View Full Version : Help with Cyclist

01-02-2010, 09:24 AM
I've never used cyclist before.

I have a character with a looped walk cycle set up.

All I need to do is have this character follow some live action actors in a 451 frame shot. I'm embarrassed to say this is giving me some problems.

I thought I'd have this done in a very short time but here I am 2 days later pulling my hair out because I can't fix some foot slip.

The character needs to move from point A to point B by a specific time or 451 frames. Actually I only really have to worry about 200 frames or so because the rest of the time he is off camera. Anyway.

The legs are IK and the whole rig is parented to a "MOVER" null that I use to move him across the ground. I've tried to scale the key times for the IK goal nulls to adjust the speed of the walk but I just can't find the winning combination so I'm guessing cyclist would be a good option for this.

I've watched tutorials and searched posts here but when I try to apply cyclist in the motion options to an IK goal the goal stops working. It just stays in one place. If I check the "after IK" box it seems to work but I realized that it seems to be ignoring the controller null.

Any suggestions? Am I doing this wrong? The mover null is moving across Z.

01-03-2010, 05:48 AM
i think you're mis understanding slightly what cyclist does... it plays an animation on one item based off the animation of another... its not really suited to repetetive actions, more so to back and forth actions... nad from what i understand of your situation... its the wrong choice for you here.

I see loads of folks trying to animate this way... on the spot, then use a master "mover" to actually move the whole lot together... and it NEVER WORKS... very, very bad practice.

Ur best bet will be to unparent the ik from the mover null, and fix it all up manually... theres no real shortcut to be had here.

01-03-2010, 05:56 AM
The only "fast" solution I have in mind for your problem is motionmixer.
There you can "easily" accelerate or slow down the speed of your walkcycle.
Foot slipping is always difficult to avoid with cycles.

01-03-2010, 06:24 AM
You need to determine the characters stride length...IOW how far it steps in one cycle.
Say for example that the character stride length is 1 meter in 3 frames then the Mover null needs to move at 1 meter per second.
The problem with using cyclist the way you describe is that a character doesnt behave exactly the same when its speed changes. We tend to lean differently and change our stride a bit etc.

01-03-2010, 11:30 AM
Check the file Move the null on Z axis

01-03-2010, 04:48 PM
Thank you very much all of you for your quick replies. I really appreciate it.

My animation skills are better than they used to be but still...well let's just say I have a long way to go. So thanks for your help!

RebelHill - I started animating the character step by step the whole length of the shot but then I realized that the shot calls for several of them, digital extras if you will, so I was trying to find a way to automate the animation. The thought was once I could figure out how to get this done for one then I could ad several more and it would drastically cut down on time spent on this shot. I've done other shots that had several characters and animated each one individually one step at a time and I also found that to be a very good way to avoid foot slip. In those cases I used the root bone for forward movement and the MOVER was used only to put them in place originally. I ended up with good (or half way good) results. The thought of doing this shot that way is just very overwhelming so I've been searching for an alternative.

Since each character will need to have some variation I thought setting up a few different walk cycles and then driving them around with a null would help with the above.

Arsad - I was afraid someone would say that. I mean I'm afraid of motion mixer. I really do need to learn how to use it but I've been putting it off.

SplineGod - Thanks - yes I see what you mean about speed changes...in this particular shot however the audience won't see speed changes. Just a bunch of people / humanoid characters walking past the camera and on their way. So fortunately I just have to worry about making sure the digital characters match pace with the live action characters and end up at point B the same time they do....

chris_lwgr - COOL! - Thanks - that's exactly what I was looking for.