One of my projects during the first semester of my second year at University was to create a 2D or 3D character walk cycle. I decided to make a 2D character because I really enjoyed working in After Effects during my first year, and want to further my skills in it this year. This is the first character time I have design and animated a character, and below I will show my full development from sketches to my final walk cycle.
Moodboard and inital sketches
I started off the project by searching Pinterest for inspiration and creating a small moodboard of character designs I liked. I wanted my character to be simple and I wanted it to be inspired by flat design. I then sketched down some initial ideas and was left with two character ideas that I liked, I tried them in different colors/shapes and I also looked at what colors and styles I could use for background and details.
Initial Digital Sketches
My next step was two bring my two previous ideas into Illustrator to see how they would work digitally. I really liked the alien, so I decided to make that as my character.
First Walk Cycle
This is a walk cycle I made following this youtube tutorial. I had never made a walk cycle before, so it was good practice before I started animating my own character.
My character from the front, side and back. I changed the body a lot from my initial design, so that it would be easier to animate and so that I could have more movement. All my designs are made in Illustrator.
- Full name: Yo Yonan
- Age: Unknown
- Sex: Male
- Yonan is a curious alien that likes to discover new things. He is also very fascinated with everything that is related to earth and humans. He's favourite hobby is going a planet after austronauts have left it, and inspecting the trash they have left behind. So far he has a collection of 3 backpacks, 5 cameras, 1 towel, 19 empty packages of space food, 1 gold pin, 6 pairs of boots and a photograph of a cat.
Rigging in After Effects
Here is my character fully rigged. I used a rigging and animation tool called Duik to do this. Made this video to practise movements.
First Alien Walk Cycle
My first version of the walk cycle. I was not happy with this, because I felt that it looked a bit weird because I couldn't streched the legs fully out without the body deforming.
Second Alien Walk Cycle
Because I wasn't happy with the first version of my walk cycle, I remade it using another body shape and this time the puppet pin tool in After Effects. I also added some background details.
My new Scale Perspective.
Third and final Alien Walk Cycle
After talking to my lecturer I went back to my first version and made some changes. I added movement to the body, which made it look a lot better. I also added blinking and the background details. I ended up really liking this version after making these changes, so this now my final walk cycle.
My gantt chart.
I used Trello to stay organized throughout the semester.
My Illustrator and After Effects file can be downloaded here.