Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Woody 7x per step Walk

Here's a nice little walk cycle from "Solid Ivory". Woody is at a brisk pace of 7 frames per each step.That's the same beat as the "Popeye The Sailor Man" song.

Here you can step through the walk to see how it works:

Here's another - also at a 7x beat

Walks used to be animated with fun, character and entertainment in mind. Nowadays (if I'm not mistaken), most walks are just to get a character from here to there.


Geneva said...

Weirdly enough, John, "Solid Ivory" was the episode I found the most walk reference a couple of nights ago.

Niki said...

Well actually nowadays, a walk is both feet on ground, Both feet in air! Float! Repeat! I know cause I seen it many times, it haunts me.

booleanspline said...

thats very true about the walks, it really helped define a character. and brought more life to said character. i dont remember the last time ive seen a good walk.

Elana Pritchard said...

Those old animators really knew that life is meant to be enjoyed!

Gerhard Cruywagen said...

Hi John.

I really dig that woody walk! I like the extreme whip-action of his head feathers. Also, I like the fast down pose which gives him that bounce. It's fun to look at stuff like that!

Yet another construction drawing:


Would appreciate feedback/criticism.

Thank you..

Noah said...

Well Jon, walks can be a difficult and expensive thing to animate. You even said yourself that more than once while working on Ren and Stimpy you cut the characters from the waste up simply so you wouldn't have to animate the walk cycle, no offense. But I do agree that walks these days are very plain, stiff and boring compared to their peers from the 40's through the 60's.

Kali Fontecchio said...

Oops I linked it wrong:

Fox and crow.

Christine Gerardi said...


Hey John, how far along in my cartoon education should I actually try to animate something? Right now I'm focusing on construction and all the stuff you talk about.

Lluis Fuzzhound said...

Yay!! walk cycles are the best!
Thanks John!

Anonymous said...

How true it is that walk cycles can be entertaining, but aren't anymore. Sometimes they're the best thing in a film.

My favourite walk cycle of all time is Stimpy's "shuffle walk" in Big House Blues and the R&S opening (which is accompanied by Ren hopping.) You once told me it was only three frames per step on 1's. That's incredible that you were able to squeeze such joy out of such few drawings.

JohnK said...

actually it was 24 drawings total.

his body swayed forward and back taking 12 x each way

but his feet took a step every 3 frames

the feet were fast, the body slow

I got it from a Tweety walk in Gruesome Twosome

Anonymous said...

Ah! My mistake! I love that song he sings in that film.

I tawt I taw a puddy taat! Puddy taat! Puddy taaat! I tawt I taw a Puddy taat! A-riki-tiki-tiki puddy taaaaat!

I forget the rest of the words.

krakit said...

I love it when you use bits of
animation to make a point.

Two (or is it 12?) of the neatest
steps I've seen by Woody are from
2:14 to 2:18 on "Pantry Panic (1941)"

Hans Flagon said...

I would think with the frames doubled every now and then to get the timing of 24 frames to match up with 29.95 hz NTSC, that it would be difficult to tell exactly how a walk cycle was done. Maybe its not a problem from DVDs, and a frame is just a frame.

I wasn't counting a repetitive walk cycle every seven frames though... the second step took more frames.

Kevin Langley said...

That walk was animated by Pat Matthews, there's a similar walk by Matthews in "Woody The Giant Killer" too.

Trevor Thompson said...

Actually, Hans, you've got something there.

Unless they've changed the way televisions work in the last two years, there isn't a single TV in America ( different with PAL TVs in Europe ) that can show 24 frames ( or pixels ) a second.

When you watch a movie on DVD, what you're looking at is something shot at 24 fps being shown on something at 29.95 or whatever.

Back in the day, you could see the effects of this much easier when you slowed down the movie to frame-by-frame; every third 'frame' you'd see half of one frame and half of the one coming next, due to interlacing. Now that popular videos are being de-interlaced, the translation is shown in the form of 'held' frames.

At least, that's how it was explained to me.

- trevor.

JohnK said...

The way it works is they repeat every 4th frame to make 24fps add up to 30fps

from film to video

when studying animation this way you have to count the frames like this:


or if the animation is on 2's...

Zoran Taylor said...

"The way it works is they repeat every 4th frame to make 24fps add up to 30fps"

I'm actually shocked at how WELL that works most of the time, because it feels as though it really shouldn't.
I have, for example, a lot of Clampett's greatest cartoons on DVD, and yes, the colours are wrong and some things are a bit messed up, but the movement looks to be intact - in that it absolutely kicks everything else's ass around the block. What else is new, right?

Stepping through the cartoons, however, I can see evidence of that frame-rate trick. I would think that altering the frame count on something like that -especially using a mathematical method that is entirely unrelated to what's onscreen- would pretty much destroy it's intended effect, but it doesn't. Frankly, that baffles me.

cemenTIMental said...

Frankly, that baffles me.
It's because it's seperated into fields, not just frames. It's a horrible nightmare to understand or have to deal with, so best don't worry about it too much. :)

krakit said...

Even though I get a kick
out of how the dog in Bill
Plympton's "Guard Dog" bounces
to get around instead of actually
walking I'm wondering if he chose
that gait for the dog so he
wouldn't have to put the work
in for making an actual walk
(that's also entertaining).

It could be that I'm being too
analytical to the point of
being anal-is-too-tight-ical.

The "bounce to get around" is a
good contrast to when the dog
freezes in contemplation about
what nearby animals and people
could possibly do to harm its
owner - and it's pretty funny
for how a dog would move around.

The two parts where the dog is
shown actually walking is from
3:07--3:11 and 4:05--4:18.
The first one is regular walking
and the second one involves the
twist of the whole cartoon.

John, if given the chance,
would you have advised Bill
to liven up the dog's walking
in 3:07--3:11? I'm not asking
about 4:05--4:18 since I think
the strained walking is perfect
for the dog's situation there.

I'm thinking you would have
since he put the effort in to
have the funny "bounce to get
around" gait. Why have the dog
start walking normally in