animating a walk cycle

aw_screen01 at the top header click on the two arrows left to SCR: to add a new custom screen setup. name it "animation". split the windows like on the screenshot. above the buttons window add a timeline window. left to the 3d view window add an action editor and an ipo curve editor.

in the timeline set the frame range from 1 to 24. in the action editor add a new action by clicking the arrow next to AC: and name it "walk".

make sure the frame is set to 1. set a similar extreme pose of the walk cycle like on the screenshot. move root slightly down, move the two ik_leg bones and rotate the 4 foot ik bones. select ik_leg.L, ik_leg.R and root and set location keys by pressing [i](loc). select ik_1.L+.R, ik_2.L+.R and set rotation keys by pressing [i](rot).

select all 6 ik bones and root and store their pose in a buffer by pressing the down arrow on the right of the 3d view window header.

set the frame to 13 and paste the mirrored buffer by pressing the rightmost button on the 3d view window header. press [i](avail) to set keys on the already available ipo curves (the (avail) option has the advantage that loc and rot keys don't have to be set separately for these bones).

set the frame to 25 and paste the buffer by pressing on the up arrow on the 3d view window header. press [i](avail) to set the keys.

try out how the animation looks so far by clicking the play button of the timeline header.
at this point of the tutorial i came across the nice tool wink so i will only continue with wink flash animations from here.

animating a walk cycle - flash animation ~ 7.5mb

that was it! 

doing tutorials is harder than i thought. especially trying to achieve nice results is quite difficult while recording every step. too much perfectionism and tweaking probably would make the tutorial too long and boring. i hope it was helpful for getting started with animation in blender though.

here is the end result: walkcycle.avi - divx ~ 260kb

as far as i know there are plans for integrating an interactive tutorial mode into future versions of blender. if this will turn out well (hopefully similar to wink but within blender and with advantages like smaller filesizes and that the user can take over control at any time) maybe i will do more tutorials in the future.