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Download my walking motion file WalkTest6RD.pmm


Let's Create a Walking Motion and

     Make Miku Walk!

Reggie Dentmore's Walkin' Along animated gif  
Just Walkin' along!

Sorry it's not Miku!
I decided to use Ren because her feet are Easy to see.

A very smooth walking action is possible with Miku Miku Dance. It just takes some work! I haven't made the character do other than walk straight, so far ... But I am working on a curved path!

Most Animators make the chracters jump around and leap from one pose into another. That's a good method to hide one's inability to create a motion that smoothly transforms one position into another ... I am trying to learn how to create flowing, natural motions.

This little GIF image, here, is kind of jerky because a GIF can only run so fast ... some frames were cut out to keep the action at a realistic speed. If you download my WalkTest6RD.pmm file, you will see how smooth that action actually is.

Let's Make Miku Walk!

The first thing to consider in a "walk" is how far you want to go and how long it should take to get there. In my WalkTest6RD I started with a decision to make the model's toe rest on a ruled line with every stride. I decided to make one full stride (Left-toe down to Left-toe down) be 2 lines and require 1 second (30 frames). I was going to take 10 steps (5 full strides) so I would advance the model 10 lines.

To move a model off of the center, Select the Center and the two IK Leg Bones.

 I first, in frame Zero, moved the model back so that her toe was on the Center line, as shown in the picture. Register that spot. Now set the frame counter to the frame you calculated as the end of the walk motion. For me, that was frame 150. (5 full strides @ 30 frames (one second) each.)

Now use the blue Z roller to slide the model out to the end of the walk motion (that's 10 lines, for mine) and Register that position.

NOT SHOWN HERE in this lesson is my First Half-a-Step! After setting up at the Zero Point and registering the Model at Frame 150, I set the Frame Counter to Zero and Pushed Play to watch the figure slide out to the end of the motion. I watched to see if it seemed fast enough ... and it looked OK. I then advanced the Frame Counter to 15, selected only the IK_Leg(L) and slid the toe out to the first line ... kind of half-a-step to begin the walking motion. Register that position. ALSO: COPY that particular Diamond for use in the next step.

Note how the body of the model glides forward as you advance the frames. As you do so, the feet automatically rotate in their fixed positions until they have to leave the ground as the body gets too far away. This method of making a walk (moving the entire body to the end of the motion as one of the first steps) yields a very smooth movement of the upper body.

Now advance the frame counter out another 15 frames to 30, and slide the IK_Leg(R) out until the toe is on the next line and Register. PASTE to lock the old Left Foot solidly in it's old position. That keeps it from skating along the floor as the body moves forward. HIGHLIGHT the Right IK Diamond and COPY it for use next time.

Advance the frame counter another 15 frames to 45, PASTE to lock the old Right Foot in its previous position. Slide the Left Foot forward to the next line. Register. COPY that Diamond.

Advance the frame counter another 15 frames to 60, PASTE to lock the old Left Foot in its previous position. Slide the Right Foot forward to the next line. Register. COPY that diamond.

So it goes ...
  - Set the Frame Counter
  - PASTE the previous foots position
  - Slide the new foot forward. Register. COPY
  - Set the Frame Counter
  - PASTE the previous foots position
  - Slide the new foot forward. Register. COPY
  - Set the Frame Counter

Now SAVE your file.

Push Play. Watch the awkward motion as the figure skates across the floor.

We will go back into that motion and make it more realistic.

Pick a frame mid-way in a stride.

Lift the IK leg bone to raise the moving foot off the floor. I find I have to raise it a little higher than I wanted to in order to avoid a slide/skate motion during the step. Rotate the foot using that same IK bone so the toe points down as shown. Register.

Advance the frame counter until a single frame before the next registered position ... just the frame before the foot hits the floor ... and adjust the same IK bone to rotate the toe up as shown. Register.

By raising that toe, the foot will seem to cycle through a very nice move ... leaving the floor with the toe down ... rotating to toe up ... and then planting itself on the floor to complete the step.

Do this for each stride and you will create a very smooth walk.

The final touch to "the walk" is to add some hip and body sway ... I call it adding the Shimmy to the walk.

My theory is to shift the lower body over to the straight-leg side of a step ... and also shift the upper body in the opposite direction ... and  finally tilt the head opposite the upper body. This results in a nice undulation of the body while keeping the face fairly level and natural.


Here is the first stride in our walking motion ... the Right Leg is forward and straight. The Body(L) bone is tilted towards the right leg, the Body(U) bone is tilted opposite the (L) and then the Head bone is tilted the same direction as the (L).

Next time a foot is firmly on the floor, shift the three bones in the other direction ...

And so it goes ... every time a foot gets planted, shift the three bones.

I have experimented with adding a bobbing of the body by adjusting the Center bone a little up and a little down during the walk ... but it didn't work well. Adding hard spots to the Center bone's motion interrupts the smooth flow that our first sliding motion gave to our animation.

Practice ... Practice ... Practice!

Download my walking motion file WalkTest6RD.pmm Download my walking motion file that you can play and modify on your MMD software. Just Download my file and drop it into the Users Folder inside the MikuMikuDance folder.

Have fun!   Send me the files YOU create. Thanks!


Check-out this Alternate Method of making a nice Walk-in-Place walking motion!
Make a nice walk-in-place walking motion... it's easy!
Make an Easy Walk-in-place motion on LearnMMD.com