Learn to animate. Part 2. "Human Walk Cycle".
4.3 (6 ratings)
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Learn to animate. Part 2. "Human Walk Cycle".

Build Human walk cycle. Body bounce, weight balance, arm and head swing, elbow overlap.
4.3 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
110 students enrolled
Last updated 7/2013
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
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  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of this course, you will learn typical Animation workflow: "Layout-Blocking-Rough Animation-Polish", use Graph Editor as your main Animation tool, know how to create apearance of body balance, create overlap by shifting the splines and using In-betweens, use foot controls, deal with knee snapping of CG characters.
View Curriculum
  • To take this Course Students need Maya Student version, available from Autodesk Education Community free of charge. You'll need to sign up as Student and download 3 year student license.

During this course You will learn to build professional looking Human Walk Cycle and be ready for next type of locomotion: run, sneak, quadruped motion.

You will need to download free modified Norman rig by following the provided link.

To achieve best result I expect the student get over the course in a week or two.  But to get at ease animating walk cycle may take longer. Repetition is Mother of Learning!

This is 100% Video course and I suggest that a Student will watch the Lecture by little segments and try to repeat explained procedure. When the process is clear, You may advance to the next segment until the whole Lecture is over. Then I recommend repeating the lecture without watching it. When the topic of the lecture is learned, You should advance to the next. Don't rush. This course is taught in deliberately slow pace, so the student will have time to listen, watch and work on his/her shot, following directions.

My method of presenting material is proven during many years of teaching Animation at Academy of Art University of San Francisco, where I teach students of different skills and backgrounds. This course is a must for any aspiring Animator without $15-17K tuition at his/her disposal (or even with). Learning to animate a walk is an essential part of Animation skill.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is intended for anybody interested in Animation. To take this course, a student must be at ease with navigating in Maya or any other 3D Animation software. Complete beginners are advised to take my "learn to be animator, part 1" course, where they will learn key elements of Animation workflow and be introduced to important tools. Animators and Aniamtion students, building their Demo Reels, will benefit the most from this course as Locomotion is one of the most overlooked topics in Animation education.
Compare to Other Animation Courses
Curriculum For This Course
18 Lectures
Walk Cycle. Creating strides. Legs Animation.
6 Lectures 51:02

In this lecture Students will learn about getting Character Rig ready for Animation.
They will be introduced to Head, Arms, Legs and Knees parenting options.
Character set up is one of the most important and most overlooked  stage of getting ready for work.
Students will be required to download "Nobleman" rig by following direct link, provided below.
Preview 09:14

Character Set-up continued

This lecture will cover IK (Inverse Kinematics) and FK (Forward Kinematics) settings of the rig. If Students will need more information about IK/FK, I will recommend using widely available Internet resources to learn about it.

Preview 03:52

In this lecture we start creating walk cycle - one of the most important element of human animation. We will look at Foot controls and create Extremes (or Contact Positions).
Blocking. Strides and feet controls

In this lecture we'll cover Breakdowns (or Passing Position) - the most important concept for an Animator. We'll create In-betweens to add weight to the walk and keep contact with the ground. Some of the most overlooked position in creating walk cycles.

Breakdowns and In-betweens
Upper Body
6 Lectures 01:33:01
In this lecture students will work with adding lateral weight shift, balancing the body as it passes forward over supporting leg. This action is very commonly misunderstood. Pay keen attention to it.
Weight Shift

Left-Right body swing also affects the head. Head, been the free end of the torso structure, may have noticeable follow-through (or overlap). This lecture introduces the simplest basic head overlap.

Head Animation

During this lecture students will be shown how to create arm swing, beginning with the simplest, pendulum-like swing with basic elbow overlap, and finishing with more natural, "life-like" arm swing, including the clavicle movements and spline shift.
Arm Swing

Continuing with Head left/right swing, adding more variations to the basic Head follow-through.
More head swing variations

Continuing with Arm swing, adding more lateral movements to the swing for natural feel.

More Arm swing variations

Body spring action and head bounce
Putting it all together
6 Lectures 01:17:25


Rough Animation


About the Instructor
Michael Berenstein
4.8 Average rating
14 Reviews
168 Students
2 Courses
Animator, Animation Instructor


  I was born in Minsk, former USSR, where, after receiving degree in Architecture,  was hired by Belorussian Film Studio as Camera Assistant, but found myself helping with props for Stop Motion Shorts. Learned in-betweening, clean-up and worked on Cell Animated shorts. After graduating from Moscow Courses for Animators worked on various Shorts as Stop Motion and Cut-out Character Animator.

  Perestroika freed more opportunities and in 1990 I made my first Animated short "The end of cone rider", which was accepted to be shown at Moscow International Animation Festival.

Unfortunate events in former USSR made me decide to move to the USA in 1991.

I've been employed at Will Vinton Claymation, Colossal, Danger Production, Pixar, Tippett, PDI, ILM.

  Throughout of my Animation Career I used various Animation techniques:

Cell Animaiton, Cut-outs, Stop-Motion, Clay on Glass, Back-lit Sand on Glass, Anime Studio, Maya.

 In my teaching at De Anza Community College and Academy of Art University I try to engage students during class by giving them short exercises, that prepare them for homework. For example,  prior to lip-sync assignment I demonstrate and have them do short one word lip-sync  shot.

I'm finding myself helping students in areas away from my expertise: rigging, storyboarding, sound, lighting. To prepare myself for these tasks, I took rigging, lighting and modeling classes at Academy of Art.

My Demo Reel, shorts, rigging and modeling can be seen on my Blog, please follow the link: