Just having a think about what I could actually use as a walk cycle.

My initial thought was to animate a horse walk cycle, but then I’m thinking am I running before I can walk? So think I will save that idea for when I have a little more experience with flash.

I have drawn up a storyboard of a little girl chasing and capturing a floating seed and then making a wish and her wish coming true. The walk cycle would be the girl running after the seed.

I based it on the fact that I used to do it as child, i was told they where fairies and they granted wishes in return for letting them go free. But I don’t like it… it’s not me at all, it feels like I’m making something because I have to and making things easy for myself, rather than making something I would enjoy and like to animate.

So back to the drawing board, although I have been considering the idea of using an ostrich and really like the idea of producing a walk cycle with that image. I think I could get some great movement in the legs and the bobbing of the head it’s just coming up with a narrative. One obvious trait of the ostrich is them sticking their head in the sand, so maybe I could develop something around that idea, or even ostrich racing? Just picked out a few pictures to give me some ideas and start thinking about simplifying the characteristics of the ostrich to import into flash.

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Spotted this image and I like the background colors contrasting with the black feathers, make him really stand out. So think I’ll use similar background colors. Also looking at this image rather than him running on top of a line depicting ground. NOTE TO SELF!! Notice how the blue of the sky gets darker towards the top of the image.Try blue gradient on the back ground.Looking at other animated ostrich’s

About 11.30 pm just as i was about to nod off I remembered the old childhood favorite animated film Fantasia and the dancing ostrich’s in it and thought it was a great source for reference and ideas on how to animate my ostrich.

They are similar colors to a real ostrich. They move very elegant, maybe because they are ballerinas.

The lion king also have some good examples of animated birds and ostrich’s in the “I just cant wait to be king” song.

Looking at images of the ostrich they remind me of the chocobos in the final fantasy game series. In each different final fantasy, they vary slightly but still are very similar and are identifiable as chocobos. Maybe I could put my own twist on the ostrich? base an animal on it rather than replicating an ostrich?

Observing the real thing in action

In order to animate my ostrich i will need to look at how they walk and run in real life. I found a great video on YouTube that will help me replicate a believable movement.

when at a walking pace the ostrich has a distinct bobbing action in the head and the body in particular, you get a very heavy but spring like movement. the feet look very controlled and pointed when off the ground. They accelerate very quickly and the bobbing in the head and body disappear and seem to remain very still and straight in full stride. looking at the legs you can see at full speed both feel are off the ground. the inverted knees highest point when running is under the wing when bringing the leg up for the next forward stride while the other leg is fully extended.

When designing the structure of my ostrich I will make the wings on a separate layer to allow the knee to appear like it is moving under the wing. I would also like to portray acceleration in my narrative. so need to think of a reason why the bird is accelerating, is he being chased? and how he goes from a walking to a running pace. he could be racing or preparing for a jump?

My storyboard Anamatic

My finished Walk cycle

Wow what a challenge this animation was. I was the first time I used the bone to an extent and while the tool its self was useful I found the whole nested animation very difficult. I would have preferred to animate within the scene in order to make the other objects work with the walk cycle. Because it was a nested animation I have to animate it within its self, the movie clip. Due to this, time and frustration I was un able to complete my animation exactly like my storyboard. I had to remove the idea of my ostrich jumping hurdles. I found it very frustrating creating the poses and making sure that the opposite leg was in the same position in that spot as the opposite leg was previous. This drove me insane! I spent a whole day trying to sort it out. Next time I will draw myself the walk cycles before hand and save myself a lot of time and frustration! instead I constantly refered to a video clip of an ostrich running.
All that said I am very pleased with him, I think his movement is a bit stiff but overall I feel I achieved a better result than I had expected.


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