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Walk Cycles

Historical Background – Eadweard Muybridge’s Motion Studies

Muybridge was an eccentric early photography pioneer. In the 1870s he was commissioned by the governor of California to settle a high-stakes bet over whether all four of a horse’s hooves ever leave the ground at the same time while it is trotting. To find the answer, he devised an automatic camera system that would take pictures in a rapid series – the precedent to later motion picture technology. Using his system, Muybridge produced an extensive library of human and animal motion studies, which provide an invaluable resource for animators.




Muybridge animations


Exercise 1: Walking
Get up and walk around the room. Try to do your normal walk without any special embellishments. Pay close attention to what all the parts of your body are doing. What is your back foot doing while your front foot is stepping? What are your arms doing? Your wrists? Your head?


The Walk Cycle

lines show how feet should slide backwards in relation to body center point. (note: goes this way <-- R to L)


Variations – Adding Personality To Your Walk

Character examples - various walk cycles: