Anatomy

Skeleton:

Lion_Skeleton

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Musculature:

lion superficial muscles

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Deep Muscles

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#Claws: cats retract their claws (other than the cheetah). Cats only get their claws out when attacking ( a voluntary action )

Lion_top_muscle

Locomotion

Walking Lion:

Body:

-Lighter Cats: tend to have longer legs, and their bodies and hind ends tend to ride higher

-Heavier Cats: tend to have their bodies and heads ride lower

-The chest will have less up and down than the hips due to the shock absorbtion of the shoulders. But, the scapulas will continue up to give it about the same amount of lift in total.

-Give it a little more impact, and a slower rise to help get away from a computer feel.

-try to keep a feline look by having a relatively straight back section that transitions in to the round hip area/hind quarters

Legs:

-try to hit near straight poses for the contact and lift ( but favor a slight kink to keep anatomy clear) break up the angle of the back legs as they swing through a stride

-With the back legs, compare the orientation of the femur with the foot . They should be pretty close to parallel. The hips are usually close to parallel to the tibia and fibila area but not as closely tied as the femur and foot

-push the amount of bend and stretch of the back legs beyond the reference, to keep it from looking stiff

-during the passing positions of the front legs the back legs should make an isosiles triangle in the side view, conversely during the passing pose of the hind legs, the front legs make an isosolese triangle.

-if you can work it in, add a slight tilt forward on the straight leg during passing poses ( this adds a nice feeling of forward motion) The line of action of the back legs shoud match the line of action of the front legs, and that should be going in the direction the cat is moving (leaning forward or leaning backwards and throwing the body off balance in that direction to create movement).

-Standing Weight baring pose, front legs go straight and elbows angle in slightly.

Ankles:

-Have the ankles reverse during the contact to show the leg taking weight

-Have the ankles reverse again during lift to show it releasing the weight

Hips and Shoulders:

-hit their highpoint on the supporting leg during the pass

-the shoulders should have a heavier meatier look and the hips should be snappier ( no shock absorber for the pelvis vs. the muscle sling of the shoulders)

-during a walk a natural wave rolls forward from the hind quarters to the shoulders

-the shoulders and hips tilt from side to side. The maximum tilt being toward the supporting leg, hanging towards the passing leg, however as both legs support the weight the rotation plateaus, then a drops as the passing leg lifts and begins to hang. This creates a more tiered curve vs. a perfect sine wave function.

-hit their extreme Y rotation when reaching forward for front paw contact, however there's also a rotation back for the lift this creates a tiered/plateau vs. a nice clean sine wave

-kind of maintains the same pose as it supports the weight and the torso hangs on it, locking out and vaulting forward

Elbows and Knees:

-Lead, shoulder, Elbow, paw or hip, knee paw when the muscles are lifting or controlling the motion

- Push the amount the knees and elbows come out during the pass

Neck:

-Add a little overlapping motion to break up the chest area.

- Use for overlap vs. just tracking the head.

Head:

Generally, a cats head will lead it's action.The faster it goes the more it will lead. It might lead on a purposeful walk, but lag along on a tired or lazy walk. It should always lead a turn.

-The head and neck will counter the body motion to try to steady the head

-When a predator enters predator mode, their heads tend to lock on to what they're stalking

-Sharpen the head hits a little to give it more weight.

-a higher head reads as alert, a lower head reads as stalking

-doing a vanilla walk the cats head will generally do a figure 8, a lazy figure 8 will have the center low, a more interested or alert figure 8 will be in the middle, a higher center for the 8 would be used when looking up.

Feet:

-slow in and slow out the arcs of the paws for the pass, but linear arcs and spacing for the foot while it's on the ground push the spacing for the lift off vs the contact ( more effort ) the spacing for the contact shouldn't be easing in ( that will make it look soft) it should actually be speeding up like the bouncing ball.

-The highest point of a pass arc should hit at the passig position

-Animals tend to not raise their feet anymore than they have to, in order to keep their walks efficient.

-With cats the front foot will raise more than the back feet do.

-Roll the paws in as they lift off and pass. Rolling out, then up to slap down on contact. Hold off on staightening the paw till the very end. to avoid it looking like it's sliding. This will also allow the paw to stay lower and still clear the ground

-Overlap the feet contacts in X space, more so with the front than with the back

-Push the overlap/drag so the pass reads a little more lively

-add a little flick in the feet before contact to add a little more snap

-don't roll off the foot in a straight line, either favor rolling in or rolling our.

-the feet will already be moving back slightly by the time they hit the ground ( creating an arc vs.a wedge on the front side of a step)

Toes:

-rotate toes out of default position

-a few frames after contact, squash: take the foot below the ground plane and counter the toes back up to create some squash.eventually bring the paw back up to ground level by the pass

-roll the feet side to side, and counter the toes to add some "meat"

-back feet toes aren't as flexible or as long so the spread will be less extreme

-the back toes don't flex too much in knuckes other than the base knuckles

-counter the foot motion with the toes to ground the paws

-splay the toes starting from contact, increase for a few frames as the paw takes weight, and increase a little slower as the paw takes more weight during pass, finally one last flex then decrease as the paw lifts off.

-vary the amount, speed and angle of toe splaying, and placement

-Cats tend to spread their feet out vs. having the toes point straight forward

Ears:

add a little overlapping motion to the ears to break up the head.

-add in ear twitches and manual redirects

Jaw:

add a little overlapping motion to break up the face.

Tail:

-the tip of the tail is much more flexible than the base

-the base of the tail, almost always controls the movement of the tail.

-the tip of a tail will have a figure 8 arch during a vanilla walk

-a relaxed tail pattern goes from C curves to S curvs to reverse C curves to S curves

Walking Cheetah:

Overview:

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Cycle:

Body:

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Legs and Foot Placement:

-Notice how the contact of the back feet overshoots the former placement of the front feet. As the cheetah slows down this overlap diminishes.

- the feet don't overshoot the contact placement before putting the foot down

the front legs almost lock straight once they contact the ground. The chest is then pole vaulted over them.

The back legs and ankles don't flex much, they keep stiff while the hips do a lot of the work Y-rotating back and forth with each contact and lift.

Ankles:

-Have the ankles reverse during the contact to show the leg taking weight

-Have the ankles reverse again during lift to show it releasing the weight

Hips and Shoulders:

-hit their highpoint on the supporting leg during the pass

-the shoulders should have a heavier meatier look and the hips should be snappier ( no shock absorber for the pelvis vs. the muscle sling of the shoulders)

-during a walk a natural wave rolls forward from the hind quarters to the shoulders

-the shoulders and hips tilt from side to side. The maximum tilt being toward the supporting leg, hanging towards the passing leg, however as both legs support the weight the rotation plateaus, then a drops as the passing leg lifts and begins to hang. This creates a more tiered curve vs. a perfect sine wave function.

-hit their extreme Y rotation when reaching forward for front paw contact, however there's also a rotation back for the lift this creates a tiered/plateau vs. a nice clean sine wave

-kind of maintains the same pose as it supports the weight and the torso hangs on it, locking out and vaulting forward

Elbows and Knees:

-Lead, shoulder, Elbow, paw or hip, knee paw when the muscles are lifting or controlling the motion

- Push the amount the knees and elbows come out during the pass

Neck:

-Add a little overlapping motion to break up the chest area.

- Use for overlap vs. just tracking the head.

Head:

Generally, a cats head will lead it's action.The faster it goes the more it will lead. It might lead on a purposeful walk, but lag along on a tired or lazy walk. It should always lead a turn.

-The head and neck will counter the body motion to try to steady the head

-When a predator enters predator mode, their heads tend to lock on to what they're stalking

-Sharpen the head hits a little to give it more weight.

-a higher head reads as alert, a lower head reads as stalking

-doing a vanilla walk the cats head will generally do a figure 8, a lazy figure 8 will have the center low, a more interested or alert figure 8 will be in the middle, a higher center for the 8 would be used when looking up.

Feet:

-slow in and slow out the arcs of the paws for the pass, but linear arcs and spacing for the foot while it's on the ground push the spacing for the lift off vs the contact ( more effort ) the spacing for the contact shouldn't be easing in ( that will make it look soft) it should actually be speeding up like the bouncing ball.

-The highest point of a pass arc should hit at the passig position

-Animals tend to not raise their feet anymore than they have to, in order to keep their walks efficient.

-With cats the front foot will raise more than the back feet do.

-Roll the paws in as they lift off and pass. Rolling out, then up to slap down on contact. Hold off on staightening the paw till the very end. to avoid it looking like it's sliding. This will also allow the paw to stay lower and still clear the ground

-Overlap the feet contacts in X space, more so with the front than with the back

-Push the overlap/drag so the pass reads a little more lively

-add a little flick in the feet before contact to add a little more snap

-don't roll off the foot in a straight line, either favor rolling in or rolling our.

-the feet will already be moving back slightly by the time they hit the ground ( creating an arc vs.a wedge on the front side of a step)

Toes:

-rotate toes out of default position

-a few frames after contact, squash: take the foot below the ground plane and counter the toes back up to create some squash.eventually bring the paw back up to ground level by the pass

-roll the feet side to side, and counter the toes to add some "meat"

-back feet toes aren't as flexible or as long so the spread will be less extreme

-the back toes don't flex too much in knuckes other than the base knuckles

-counter the foot motion with the toes to ground the paws

-splay the toes starting from contact, increase for a few frames as the paw takes weight, and increase a little slower as the paw takes more weight during pass, finally one last flex then decrease as the paw lifts off.

-vary the amount, speed and angle of toe splaying, and placement

-Cats tend to spread their feet out vs. having the toes point straight forward

Ears:

add a little overlapping motion to the ears to break up the head.

-add in ear twitches and manual redirects

Jaw:

add a little overlapping motion to break up the face.

Tail:

-the tip of the tail is much more flexible than the base

-the base of the tail, almost always controls the movement of the tail.

-the tip of a tail will have a figure 8 arch during a vanilla walk

-a relaxed tail pattern goes from C curves to S curvs to reverse C curves to S curves

Galloping:

General Notes:

-the bigger push comes from the back legs and the cat becomes airborne after this movement. The shoulders and rump rise and fall giving a rocking movement to the line of the back, and the head is tilted at a slightly more horizontal angle as the shoulders go down and the front legs take the weight. The spine itself also flexes and extends. This is very noticeable with a cat, as when the back legs come forward a pronounced hump appears in the lower half of the back, and as the back legs push the body into the spring, the spine stretches out into a reverse curve. The movement of the hip joint comes strongly into play in a gallop and the forward and backward movement of the thighs, combined with the bending and stretching of the spine, gives the impression that the animal’s body is alternately lengthening and shortening. When the big leap comes from the back legs, as with a cat, the order of feet hitting the ground is: back left, back right — pause — front right, front left, back left, back right, etc. The complete stride of a cat takes about { 1/3 } second.

Special Cases:

Jumps:

-it's like the cat follows a tube

-the Y translate is like a bouncing ball, the Z translation spacing starts closer but expands as the energy is released from the legs, it hits it's maximum spacing as it leaves contact, then stays pretty much even until hitting the ground and compacting as the legs take the weight of the landing.

Hills:

-while going uphill a cat will take longer strides as it pulls it's way up the hill the body is shifted down and forward to center COG over feet

-When going downhill a cat takes shorter strides as it tries to stop from falling too fast the body is shifted back and up higher to center COG over feet

Turns:

-twist the chest to maximize the twist in the change of direction ( level butt and head, but tilted fore legs)