My first puppet walkcycle

I tried to make my first Puppet walk cycle in Animate and here is how it came out.

I know it needs work with the feet and timing but I am exhausted from this and I will work on that some other time.

Gotta start somewhere right?

that’s a great start


trying to fix the timing. I am having the heck of a time making it loop right. Can’t seem to get it from the last frame back to the first without it having that little skip.

That blending of end to start can be rough…sometime you might just want to have a car whizz by at the end of every step :wink:

Seriously, though…good stuff so far!

Does anyone know if there’s a library of sample files/puppets anywhere?


I think if you go here and download the sample material you get the ballerina all rigged up,Limpa, among others.

I guess I have to look on the bright side, my goal right now is to learn how to animate, In Animate so atleast I got some parts moving right. Also, the character seems to have been rigged right as I had no problem moving the elements.

I have a simple solution to your issue.

When I work on a cycle I set the initial position. Then after i move along and and make some keyframes I will go back and copy the first keyframe to the last frame of my animation so it finishes in the exact same pose. This gives me the chance to blend into it easily.

Then when I have finished. I go to the second last frame. Keyframe all the layers and delete the last frame (since it is a duplicate of the first) to create a smooth cycle.

(note you can change the stop frame at the top so when your previewing in animate you don’t see that duplicate frame until your ready to get rid of it)

Thanks Raider. Well I’lle be darned, I did not know you can copy a keyframe. I guess to do so the master peg would have to be colasped, then just click and copy the keyframe?

I was thinking of just making symbols out of each pose and work it that way but your suggestion is much easier.

Thanks again I will retry this again.

you can use the collapsed method, but generally i work uncollapsed so just click on the top layer and hold shift and then pick the bottom layer then you can copy/paste/set keyframe on a group of layers at once

Looks good. I didin’t notice the little skip at the end with the arm unil I re-read your post and you mentioned it. Do you have any more examples up? I like the clean cut-out style a lot!

Thanks nabz. Since posting the first version I kind of tweaked it a little. I got it to look a little better but for the life of me, I could not get that arm to work right.

I have another example of a lip sync, and just some arm and leg movements, of the same character, but the rig was poor. I know it’s buried somewhere in this forum. I will make more tests with this character later though. I do have some that I made with flash but I know we don’t use that program anymore.

If you want I can put up a copy of the .digi file so you can play with it.

I think I am going to take the same approach I was using to make a cycle while using flash. That is to rough out the poses with the brush, get the timing/posing right, then use that as reference to pose out the character.with the symbols.

Also, the suggestions you guys made are priceless! I never even attempted to copy a keyframe, cause I thought it was just not possible. Thanks again raider.

Here’s another question :

I have to somehow move the ankle up from the foot so the bottom of his pants are not covering the foot completely in some poses. However, since the elements are rigged,when I select say the ankle, the whole leg gets selected, even if I lock the thigh and foot I can’t just move the ankle.
Anyone know a solution where I can temporarily disable the linkage so I can move 1 piece without moving the other?

I was thinking of not using the character in a peg, and unlink the symbols, or remove the heirachys, make the walk cycle, then making it into a looping cycle that I can drag back onto the stage add a peg, then use a trajectory to
move it accross the screen.


Animate him in real space, you know where the character is not on a treadmill but rather moving across the screen.

I’lle try both methods to see what works.

One more thing, Raider you work with puppets? or do you do animate frame by frame? Just want to make sure what you are telling me applies to cut-out animation.

That is what I meant when I said I didn’t know you can copy a keyframe that contains heirachys and paste it on anither frame with all the heirachys in place. I tried it last night and was very delighted to find out tht animate placed all the frames with heirachys in place.

I did not get the chance to inspect if everything was right cause my forehead hit the key board soon after. I was up all night and day building the turn around for this character. ???

I pretty much exclusivly work with cutout, for speed purposes as much as anything.

Where is the ankle in your chain? when you move it should only move the elements below and then you can reposition the foot after repositioning the ankle.

Thigh → ankle → foot. I wonder if all I needed to do was disable the animate button. I will try when I get home.

This is EXACTLY the reason why I prefer the cutout style. I know some people call it “cutting corners” but realistically, as independent one-man-animation teams, the cutout method is the quickest way to get your cartoons made.

If we loved to be 1000 years old, I would consider making frame-by-frame episodes on my own… until then, I can either get an expensive team of animators OR choose cutout animation. I lose cutout animation.

I think you can kind of combine the 2 stlyes. Of course It would be great to learn traditional animation at it’s finest but you are right, we are 1 person, not a team of animators, unless your name is Adam Phillips or his pal that guy who does arj&poopy, you need to take as many shortcuts as you can without affecting the quality of your production to much.

Only disable the animate button if you rearranging position for all the frames.

If you just want to raise the ankle for x frames.

You should be able to just select the ankle and it only moves the ankle.

I just had a thought, are you using IK?

I don’t think it is cutting corners it is just a style. The real speed saving only comes with reuse cause it takes a long time to set one up well. Frame by frame also means you need everyone to be able to draw with the same style. You can mix the 2. Often you might do frame by frame for objects in the scene. Like a spinning wheel I would just do frame by frame. So to say your just using cut out will rarely be true.

I got it thanks! I do not use IK because I like the way Animate handles the rig or chains. It is easy enough to just pull bend and rotate things that I rather not go through the hassle of IK’ing. It is a real paing in @$$ to setup.

just checking cause my advice was based on you not using IK. Just wanted to check cause I don’t want to be giving out dodgy advice ;D

Played with the walk cycle’s timing and foot positions.

not sure if it just me but it looks like there is a jerk in the middle step.

I think you should remove the horizontal guides because it creates a bias when viewing.

You frame rate looks really low which leads to some blockness action for me.

Is there a reason your exporting to flash rather than a video file?