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Is this a good process for animating a simple walk cycle?

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Is this a good process for animating a simple walk cycle?

PostFri Aug 10, 2018 6:28 am


I'm very new to Fusion, so I'm trying out some simple project to get a feel for how things roll in Fusion. I'd like to do a very simple walk animation. In the attached screenshot you can see the "man" that is supposed to walk. So I created the parts of the man with backgrounds and masks and then stitched it all together using merges. This way i got some basic hierarchy, so if I want to move the whole man, I can animate a transform put after the last merge and to animate the other parts, I can just animate the transforms used to put them into place. So far this works great. I have added a little up/down animation to the last transform, that makes the "man" go a bit up/down while he walks so the walk looks more natural.

Now to the part that I cannot get done properly. The arms and legs are basically just strokes and I figured I could animate the points of the stroke path to have them moving. This works quite well, however I need to ensure that the anchor point of the arm/leg stays in place even if the body is moving up/down (for the legs i might get away without, but for the arms it will be really visible if the anchor point moves outside of the circle where the arms are attached to the body). Since the animation of the path points is done independently of the motion of the full body (which happens later when all the parts are merged), it is quite tricky to make this work. Everytime I change the animation of the full body, I need to go back to the animation of the arms/legs to move the anchor points back into the right position.

So i figured, if I could set an expression to the position of the "anchoring" point of the path, I could make it stay in place. However I didn't find a way to set an expression for the position of a single point of a stroke path. Can you do this in Fusion?

In general I wonder if this is the right way to do such a thing in Fusion, maybe I'm making it much more complicated than it needs to be, so I would also appreciate some hints about how I could do this in a different (preferably easier) way.

Thank you very much!
Screenshot of my comp
2018-08-10_07-43-36.png (566.89 KiB) Viewed 398 times

Marin Goleminov

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Re: Is this a good process for animating a simple walk cycle

PostFri Aug 17, 2018 2:04 pm

I am glad someone is trying character animation in Fusion. Unfortunately there are no inverse kinematics tools out of the box, and no known plugins for that (like DuIK for After Effects).

You can however use expressions in the position channels of Your layers containing the arms. The expressions can link X and Y to Your main body, thus making the follow the overall motion. Bryan Ray has a primer on expressions, this might help:
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Bryan Ray

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Re: Is this a good process for animating a simple walk cycle

PostFri Aug 17, 2018 3:13 pm

You can expression-link specific points of a PolyLine by publishing them. Select the point and Shift+P, or right-click in the Viewer, Tool:PolyLine > Publish > Publish Points.

Once the point has an expression or a modifier connected to it, you will no longer be able to move it by hand, but the tangent handles will still be free. I am not aware of a way to add an expression to the handles.
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Paul R. Williams

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Re: Is this a good process for animating a simple walk cycle

PostSun Aug 19, 2018 9:36 am

It would be nice to have a generic bones puppet that exposes the joints for expressions. Perhaps even with basic motion templates (like walking) or positions (like standing, sitting). Then you could attach the elements of your figure to the skeleton (head, neck, l. shoulder, r. arm, etc.) and everything would be coordinated.
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Sam Steti

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Re: Is this a good process for animating a simple walk cycle

PostTue Aug 21, 2018 2:37 pm

Whaaaooo, I'm impressed you try this kind of animation in Fusion...
Though sometimes involved in animations too, I'd never thought about using Fusion to make it; but it should rock too after all (keeping lots of macro available maybe).
All the best for the future.
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