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This article is an overview of my online animation course called “3D Walk Cycle Animation using Autodesk Maya”. It’s an 4h self-study training course presenting the workflow and theory behind a 3D walk cycle animation in Maya.

How long does it take you to get familiar with the 3D animation workflow for locomotion? How do you get started with a human walk cycle animation? How to animate a smooth motion? How to clean the motion graphs?

This 3D animation course answers all these questions and more. Let’s get started!

Click Here to Enroll on Udemy

About this course

First of all you’ll get the following resources:

  • 4 hours on-demand video with 100% real-time animation workflow
  • 1 JPG as animation planning sheet
  • Character Rig called “The Punisher
  • Maya project where each animation lesson and animation pass is being saved as new Maya File

3D Walk Cycle Animation using Autodesk Maya is an intermediate 3D Animation course that teaches how to animate a generic human walk cycle.

The aim of the course is to showcase the animation pipeline of creating an organic and well-balanced 3D walk cycle. This workflow is the base for both 3D films and games.

I created this course for anyone interested in having a strong and inspiring start with human bio-mechanics for animation.


  • Prior experience with Maya Interface and Maya Navigation
  • Prior experience with the Maya’s major components for animation: Timeline, Graph Editor, Channel Box, Auto Keying
  • Prior experience with 3D keyframe animation
  • Prior experience in using a character rig but not necessarily a human rig

I designed this course for:

  • Intermediate users of Maya Animation
  • 3D Animation and Game Design students
  • Anyone with a desire to learn how to animate a walk cycle in Maya
  • Anyone with a desire in learning character animation

I’m using free resources:

What you’ll learn

  • How to animate a human walk cycle in 3D
  • Maya framework using Timeline, Auto-keying, Ghosting, Graph Editor
  • Maya Keyframe animation
  • How to create and set a Maya Project
  • How to reference a rig
  • How to install and use a Ghosting Script
  • How to create mirrored poses of a walk cycle
  • How to connect information between the real science of bio-mechanics and the animation workflow of a walk cycle
Enroll on Udemy

In this course you’ll learn how to animate a believable human walk cycle. We’ll be doing 1-second of animation made out of 2 walking steps at 24 FPS.

Besides the apparent swing of the legs and arms, there are many other details which are building up a convincing walk cycle, like:

  • the shift of the body weight from one side to another
  • the overlaps of the palms and toes
  • the chest as a whole

A human walk cycle it’s all about finding the harmony between all the body parts.

This is a course designed for intermediate users of Maya for Animation, meaning that you need the fundamentals with character animation, with the software but also manipulating rigs in general.

However, I’ll take you step by step into the keyframe animation and by following this course you’ll gain a strong knowledge of human locomotion which is without any doubt the basis for bio-mechanics animation.

Introduction lecture on human locomotion

Understanding the mechanics behind the real human locomotion is crucial for any type of walk animation. Therefore, this course offers an insight into human locomotion concepts in connection to the animation pipeline.

Throughout the 30 min introductory animation lecture I’ll present main community resources such The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams or the photo-collection of Humans and Animals in Motion by Edward Muybridge.

I’ll explain the mechanics of the human walk cycle known in bio-mechanics as a gait cycle where each walking step is built up from 4 key poses: the heel contact, the squash pose, the passing pose and the stretch pose, after which we walk back into the second step.

This lecture on human locomotion will help you to develop critical thinking and observational skills about the key aspects of what makes a good walk animation.

Course modules and lessons

Throughout this 3D animation course, I’ll build the mechanics of the walk cycle through several and progressive animation passes. You will develop a strong foundation on how to build up the animation from blocking the first key contact posses, to cleaning the motion graphs, to adding the final body overlaps.

The course is being divided into several sections covering all the necessary tools with a 100% real-time animation process and explanations. The workflow is a progressive where each animation pass is being saved as a new Maya scene.

The course modules are:

  • Welcome
  • Introduction Lecture
  • Setting the Maya Project
  • Animation Pass 1. Heel Contact Postures
  • Animation Pass 2. Foot Pass Postures
  • Animation Pass 3. Squash Postures
  • Animation Pass 4. Stretch Postures
  • Animation Pass 5. Cleaning the Motion Graphs
  • Animation Pass 6. Arms Overlaps
  • Animation Pass 7. Head Overlaps
  • Animation Pass 8. Feet Grounding and Orientation
  • Animation Pass 9. Final Cycle and Good Bye

Check out the following GIFs, is the step-by-step process of my 3D animation workflow in how the walk cycle is being build-up.

After you complete this 3D animation course

Remember, the walk cycle animation is an extremely knowledgeable process in learning character animation, with a functional rig and the right application of animation principles this course gives you a very solid foundation for bio-mechanics animation.

This course it’s an insight on how to bring that spark of life into a human character. Once you understand the mechanics and workflows of a generic human locomotion, you’ll get a huge boost of confidence and skills.

With a strong knowledge of human locomotion you’ll then be able to animate any type of animation human walk cycle, any type of personality walk, using any type of 3D rig.

samples of locomotion animation clips

You can find here more of my animation clips with the Punisher Maya Rig.

My students’ work

Have a look over some of the student work from my previous teaching. These teaching reels are on different levels, from a beginner to more advanced animations. Just remember that we all start as beginners and everyone took their first step into this journey by learning the basics.

Check-out these student reels below:

Cristina Zoica Dumitru

I teach digital art courses online and on-location. My mission is to challenge students to reach their maximum potential for creativity and authenticity.

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