Tuesday Video: Horse Animation by the Layers

Here’s a little something different for your Tuesday morning: Watch this 3D horse become animated, one piece at a time!

Animated horses have come a long way from the hand-drawn cartoons of yesterday. Watch this 3D rendering of a horse come “alive” one step at a time until it runs across the screen about as realistic as can be!

From the video description:

I created this animation as a way to demonstrate the technique of layering animation to create a realistic run cycle for a horse.

Most of my students knew pose to pose, and straight through animation styles, and the basics of keyframe animation. Yet they were unfamiliar with this layered animation method, and I thought this would aid in showing them step by step how it works.

As always, I look at reference footage to study the type movement I am trying to create with the animation. I also familiarize myself with the character rig thoroughly before proceeding.

The horse run is based on a 12 frame cycle: first starting with the main parts of the body and head, then proceeding to the legs, animating one, then copying and offsetting to its mirror, adding secondary animation and adding further refinements when viewing through a front facing camera.

Pretty cool stuff! Go riding!

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