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Wolf Animation

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  • Update - 30th Jan: Fifth and penultimate pass uploaded. Got the base animation working well enough, so just waiting until I've finalized the wolf's visual design and his speed/physics behavior before I tweak it to work perfectly in-game.

    Update - 21st Jan: Fourth pass uploaded, with details of changes on second page of this thread.

    Update - 19th Jan: Third pass uploaded. Minor improvements, still a few things that need tweaking, but figured I'd upload my progress so far anyway. Keeps me going if I know people are judging :P

    Update - 18th Jan: Second pass at the animation uploaded. Improved the tail, and slightly accentuated the head movement.

    Righto. I've been playing around with a platformer idea involving a wolf and the four elements, and am loving it so far. Animation is something I'm really new at though, so I'd appreciate a lot of feedback for getting the wolf's movements spot on.

    Here is my first pass at the wolf's basic run cycle:

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/Wolf-GIF.gif" border="0" />

    Second pass (not sure why he shrank :o):

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/Wolf-GIF-2.gif" border="0" />

    Third pass:

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/Wolf-GIF-3.gif" border="0" />

    Fourth pass:

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/GIF-4.gif" border="0" />

    Fifth pass:

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/Wolf-GIF-1.gif" border="0" />

    I'm going to be adding more frames into the cycle to smoothen it out using Anime Studio Pro, but I want to nail the essentials first. So what stands out to you? I already want to fix that tail and I've only just finished this first attempt<img src="smileys/smiley7.gif" border="0" align="middle" />, and I plan to smooth out the front leg transitions a lot more too.

    Any critique would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for reading <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • hi verry nice job

    the only thing that i can see with only the keyframes is the tail. i thing that the animation (of the tail) is not so good.

    look at this

    and watch the tail.. your i'ts a wolf so it would have some differences but look at the basic anatomy idea

  • I made a wolf type game last year called Wolfen , never finished it though.The tail should only go up and down.I can send you some of my sprites i used with wolfen if you want.

    Pm me and i will send it to you.

  • <img src="http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7658043/Wolfen1.gif" border="0" />

    Here is the sprite i made for Wolfen.Notice the the tail and the head.

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  • Yeah, I always knew the tail would be the hardest part for me to nail :P

    Anything else stand out? Think the head movement needs to be more pronounced?

    @DravenX - Awesome animation. Love the bulky look. I'm making this game for practice more than anything else, so I love the idea of finding my own resources for animations, putting something together, and then getting feedback from guys like you who have been there and done that. So while the offer to look at your animations is very generous and tempting, I'd prefer to go without them for now, post what I come up with, and then tweak them with feedback. I know there's nothing wrong with looking at what others have done for guidance and inspiration, but I'd rather not cut any corners just yet :P

  • No problem silver.I had to learn from other people's work also on how to do animation's correctly.Your art work is top notch.The body of the wolf moves in a wave type manner ,Especially when he runs.So work on the tail and the head a bit more.You will nail it eventually and then it will look fantastic.

  • before I read the above replies, I was going to say the head movement needs to be more pronounced, and maybe the hind movement less pronounced, but it might look fine with more head movement. Also, the tail, I would just copy from a slowmo vid of a wolf or a dog running, or attach a physics tail that you bend with sprite distortion in construct.

    Seems something's a little off in the timing in the front legs.   I'm assuming this is on the todo list, but use the bone tweening on the legs aside from the frame flipping so the entire body is moving at the smoother frame rate.   

    Overall, though, you're definitely on the right track.

    this is a good reference:

    [tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdikR_mxp6I&feature=related[/tube]

    also, just searching youtube for "slomo wolf running" or "slomo dog running" has alot of other good ones. or maybe replace "running" with "gait" to get other options for speed

    edit: although I wouldn't use the tail on that vid. not sure if wolves' tails (don't) move like that as well, but if they do, you should use some artistic license and embellish it

  • Updated with a second pass. Edited the tail a lot, and tweaked the head. I think the tail still needs some more work though.

    @Lucid - The front legs jump out to me too, and is the main reason I want to add in more frames. They move so fast that they seem to warp around too much at the moment. Hopefully, adding new frames to blend the current ones together will make the legs look much more fluid in their motion. That video is awesome btw, thanks :)

    @DravenX - Damn, you're right about the 'wave' movement of the back. Seeing it in Lucid's video made me see it in your animation, and now mine looks completely off :P

    I'll be tweaking the back in my next attempt then. Think his tail still needs to drop down a bit further too?

  • on a real wolf the whole body sort of scrunches together because the back is bending. it's almost like an accordion effect, contracting, and then expanding as the back legs push the body forward again. the flow of the animation should capture the timing of that force, right now it looks a little floaty.

    as far as the legs, in anime studio,   move the bone from the previous leg frame to overlap this one on this frame, and toggle visibility to   then despite you changing the images of the legs, it will be blended together.

  • It runs like a whorse. Kicks with the back legs!

    I have always hate to animate.

  • @Lucid - I tried to convey that accordion effect, but I'll look into it more closely with the next attempt. Your point about the timing of its force makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

    @Urled - What's a whorse? Because that's conjuring up some strange images in my head... And do you mean that the kicking of the back legs has been conveyed well? Or poorly?

  • Third pass done, but I shouldn't really call it that. It's just the progress I made today. Accentuated the head movement again, further improved the accordion effect of his body (though it may need more 'oomph' still), and added a wave-like movement to his torso.

    I'm hesitant about adding that wave movement to his rear though. I quite like how it juts up, and it seems to play well with the way I've designed his fur in two prominent sections. But once I've stared at my own art for this long, the weirdest things can look normal to me. So if it looks odd to you, let me know! I'll happily add that wave movement in completely if you think it will look better!

    Adding that little extra force to his spring seems to have highlighted the foreleg issues a bit more, so I plan on sorting them out with my next pass.

    <img src="http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc212/darkstorne/Wolf-GIF-3.gif" border="0" />

    Many thanks for all the help and support so far. <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • i downloadeded and checed the gif.. the problem that i can see is that the tale and the back legs are going a little bit together

    <img src="http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/8506/wolfjf.jpg" border="0" />

    i am not sure but check it out ......nice job

    (maybe is not the movement but the angle of the tail)

  • looking much more awesome

    the hind end still seems to be moving up and down too much in relation to the front, and I think the head when it retracts back slightly, will look even better with a tiny bit more movement

  • @Stefanos - "the tale and the back legs are going a little bit together"

    Do you mean the tail comes down too soon? I based the tail on DravenX's excellent sprite and the video you posted on the first page. I'll take a closer look at it and see if I can improve the timing further. Thanks for taking a good look <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    @Lucid - Thanks, I'll reduce the rear height with my next pass and accentuate the head (again!). I plan on tweaking the forelegs quite a bit too, so hopefully after this next attempt I'll be pretty close to finishing. Thanks for the continued help <img src="smileys/smiley1.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

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