Horse Run Cycle Using Layering Method

In 3D animation, layered animation is an efficient method to use for cycles. Cycles are based on rhythm, and the cycle length is determined by focusing on the core of the body. The full cycle can be built up as individual animation loops, starting with the core parts of the body and expanding to the secondary parts. Some loops can be offset or stay in sync, but they are all based on the same original cycle length.

Using Rhett Horse Rig

Method of work

1 - Understanding the rig

    Looking at all controllers, understanding their options

2 - Observing the reference

    Finding the correct cycle and where the key moments are

3 - Animating the body

    Moving the main body controller, moving the front and rear controllers

    Adding the main rotation up and down

4 - Animating the head

    Moving the neck and head controllers

5 - Animating the rear left leg

    Moving the rear left foot and hip controllers

6 - Copying to the rear right leg

    Offsetting and adjusting the animation according to body motion

7 - Animating the front left leg

    Moving the front left foot and shoulder controllers

8 - Copying to the front right leg

    Offsetting and adjusting the animation according to body motion

9 - Adding secondary motion

    Animating the ears and the tail

10 - Looking at the front view

    Adding the body and head twist. Adding the legs motion inward and outward

11 - Cycling all curves

    Making sure all curves look clean and have the same cycle

12 - Polishing the animation

    Adjusting general motion and animation curves

13 - Adding the main translation forward

    Moving top controller forward

14 - Final render

    Rendering with lighting, shadows and motion blur for better presentation