Animation Research: Reference Videos

Whilst animating I gathered up some of the the video references posted by the team and some references I found whilst searching the web together to work off of.

Edward put together this really useful video in which he acted out a series of walks and runs.


As seen in the video he covered a wide range of walks and runs, from fairly simplistic ones to very cartoony and exaggerated ones. Personally I think my favourite reference out of all of them  is the fourteenth walk example, it conveys a lot of personality, stern and somewhat menacing in appearance but quite animated. Really nicely done Edward!

Richard Lico

Sorcha showed us these animation reels created by animator Richard Lico to look into for potential animation ideas. Not going to lie, I kinda love these… alot…


My favourite out of all the Richard Lico show-reels Sorcha showed us, I love how well animated the characters are, in reference to what animation mentor article was saying in one of my earlier post, the characters are believable, realistic and have a great sense of weight. How each walk differs stood out to me as well, the female character’s movement (smaller in size) seems a lot lighter in comparison to the male characters movement (larger in size) who seems to throw his weight around more.In addition the walks and runs themselves are  clearly presented and seem easy to work off of.

Although a bit complicated for a beginner like me, I thought this video (by Richard Lico) was a great set of examples regarding body mechanics, including a wide range of thrusts, jumps and tackles. Not to mention a nice little dance breakdown.

In relation to using game reference footage, I recorded some myself. The following footage was recorded from the video game Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain. The footage isn’t anything fancy but I’ve always been blown away by the animations in the game. Even if it is a simple walk cycle.

Walk Cycle References:




After recording the footage I brought it over to Adobe premier, and worked out the timing of the walk cycle which loosely translated into 20 frames per loop.

In contrast to the examples given in the Animators Survival Kit, the walk cycle shown above is a lot less exaggerated in comparison to the ones shown by Richard Williams. The general principles of how each body part moves is the same, the the movement seen above is a lot more realistic in my opinion. Regardless, cant hurt to study both!

Run Cycle Reference:

In comparison to some of the of run cycles I’ve seen this is probably one of the least exaggerated it appearance and seems more like a light jog as opposed to a full on run. However in comparison to the walk cycle seen about, there’s more of an emphasis on movement. The arms move in a greater arc, the body leans forward more when propelling itself.   So as stated before it not as exaggerated but the core movement of the body remains the same.

Really happy I took the time to record these references.


I came across this great animated reference video when I was feeling a bit lonely…


I was very lonely…

Animated by Felix Sputnik, I thought this video was an excellent reference when it came to animating, particularly for animating the female form.

From the video I noticed that when running, a female will keep her elbows in more in comparison to a typical male run cycle, however the forearms point out more in its backwards position. There’s also a greater emphasis on the on the movement of the hips. From the side the back seems to curve more where the lower back meets the torso and the movement seems a lot smoother and clean.

and the chest… bounces… more (research)

Another great animated reference by Felix Sputnik, similar to the last video, however it goes into more detail about how the body moves during a walk, the motion paths a particular body part will have during a walk and addressing areas such as perspective, pace and overlapping action.


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