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Walk Cycle Inspiration

Caleb Ward

Top resources for learning a walk cycle.

One of the best ways to refine your skills as a Character Animator is to do a walk cycle. While the exercise may seem easy, it actually takes a lot of skill to perfect a good walk cycle. How many times has your walk cycles turned out like this?

We love walk cycles so much that we thought it’d be cool to create a list of our favorite walk cycles from around the web.

The Basics of the Walk Cycle

There are a lot of really great resources out there that can help you create great walk cycles. One of the very best is the Animator’s Survival Kit. In the book there are tons of charts and examples of how to animate your character’s movements. Here’s one of the charts:

walk cycle inspiration animators survival kit.jpeg

A team of students even took the time and effort to animate the example characters from the Animator’s Survival Kit using the techniques outlined in the book. This took them 9 months to create. Holy potatoes…

Reference footage is indispensable when you’re creating a walk cycle. A simple search will reveal thousands of great resources for walk cycles online. One of my favorites is this dude on a treadmill. This guy loves his job.

Walk Cycle Inspiration

Here’s a few insane walk cycles:


Have you ever seen a walk cycle that makes you question career as a Motion Designer? This ridiculous work from 2veinte is a masterclass not only in Walk Cycles, but also character design and hand-drawn animation.


Practice is the secret to perfecting your craft as a Motion Designer. Conor Whelan did a new walk cycle every week for 4 months and shared it out on Vimeo. There’s lots of fun walk cycle examples here.


And no walk cycle list would be complete without the mother of all walk cycle videos. Did you know you can actually buy a body pillow of this character and a book with the YouTube comments? The internet is a wonderful place.

Create Walk Cycles in After Effects and Photoshop

Want to create a walk cycle for yourself? This tutorial created by Joey (you may have heard of him…) is a great intro lesson into the world of walk cycles. In the tutorial Joey shares how he designs his characters in Photoshop and animates them in After Effects.


Hopefully you feel inspired to go out and create your animated walk cycle. Or maybe take a walk for yourself… just kidding.

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