Walking Animation Study

At some point in the distant past when Flash was still widely used, I got the urge to try my hand at something akin to traditional cel animation, a simple stick figure walking sequence.

I first purchased Eadweard Muybridge's The Male and Female Figure in Motion, a book containing a library of photographic sequences, everything from running to swinging a bat. I strung together the male walking photos from the book to create a crude animation as a proof of concept.

The test sequence is only half complete. I reasoned that in the finished product I would simply swap the left arm/leg with the right arm/leg, and the full walking sequence would be done.

Using the walking test as a reference, I created a stick figure in Flash that followed the same pattern. Once completed, I played with placing the stick figure in a variety of situations, some of which are shown in the study animation below.

This exercise was enlightening because it gave me insight into the world of a traditional animator. It was extremely gratifying for me to watch a series of static images come to life.