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So this is a horse walk cycle for a videogame that looks incredibly stiff and mechanical. I know the whole body should engage in the action, but I'd prefer to get the legs right first. Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance.

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    Welcome to GD.SE - Please look through tour to get a sense of our community – who we are and what we’re about. Then look over How to Ask and How to Answer a question to see what makes a good query here, and how best to frame it. as initially framed, your query is both unclear and very broad - you've not actually asked a question, let alone a scope-limited question as preferred here. FYI - super-broad "help me / do it for me" questions tend to get closed quickly - perhaps you could edit it to narrow to a clearly addressable question? – GerardFalla Jun 24 at 16:23
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    And a quick thought on the animation for myself is that the spine is totally inactive - and in all quadrupeds, there's a series of compression and expansion and wave forms involved in locomotion, both due to the local rotation near joints and due to energy storage and release; attendant with the motion of the larger portion of spine between the leg pairs, the head should bob in opposition to the flexing of the back - and you probably want both squoosh and anticipation / overmotion to communicate the living quality of the animation subject. I'll leave actual answers to better qualified folks. – GerardFalla Jun 24 at 16:27
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    Thanks for the advice, both on the animation and the question itself. I'll do what I can to improve on them, though i can't promise perfection. – Leonardo Vegetti Jun 24 at 16:38
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    Have you looked for other examples of a horse walking? There are lots on the internet. Here's one. I'm not saying you should copy it, but it should give you an idea of what to aim for. – Billy Kerr Jun 24 at 17:34
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    You could take a look at Eadweard Muybridge's recordings from the late 1800's. There are some galloping horses on wikipedia, but I'm sure I've seen a walking horse somewhere too. – Wolff Jun 24 at 18:55
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As a whole we try to avoid link-based answers here due to the ever-present risks of link-rot, and to keep more actual content here where it can be indexed and thus be available for future searchers - that said, the You Tube video to which I've linked below is so specifically a nice overall tutorial aimed at hand-drawn animation of a typical horse walk cycle, and is extremely well done, thorough, and easily accessible - that is, the learning curve isn't too steep and it makes sense for beginning animators - that it's an ideal answer for your question.

Detailed You Tube hand animation Horse Walk cycle

And here are some representative chunks from that video to show why I think it's ideal for your question:

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Also consider this classic set of source images, as suggested by others:

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NOTE: I think it's not possible to just consider the feet and end up with a natural flowing motion - you need a fully engaged spine to make this read as horse-like motion.

Hope this helps.

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  1. Search for real-life examples and take it from there. Learn how things should move first. Look at how animals behave. In your case, search for Horse Gait.
  2. Look at the work of others. How did other animators solve the same problem? There are so many examples.
  3. It doesn't hurt to also learn the 12 principles of animation introduced by Disney's works from the 30's. It's very basic and it helps a lot with creating more realistic animations.

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