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Run cycle video reference

Posted on August 20, 2013  4 Comments
Filed under Animation, Education

Run and walks are the bread and butter of video game animators and unfortunately I hadn’t found a good source of references on that topic in the past.

Until today, I wasn’t bothered and used treadmill references since that’s mainly what they have been doing at Pixar from Monsters Inc to Up so if it is good for them, it should be good for me, but it is said that treadmill runs are actually different from the real thing.

My understanding of physics is so basic that I can’t see why it would be any different (does anyone actually understands inertia or references frames?) so I decided to do some research and was lucky to find two great references of World record marathon runner Haile Gebrselassie. One of him on a treadmill and a second one shot during a marathon. I didn’t spend too much time on walks since everybody’s walk is unique and I am pretty sure the difference would be too subtle.

Before you watch the videos and make up your mind, one thing I should mentioned is that the treadmill run was only a 4 minutes run and he was wiping his face with the towel in front of him few frames before the beginning of the footage. You can find the link to the original footage below. The video on the right is a real marathon race.

Here is a Vimeo version if you prefer

What can we notice?

The upper body is possibly slightly bent forward on the road race but I don’t think there is a real difference for the back leg to be honest, at least not at 30fps.

For runs, I would suggest people to pay attention to the running style instead and get to learn about the Pose Method.

The Pose method is dramatically different than a regular run since you hit the road with the ball of your foot rather than the heel so your calf muscle plays the role of a shock absorber rather than the sole of your expensive trainers and your knee joint, leading to less joint stress/pain. Hum it looks like I should do an other video showing regular runs compared to Pose ones ;-)

As animators we are having a tough time to understand runs but don’t worry…. so do runners!

This guy found out that depending on the brand of shoes he is wearing, or not wearing, he would hit the ground in a different manner, check out those great references:

Original references:
Haile Gebrselassie Treadmill Run
Haile running slow motion


4 Responses to “Run cycle video reference”

  1. Karim on May 1st, 2010 09:49

    Cool post mate!

  2. Olivier Ladeuix on May 1st, 2010 13:03

    Ton RSS feeder il marche trop bien!!! ;-)

  3. Beau on August 21st, 2011 16:40

    great post! I’ve been looking for something like this.

  4. Run vs Walk » Calistopolis on January 29th, 2013 08:33

    […] Lots of things been happening and yes, I’m still bad with my blogging. Been so busy but still no excuses! Maybe my NY resolution? Anyway, as I promise my animation students, here you go. Sorry for the delay! There’s also plenty of resources out there for you to study. Such as this one. […]

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