Toddler Runs, Baby Walks and Infant Movements

For the animation of my 4-year-old main character, I’ve decided to mix movements of different ages ranging from 1 to 4 years, because I thought that this would help make sure audiences wouldn’t get his age wrong. 4 years is to me the transitional age between baby and child, and so I want there to be remnants of infant movements and reflexes in his way of moving. Especially because I have designed a very babyish body for him, which needs to at least somewhat respect its own physical capacities.

The latest shot I have been working on is Shot 23, where the boy walks up to a pile of tires and starts to climb it. It is a brisk walk, as it follows a run sequence and he is only just slowing down. I used this youtube video of a 3 year old running as a direct source for this, copying the timing and leg and arm positions. The climb, however, was improvised and still needs some frames.

I’m also currently working on Shot 16 (below) using this youtube video as rough reference for the boy’s walk. My first year helper Jenny Wright helped me with a couple rough keyframes of the boy’s walk specifically in order to get the change in perspective right, as I was struggling with this. I’ve edited these to have them match the correct proportions of my character:

I’ve also been using my own 1-year-old baby for the infant-like motions. This is practical because I can have him do whatever baby-movement I want him to rather than finding a match on youtube! 🙂

Here is one of those shots, along with the reference video of my son (with my mom as helper!):

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