Animated Walk & Run Cycles

Wikipedia on Walk Cycles: In animation, a walk cycle is a series of frames or illustrations drawn in sequence that loop to create an animation of a walking character. The walk cycle is looped over and over, thus having to avoid animating each step again.

There exist many techniques to create walk cycles. Traditionally walk-cycles are hand drawn but over time with the introduction of new technologies for new mediums, walk cycles can be made in pixel art, 2d computer graphics, 3D computer graphics, stop motion method, cut-out animation or using techniques like rotoscoping.

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Explosions, Fire, and Environmental FX

Around this time of year, after we’ve started the animation project, I often begin to get questions from students about explosions, fire, and other environmental effects. I will continue to update this post with interesting examples I come across that could be used as reference or inspiration for animation (in the fall) and comics/illustration (in the spring). Note: You might also want to check out a similar post on water effects.

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Layers of Animation Process

Dana Terrace is an animation director on the upcoming new iteration of Ducktales for Disney. Veteran students might remember that we watched her 3rd year student film, Kickball, last year. As we begin our animation project this week, here is a very nice example of a run cycle by Terrace that illustrates the various layers of process an animator will work through from rough to final animation.

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Lotte Reiniger

Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger (2 June 1899 – 19 June 1981) was a German film director and the foremost pioneer of silhouette animation. Reiniger made more than 40 films over her career, all using her invention.Her best known films are The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) – the oldest surviving feature-length animated film, preceding Walt Disney’s feature-length Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) by over ten years – and Papageno (1935), featuring music by Mozart. Reiniger is also noted for devising a predecessor to the first multi-plane camera.

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Ward Kimball’s Ludwig Von Drake Thumbnails

Animator Andreas Deja on Ward Kimball’s prep work for animating a scene of Ludwig Von Drake in 1961:

It is amazing to see how detailed and thorough Kimball’s thumbnails were, Those are all the key drawings necessary…just add inbetweens. He went straight ahead and figured the complete scene out on one 16 field sheet of animation paper.

Open the full post here to see the full image of Kimball’s thumbnails:

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Back to School Night Donations


Walter Reed families have always been awesome and generous. If you would like to pick up some supplies for class we would appreciate these items:

Printer Ink: I like to print out many color images for use in classroom displays and examples. My current classroom printer is a Canon MP640 all-in-one that uses this ink:

8.5” x 11” White Bond Paper: We use a great deal of bond paper (printer paper) in Cartooning & Animation.

8.5” x 11” White Card Stock: We use white card stock for many purposes in Architecture & Design and Cartooning & Animation.