How To Animate Walking in Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator makes it easy for users, advanced and beginner alike, to create an animation. Here are the steps to create a simple walking animation.

  1. Launch Adobe Illustrator. Once the program is opened, either create a new project or create a new file where you can work on your walking animation.
  2. Produce the parts of your illustration. Make sure to create the parts of your illustration in the first layer of your project. And then from there, create the sub layers of the illustration. Make sure to separate them into basic parts that will make it easier for you to animate. These parts are the most basic: head, body, legs and arms.
  3. Make it so that the body parts of your animation are ready to be animated. You have to break down the poses of the character in your animation so that you can get your key positions. Since the character should be walking on the animation, you should make it so that the, say, the character’s left leg is slightly stretched forward while the character’s right leg is slightly behind. Study a reference footage, or maybe your own walking, on what positions your legs and arms will be while walking. Do the character’s arms move? If so, similar to your character’s legs, make it so that the right arm is slightly stretched forward and the left arm is slightly behind.
  4. Produce a new key frame. After you are done with the first layer, keep track of it by renaming it to a different name that will make it easier for you to follow that the first key frame you did was the “first step”. After you’ve renamed the first key frame, make a copy of it and rename it so that you would know that it is the second key frame, or the “second step”. After duplicating the first key frame, lock it so that you wouldn’t be able to make changes to it. After which, decrease the opacity of the second key frame to at least fifty percent to create the effect of a “tracing a paper”.
  5. Move the body parts of the character. Sign the onion skin effect or tracing effect by reducing the opacity of the current layer, move or nudge the body parts forward or backward by at least fifteen percent. The onion skin effect will enable you to see the previous position of that specific body part and will make it easier for you to track the changes you are making.
  6. Re-do steps four and five. Make sure you repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have your desired amount of walking images to create a full animation. Ensure that the first step is on the very bottom of the layer palette. Make sure to order your layers correctly as the item on the bottommost part of the layer palette is the first image that will play and the topmost is the image that will play last.
  7. Save and export the animation clip you did. Make sure to highlight all layers found on the layer palette and change all opacity to 100 percent. After you’re done changing its opacity, on the menu bar, hit “File” and then “Export” where you can save the walking clip as a flash clip.

Play your animation clip using the Adobe Flash player.


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