Looking for good walk cycle reference?

It’s all covered here and more:

  • Normal walk cycle reference
  • Personality walk cycle reference
  • Creature walk cycle reference
  • Best sites/books for reference
  • And tips will be mixed in throughout

Maybe you’re also looking for tutorials on how to animate a walk?

Click here: Walk Cycle Animation Blueprint

Normal Walk Cycle Reference

One of the best sources of reference for walks is The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams.

If you don’t have this book or DVD already – pick it up. It will be a life long friend, not just for walks, but throughout your entire journey to becoming a successful animator.

 Examples of Normal Walk Cycle Reference:

Personality Walk Cycle Reference

Creating a unique personality walk is a LOT of fun. And unlike a normal walk, it can become one of the first animations you do that’s worth putting on your demo reel.

Why? It delivers a lot of entertainment, while at the same time showcasing your creativity and body mechanic skills.  But the catch is it has to be done right.

Three elements will determine your personality walks quality:

  1. How smooth the mechanics are
  2. How interestingly the movements are themselves
  3. And how interesting the character is (most impactful)

To develop your own original character and step inside their head – read Acting for Animators by Ed Hooks.

Also, consider these videos for personality walk thought process, and ideas:

If you’re don’t feel ready to make a demo reel piece – a basic personality walk is also fantastic for leveling up your skills.

Try one of these to grow your animation skills fast:

  • An angry walk
  • A depressed walk
  • A sexy walk
  • A drunk walk
  • A happy walk

The examples below may also come in handy.

Angry Walk Cycle Reference:

Exhausted Walk Cycle Reference:

Drunk Walk Cycle Reference:

Creature Walk Cycle Reference

Often for creature reference you have to do some digging to find exactly what your after. Below are some really useful examples, but be sure check out the website and book recommendations after if you need something else.

Horse Reference:

Lion / Big Cat Reference:

Best Sites/Books for Walk Cycle Reference

Rhino House

The best site out there for creature reference. All kinds of takes, sorted by an animal, and all the tools you could ever need to study it all closely. There are only a few free videos, which for simple shots may be enough, but the paid membership definitely has you covered.

Endless Reference

Already linked to above for a lot of the human walk examples – although there are more to be found here. Later it could also be useful for more complicated animations.

Ani Ref

A Vimeo group full of all kinds of animation reference. You may have to do some digging to find what you’re after but if you get what you need is it worth it?


Want to save reference and frame by frame it?! This is a super useful for snagging videos on Youtube, Vimeo or anywhere.  Just copy and paste the link then download the format you want to your computer.

The Animator’s Survival Kit

Already mentioned above, but it can’t be stressed enough – get the book. Richard Williams is fantastic at breaking down the basics of movement, and advanced mechanics.

Muybridge’s Human and Animal Locomotion

The grandfather of all reference, Muybridge may have been the first person to break real motion down with still images. All of his books have countless examples, with a grid background so you can visually track the spacing.  Handy books to have for sure.

Not sure how to start animating?


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You'll discover how to animate, as well as the right tools, software, books, exercises, rigs, and courses to excel as an animator. 

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