Five key poses. Simple, yet still really hard to master. A walk cycle is something that takes time, practice, and largely relies on an effective rig. Without one, you will inevitably spend more time fixing skating and other issues rather than focusing on the craft of the walk cycle. What about automating a walk cycle? Something quick and dirty that can get a character from one side of the screen to the other? There are some solutions to that. Check out this really simple and clever walk cycle hack from Motion Designer Garth Lee Vickers.
Garth was messing around with DUIK and came up with a simple rig that works with the IK setup in the legs. It’s really a series of nulls and some strategic parenting. “I must stress that by no means is this a replacement for creating decent walk cycles, it mainly serves as a quick dirty fix to get a character walking fast, if time or budget is tight, or if you just struggle with walk cycles altogether.” Garth mentions. Check out the walk cycle hack here.
Essentially you are making a bike pedal-like array of nulls that you can simple rotate to get the footfalls and contacts that are associated with a walk. Moving the main parent across the scene, and you have instant locomotion. The system will never replace crafting a walk cycle from poses, but if you find that you need a quick way to move characters around, keep this walk cycle hack in mind.