Wednesday, 19 May 2021

How to Animate Quadruped Transitions

Free tiger rig from Truong
How do you animate quadruped transitions? That is to say, how do you animate the change from a walk to a trot to a run, and then back again?

Quadruped transitions are a tricky thing to get right, which is why all our MA students have access to video tutorials at Animation Apprentice showing step by step how to do it. 

Our MA animation students are currently tackling their third module, DA703 Animals and Creatures, mastering the art of quadruped locomotion and performance.

Vimeo Channel
At Animation Apprentice, the partner school that delivers the practical content for the Online MA in 3D Animation, there is a large and growing number of animation tutorials showing how to do everything from a basic bouncing ball to complex character performance.  

Time Editor
More tutorials are being added all the time, including a series on how to use the Time Editor (formerly known as the Trax Editor) in Maya to animate locomotion transitions.  The tutorials build our existing tutorials on quadruped locomotion, such as walks, trots and runs.  The transitions tutorial explains how different gaits can be combined using Maya's Time Editor. 

The tutorial uses Maya's Time Editor, (formerly known, until the Maya 2018 edition, as the Trax Editor), a tool which allows animators to overlay motion cycles and produce an interpolated transition from one gait to the next.

Six Videos at Vimeo
There are six videos to watch at our Vimeo Channel.  All are password-protected for our students' use.
1. Introduction to the Tax Editor
1.5 Fixing the Trax Editor
2.  Using Animation Clips
3. Creating Transitions
4. Baking Animation Clips
5. Fixing the Transitions

Horse gallop by Edward Muybridge
Quadruped Walks, Trots and Runs 
Students should first learn how to animate the three basic quadruped gaits: walk, trot and run.  These are the three basic forms of animal locomotion.

Sabre Tooth by Truong
The transitions tutorial uses the free Boxy Sabre Tooth Tiger Rig from Truong CG, and available for free download from his official site. Students can use this rig, or apply the same principles to the horse rig used in the quadruped locomotion tutorials.

How to plan Creature Animation
Also see this blog post on how to plan creature animation.

Quadruped Locomotion for Animators
Don't forget to check out Animal Locomotion for Animators, a free eBook by paleontologist and animal locomotion expert Stuart Sumida, which you can download from his website here.  Stuart's book is an excellent resource on animal locomotion.

Stuart Sumida
Stuart Sumida
Stuart Sumida is a paleontologist who has acted as advisor to many animated films including Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron. He is a regular guest at Escape Studios, lecturing on animal biology, locomotion and mechanics.

To find the free download, follow this link.

For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New Universitycome and visit us at one of our Open Days, take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK.

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