I’ve seen many different walk cycle tutorials on YouTube, a lot of them using different techniques, eg. walking on the spot then using NLA editor to repeat and make the root bone follow a path, or using IK foot bones to keep foot in place and moving body forward overtop,

So I’m wondering what the proper way of doing it is.

The second method I mentioned makes sure there’s no slipping but you can’t loop the animation.

So is there a “proper method”?


  • $\begingroup$ it depends on what you want, if you want your character to move on a long distance across a scene, you'd better use a walk cycle loop, follow path and NLA, and be careful about feet slipping, but for a very short distance like 2 steps and then your character does something else, you can simply prepare a basic animation $\endgroup$ – moonboots Jan 18 '19 at 10:25

You're saying walk cycle. By definition, that's going to be a loop. Cycle = loop. Therefore you're going to have your character walking in one place. Because if he were to leave that place, there would be no loop.

If, on the other hand, you needed to animate a clip of a character walking in some environment, then you would manually place each IK platform on the surfaces, alternating feet and moving the character body around. Except for cases where the character is going in a straight line with constant speed. In that case, you can get away with using a single loop and just moving the body forward. (you can do that by linking the whole armature object to an empty and moving the empty, while applying a Cycle modifier to your walk animation)

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. For the IK method, is there a way to loop the animation still or no? Say I made him take 2 steps forward, is it possible to be able to loop that so he keeps going forward for longer? Without making him return to his origin location over and over. $\endgroup$ – Owenator Jan 18 '19 at 12:05

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