Blocking Out Willow’s Run/Skate Animation Cycle

I have to admit, starting the animation cycle was pretty intimidating. Especially when I’m staring at a nearly finalized version of the main character. Luckily, I came across a tutorial that got me an EXCELLENT head start on creating the run/skate cycle. I ended up just creating a new project file to begin the animation cycles.

The tutorial I followed was actually doing a common run cycle, but for my use case, I needed to convert it to a “skate” cycle, since WIllow will be skating through all the levels of the game. After doing some initial research on roller skating in an effort to find a profile video of someone skating past the frame. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a video of that specific skate cycle reference, so I just ended up modifying the run cycle from the tutorial to a skate cycle.

First I started out by importing a copy of the character sprite into a smaller canvas for scale reference. Then I created a new layer for the head and 8 new frames. I started bobbing the head up and down in a “running” motion. Next, I created a rough forearm shape and swung it back and forth. Next the lower legs, upper legs, upper arms, and torso. Once all the body parts were connected and felt like they were making the appropriate running motion, I started to modify it. I ended up sliding the legs more rearward to give the impression that the weight was resting on the front foot for slightly longer as the body was sliding forward. The resulting animation is still pretty rough and will likely change, but I think it’s an okay start. I’m going to try to enter a 72 hour game jam this weekend, but I’m not sure how I’ll do because my weekend just piled up with outside work. We’ll see how it goes!

Running into the weekend like..