Tails are too much fun.
Extremely fluid, as others have stated.
only issue with this is - that it's TOO good. ; P
This is a great animation, very enjoyable to watch! Her shoulder movements seem a bit exagerated and the pace is a bit slow (or my browser is), but I really dig the hair and tail details!
very nice animation. very dynamic and all that. i think it would benefit from transparent background though.
Pretty much. It's very common for attacks to have "return to position" animations at the end that still let you move out of them. In many cases, it' can also just be a matter of finding the best frame to transition into. For example, a jumping attack may not transition into the first frame of a falling animation, but it may transition fine into the second or third frame.
As for smooth transitions effecting snappiness, it doesn't really need to effect the controls. However, if you make one animation transition perfectly, then any snappy transitions will seem more out of place. So it's sort of a matter of "if I do this here, then I'm probably going to have to do it everywhere too." kind of thing.
You do make a good point about the issue of transitions into other poses. I've run into this a few times myself. For example, if you want to make a character have an exaggerated bounce run there will sometimes be an annoying pop when they stop and transition into the idle frame/animation. This will happen when the characters movement stops on either the high or low point and goes straight into an idle. The way around this is, as you said, is to build in a transition animation that will bridge the gap. However, this can hamper the snappiness of game play feel. When it comes to building in transitions I always let the player skip them if they are moving. I'll only let transitions play if the player lets it happen(by not moving) or if there is some reason to lock the player control (sword slash or an attack of some kind)
Well, I wouldn't really say that there was a conscious reason for any of it, other than it's what I thought looked right at the time. Although I will say that when it comes to run cycles, I'm more influenced by pixel art than traditional animation. A lot of pixel art run cycles (megaman x, for example) tended to be very neutral, without much vertical movement, and those are more or less what come to mind when I work.
It may be that it's easier to make a run cycle look smooth with fewer frames when there isn't much as much movement. Animations also transition into each other a bit better when everything is at a consistent level. Of course, these are reasons that make more sense for a SNES game, where they still had to deal with a lack of memory. On PC, I'm free to do make transitions between animations, and the number of frames isn't really an issue.
My only bits of feedback are as follows (just curiosities on my part also an attempt to learn from another artist)
First question. What is the reasoning behind the 1 pixel up bounce only on one frame instead of 2? For example, once per leg(back/front) It happens when the Foreground back swing and background front swing apex but it doesn't happen during the reverse. Maybe it does but the head rotation/body rotation is masking it. (I can understand if it's meant to make it feel more organic and unique)
Second question. The legs face at a 3/4thish angle and the body seems slightly off from that. Like his feet are running slightly out of the screen but his body is more profile. I was curious for the reasoning behind that as well.
Lastly(related to the first question) What is the thought process for the very small amount of vertical body movement? When his legs recoil(doesn't seem to have a recoil actually) the body should drop. Likewise it should rise during the kick off. Is there a programming/gameplay reason behind this? Is it so you can have varying speeds without making the sprite all jittery from the constant up and down? I've noticed other games doing this before so I was just hoping to find out why. In my opinion it makes characters feel more ethereal and floaty. (Not a bad thing) I imagine the reverse of that is more bounce.
Other than that...great animation, great overlap/follow through, great rotation of the head, etc etc I'm sure you know all this. Love it!
Thanks for the feedback. Though I think if I raised the legs that much, I'd probably make the transition a bit smoother to avoid a "stomping" look. Though, as you said, it was just an example meant to get the point across.
I also noticed from looking at your example that the foreground leg snaps back a little too fast. (in my animation)
Nice character design.
The run itself is very smooth and the tail is very nice. I reckon that if you made the run a little faster and then raised the leg higher on frames 6 and 12, it would give the run cycle a more dynamic feel. I have done a very quick and dirty edit to explain this. I hope you dont mind:
My one issue is that the legs feel a little slow. I think they might look better if they went forward a little more? Other than that, great pixelling, super smooth, and lovely secondary animations!
That's pretty nicely flowing animation.