marrying head and body during walking

Hi all -

I have a character walking and talking at the same time. I did the modify lip-sync for the head and now need to marry the head to the body so that it moves as the body goes through its walking cycle. i have tried making the body a child to the parent head while using the motion tool to create equal frame spans for both pegs. The problem is the body movement is not completely linear, meaning it bobs up and down (just as we do as we walk) and the head moves linear. I tried reversing it so the head became the parent of the body. This method has the head either moving ahead of or behind the body movement… without having to alter the lipsync heads to match the body movement frame by frame, is there a way to marry these two pegs so they move as a normal walking, talking body would do?
Thanks in advance … dan

It sounds like you animated the body walking before connecting the head. Normally this would not be the preferred method. In this case you need to make the upper body the parent and the head the child that way the child will follow the lead of the parent. You may have to adjust the “front-back” positioning of the head because of the hierarchy to get it layered on top of the body but as the child of the body it should hold its relative relationship and move up and down as the body moves up and down during the walk. You still may want to do some extra key framing of the head tilting during the walk as heads also move more than just following the body in a single position. Hope this helps, let me know if you need further info. -JK

Hi Jk-

Good to hear from you … I think I am missing something … not sure how the initial setup should have been … i have an eight cycle walk sequence that is not a refined type of walk, but more of a hip-hop bouncy movement. For example, if the first frame image stands at two inches high, the second may be one point seventy five, then up to one point nine, etc … with onion skin on, all eight are atop each other, though the collars may be up down from one to the next depending on the motion of the step being taken. If i have a 48 frame walking scene, i take the body and copy frames 1-8 to 9-16, then 17-24, up to frame 48. i then take the modifed lip sync element column, attach it to a peg beneath the body peg. with the motion tool, i adjust frame one of the head to the body in frame one… i then create another keyframe at frame 48 and adjust the head to where the body will be at the end of the cycle… with this, the head moves straight along a linear line while the body dips as drawn… not sure what i need to do other than create eight head keyframes for all eight of the body cycles and adjust the head accordingly to the body position … any clarification would be greatly appreciated … thanks, dan

Ideally your body walk cycle is created/key framed to walk “in place” and then that “in place” cycle will be attached to a “motion peg” element that contains your motion path for the character to follow. If this is not how you have created the walk, you may want to rework it to separate the motion path from the walk cycle itself. This is always a smart practice ( reuse and adjusting are greatly enhanced).

Before doing your “motion peg” you will want to repeat your walk cycle for the desired number of frames needed for the total movement. This is to say that if the movement is 80 frames and it is an 8 frame cycle then you have 10 repeats of the cycle but still all walking “in place”. Your head w/ mouth needs to be attached to the body as part of this in place cycle. Then once you have the whole character walking and talking in place, you will attach the character to your “motion peg” element and collapse the character and layout your motion path on this top level “motion peg”. Just a suggested approach but I believe it will solve your issues. -JK

hi jk -

I think I get what you are saying … and for the most part, i did that, at least with the body. i duplicated the cycle to the length of the frames I needed (80, in your example), all in place. What i did not do, was adjust each head to each body. If I understood you correctly, we would have 80 body segments, and 80 head segments, each joined to each other… which is probably not correct because then it shouldn’t matter if the head or body was the parent … or for that matter why should either be? Maybe I’m missing something on the head attachment… sorry for being dense :slight_smile: thanks, dan