2D Animation: Using Your Walk Cycle

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An animation walk cycle is usually created with your character walking in one spot. You can use the walk cycle with a moving background. But in many cases, you want your character to walk from one position to another position while keeping the background static. Here’s how you can do it in Toon Boom Studio (note that the high-level concepts are also applicable to other 2D animation software programs).

If you haven’t created any walk or run cycles for your character, you can learn how to do it from my earlier post on Basic Walk And Run Cycles.

Watch this demo video to see how to use your walk cycle and make your character walk across a static background. The screen captures are sped up, so feel free to replay or pause the video to get a better understanding of the key steps.

Walk Cycle Demo

Key Points To Remember

  • A full walk cycle is made of 2 steps. If the cycle starts with the right leg in front, it should end with the right leg in front again.
  • You need to repeat the cycle enough times for the character to move from the starting position to the ending position in your scene.
    Walk Cycle Usage - Timeline View
  • To repeat the cycle, you can select the frames, copy and paste them in Timeline View (as shown in the video at 1:06).
  • Add a Parent Peg to your character (walk cycle) to enable moving it across the scene using the Movement Tool with just 2 keyframes.
  • Watch carefully for slippage in your character’s feet relative to the ground/floor. Pull the ending keyframe location for a longer distance to match the length of the strides. Drag the ending keyframe location closer to the starting position for a shorter distance.

Happy creating!

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