Game Run Cycle Animation (+ Progress)

I created a pixel animation of my character running for my game that I will use in the unreal engine at a later date.

The first step to creating the animation was creating the frames that would be used, because of the pixel style it took a long time and I had to keep a constant colour reference close by to do each section.Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 12.14.19.pngColour Reference I created and used for Gadget, my main character.

Below is each frame of the run cycle I made with full colour, it still has to be given proper shading but for now it’s completed.Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 12.14.29.png

I first created a basic walk cycle with the black outline version of the frames.


I then coloured the frames (which can be seen above) and re-created the animation in a different position to allow more movement, I also added a line near the bottom of the screen so I could even out the running and keep Gadget walking in a pattern without her feet going too low or too highRun-Cycle-Colour-w_o-background.gif

I created a larger version of my walk cycle by turning each frame into a smart object and transforming it into a bigger size so it was easier to see how Gadget, the character, moved.


I then took some of my previously made backgrounds and put them behind the walk cycle, covering the line and creating a better idea of what I want to do in terms of visuals.

Finally, I decided to animate the background and move it with the character so it actually seemed like a side scroller.Run-Cycle-w_-moving-background-.gif


Maya Lighting

Six types of light source:
Ambient – Brightens all parts of the scene uniformly, useful for simulating a combination of direct and indirect lighting
Directional – Even illumination of a scene using parallel rays of light, useful for extremely far away sources such as sunlight
Point – Light radiates in all directions from a single point, ideal for omnidirectional sources such as a lightbulb.
Spot – Creates a cone of light in one direction, useful for beams of light such as flashlights and lighthouses
Area – 2d rectangular light shape useful for windows, ceiling lights but takes a longer render time
Volume – Light fills a 3D shape (sphere, cylinder,, etc) and is useful for a visual representation of the extent of the light

Reseach for Lighting
TV Shows
Real Life

Three-point lighting
Key light – Main source illuminating the object
Secondary (fill) light – Highlights details of the object
Back Light – Distinguishes the object from the background

Intensity – How much light comes from light source
Decay How much light diminshes from light source
Cone angel – Width of the lights cone of influence
Penumbra angle fall off at edge of cone angle
Drop off – how much light diminishes at outer edge
Colour – Set an RGB colour for the light, affects colour of scene

Light Controls
Aim From/Aim At
Fall Off Rate
Cone Radius
Penumbra/Umbra control
Non-linear fall off
All in One Control

Good ways to use light
Look to photographs for good techniques
Think n terms of balance
Avoid overly dramatic
Look at natural light
Avoid saturated lights and hues
Normally only need a few lights
Avoid disco and neon lights


Two types of Shadows
Depth Map

Three types of shadow effect
Hard Shadows – Harsh shadows
Soft Shadows – Soft, more realistic shadows with faded edges
Fall-out – Acts like a colour gradient, becomes lighter at top of shadow.

Shading is a combination of the basic material of an object and any textures that are applied to it.


Lighting a robot
We were given a model in a ile called arnol and told to give it ightigg, this was done by creating two area lights on the left and right of the robot.

We moved it with the W shortcut key to be a fair bit way.Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 11.05.16.png
We then put an overhead lighting
Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 11.04.22.png

We then went to attributes and changed the exposure, which changes the lighting. As well as the temperature, which changed the light between a warm orange or a cold blue.Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 11.36.15.pngScreen Shot 2017-11-06 at 11.52.04.png
Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 11.40.39.png


I created the space ship using the cylinder shape for the main ship section and a cone shape for the top and squares that I’d flattened using the translate tool and copy and pasted 4 times around the ship to create the wings.

The shapes I used were primitive shapes, this means they were the original shapes that maya gives you unedited, you can edit and shape/model them using the channel box.Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 10.10.42.png

To line everything up I went into orthographic view a lot using the space bar to see it from different angels.

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 10.10.29.png

Animation in Maya

To animate in Maya the settings must be set to animating. A timeline will appear at the bottom, a lot like adobe animate, and you’ll be able to place key frames using the S key to set key frames.

In the given exercise we moved the ball to one side of the screen put a key frame at the beginning of the timeline, we then use the W key to move the ball shape we created to a different place, or we can also use the X transelate in the chanel box to , let’s say the middle, and set a new key frame after we stop moving it.

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 10.05.01.png

If we hit the play button after this, the ball will move from the side of the screen to the middle.

The timeline has numbers above it that the keyframes are put on, this is the range slide and indicates the range of time something will be moving for. We make our ball go from 0 to 24, we make our second shape, a square, 0 to 48, we then made a third shape, a cone and put the keyframes on the range slider go from 0 to 72.Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 10.03.57.png


App Ideas

Coffe House finder app

  • Warm/earth colours


Drawing App

Calming App

  • Cool colours
  • Back button
  • Gentle music player
  • breathing exercise game
  • Settings menu
  • mood journal
  • Little games
  • Helpline/ chatline
  • Calming Pictures

Gardening App
Earthy colours: Greens, Browns
Simple Design
Info on Plants






Maya – Graph Editor

Graph editor will usually display animation in a graph form

You can control the interpolation between keyframes and change animation values

Auto tangents – Animation tangents computer does automatically

Spline tangent – are smooth and co-linear

Liner tangent – A straight line joining two keys

Clamped tangent – Has the characteristics of both linear and spline. In and Out keys are interpolated as linear

Traditional Dope Sheets – Charts specific movement, keys bits of info

Sometimes referred to as Exposure sheets or X sheets

Consists of a series of horizontal and vertical columns

Ball Animation

A heavy ball drops from a height

A football rebounding off a wall

A ball dropping down some stairs