Simplified Walk Cycles for the Stick Figure Artist

I came up with this animation walk cycle when Aurora Picture Show’s Media Arts Education Manager, Camilo Gonzalez, asked me to demonstrate basic animation walk cycles on-the-spot to three elementary-age, first-time animators working on a dry-erase board-based project. Unlike most cycles found in beginning animation texts, this one is just four drawings*, and is easy to reproduce for virtually anyone, regardless of animation experience or drawing skill-level.

*Yes, it doesn’t include arm movements, and it’s technically a half cycle — just one leg steps. Since we’re dealing with stick figures, the legs are collapsed into a single plane and perspective can be ignored. The focus here is immediacy and confidence-building, not technical perfection.



Dave Merson Hess

Dave Merson Hess

Founding Editor Dave Merson Hess has worked in independent animation as a producer, director, and composer. As a media arts educator, he's taught workshops and/or developed curriculum for film-arts non-profit Aurora Picture Show, Rush Process Fest, DIY Animation Club, Zine Fest Houston, comedy incubator BETA Theater, Houston Independent School District, and the arts-in-medicine programs at Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Dave Merson Hess

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