Waves and Locomotion

Most natural movements – runs, walks, gallops – follow wave patterns. But it’s very difficult for me to analyze such movements so I can recreate them in animation.

For this experiment I worked backwards, first creating the simple wave movements (above) and then combining them into a gallop (below).

The legs are swinging back and forth as well as waving.

I struggle to animate even a simple wave; it does not come intuitively to me. I found a way to remember with the letters C-Z-D-S. The curves of those letters resemble the 4 keyframes of a wave loop.┬áIf I can remember those 4 keyframes, I can tween from one to another by hand or in this case using Flash’s shape tweening.

Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

4 thoughts on “Waves and Locomotion”

  1. This is what genius looks like: the successful reduction of a complex problem to its basic underlying principles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *