love Roger Rabbit's Jessica and I do have the Survival Guide, but I didn't refer to those because my mind set was focused on the rabbit walk excercise and how I can make it better. Instead, I should have raised the bar and went for the Jessica quality animation.

You just helped me become a better animator. Thanks again smile.gif
Your welcome Dhar - we can all help each other by commenting on our animations/models - posts that say excellant/rubbish are not really much help, but if you see something, just say it!

Name: Charlie Dyer

Excerise Completed: #5 Take a Walk

Date Completed: 9/15/05

Instructor: Web tuts and manual

Well, I wanted a bit more than just a walk... So I looked at videos of "slides" or "moon walks" (ala MJ) and rabbit thought he'd give it a try.... The weight bearing foot slides just a bit... So I think my stride length is off, but all in all, it looks okay...

What you think is what matters... let me know

possible bug in version 12.

It seems as though my past-mirrored command is not working.

I have followed the steps.

Go to frame 0
Select edit copy keyframe
Go to frame 20
Select edit past mirrored

And you can tell the past did not take effect because his feet did not move when I selected past mirrored.

So I installed the latest update 12.0h restarted my computer and Iím still having the same problem.

I went to an older install version 11.01f and my past mirrored command works just fine.

Any suggestion?


Someone else reported this recently... couldn't dig up the post though to see what might be related.

Is there any change the 'Animate Mode' icon is toggled off?
Its the one with the capital A on it.

Chris Wheeler wrote:
ps Rodney I hope I'me not stepping on your toes!

If you are then I must respectfully ask that you stomp on them instead of step. wink.gif

It is hoped that eventually the TAoA:M area will evolve to a thriving area where people can dig deep and explore all aspects of the lessons and goals of each exercise as well as post their exercise results.

When people learn and teach each other they get so much more out of the experience.

So... Please!

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