Animating Quadpeds

May 5, 2012

Gamasutra has a write-up by Cathy Feraday with some tips and tricks on animating 4-legged creatures/animals. She outlined her workflow and thought process in animating these creatures, I’ve insert an excerpt below-

In the course of my career, I’ve learned that there is a surprising similarity in how quadrupeds move, from species to species. Eadweard Muybridge’s photographic works may be a century old, but they are still relevant and extremely useful.

In his introduction to Animal Locomotion, he maintains that most quadrupeds — be they dogs, cats, horses or rhinoceroses — follow the same footfall pattern. This is the order in which the hooves or paws strike the ground while moving through the various gaits. Where they differ is in the flexibility of the spine. Visualize a rhino running, as opposed to a cheetah. The exceptions, according to Muybridge, are elephants, and animals like kangaroos.

The four speeds of movement, or the four “gaits”, are shared amongst most four-legged animals. Almost every quadruped walks, trots, canters and gallops, and their legs move in the same manner when they do it.

This came just time time for my creatures and animals masterclass! Very poignant insight from a very experienced animator.


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