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February 20, 2012
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Proper Movement I by glittering-pony Proper Movement I by glittering-pony
So, I've been looking at a lot of pony fan artwork and I can't help but notice that pony legs seem to do some pretty crazy things.
Someone already uploaded a great tutorial on how to not break a pony's leg, but I want to address what movement positions pony legs can and can't do.

So here are the first two gaits, the walk and the trot. MLPFiM ponies do a lot of these two. Trotting is very unnatural for real horses but what is even more unnatural is when people draw ponies with both legs on one side moving in the same fashion. That type of movement is called pacing or racking and takes a lot of training to achieve and even then horses cant always sustain it for long periods of time.

I'll post the canter and gallop in another submission.

Hope this helps.
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:iconpirill-poveniy:
Pirill-Poveniy Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
Oooh, very nice indeed. It would be even better if you could redo them following ~MyLittleAwesome's advice, but even so they're quite awesome and helpful! Thank you.
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:iconmylittleawesome:
MyLittleAwesome Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
I can't tell you how much I love these references. They are simple yet informative. I thank you greatly for posting them.

One problem, though, you seem to lack actual momentum with your walk/canter/gallop cycles because the body remains stationary. If anything, it should bob up and down accordingly to the movement of the legs. Just a suggestion to make your cycles seem more lively! :)

Either way - thank you so much for posting these!
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
I agree! When I initially drew these, it was just for leg positions because so many people can't get that right. Now I want to go in and fix them up so that if you animate them, it all moves properly. :)
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:iconwhitehorsegirl:
WhiteHorseGirl Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012   General Artist
It's nice to see a post that's so obviously respectful to the ponies' connections to real horses. And your drawings are just lovely.
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012
Glad they are being used! Especially since they've been up for so long.

I'm really glad you posted on twitter too because I dont' check my dA very often.
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:iconwhitehorsegirl:
WhiteHorseGirl Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012   General Artist
I hope more people will use them! That's one reason I posted to Twitter (um, other than I like to show off my art LOL).
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:iconnesuki:
Nesuki Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ahw!!
This is EXACTLY what I was searching for! Thanks so much for this! :heart:
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012
You're welcome! There is a second one just in case you need ponies running :3
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:iconfeatherspiral:
FeatherSpiral Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I know this since I practiced horseback riding, and this was part of the theoretical knowledge taught. But I'll still fave this because I wanna try making my FiM-style ponies more dynamic.
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012
Nice to meet another horseback rider!

I had to make these two references for people because I was dying everytime I saw a crazy leg postion. :3
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:iconkawaiimo:
kawaiimo Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012  Professional General Artist
Ooh this is really helpful. Thank you!
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012
:)
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:iconfairy-slayer:
Fairy-Slayer Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012
I've seen trotters before (a long time ago) and now I think I understand how why they looked so "stately" in the way they moved, and why it's so much harder. On top of even movement and stability they also have to keep time in a way that prevents their bodies from going up and down as they move. Now it makes me think of someone standing barefoot on hot coals, rapidly switching feet. Or maybe it'd be easier to think of it as dainty skipping without the bounce.

Or am I not even close? ;) I don't think trotting is in The Animator's Survival Kit, so this is very useful for figuring out the motion.

The walking model is adorable, and I like that you gave a little swagger to make the details clearer. I bet if one finished the loop and added some in-betweens it would look like a happy strut. (My mind's theater isn't what it used to be, but what I'm seeing is very very cute.)

Thanks for sharing your knowledge. At the very least it'll help me pick apart action poses better from now on.
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012
Yeah, walking horses (trotters) have those smooth weird three beat (sometimes four beat) gaits that just let them glide, but they look so dang clumsy and they shuffle their legs around...I cant follow it too well lol.
Pacers/Rackers break down real quick from the unnatural camel/giraffe type movement that makes their body sway back and forth instead of up and down.

Swagger walk? lol. I took the movement right from my own horse--and I suppose he does have a little get-up and go to his walk...Swagger, if you will!

I need learn flash. Then maybe I can turn these into some fun moving references.
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:iconfairy-slayer:
Fairy-Slayer Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2012
Maybe it' the X-ray view of the opposite leg (back of the stifle) — if that's even what you did — makes it look like there's a little more swing to the step.

Flash is always good. I just saw another one in my watch list: [link] Maybe strike up a conversation, etc. There's probably a group for helping learn Flash somewhere on dA. If I come across anyone who does clean Flash stuff in LiveStream I'll pass that along too.
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2012
No x-ray view, but I do see this pony now walking with swagger :P
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:iconsomeponyspecial:
SomeponySpecial Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
This is very helpful! :D Thank you
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
You're welcome!
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:icond715:
d715 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Nice, I think I'll used it
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
:) I really hope it helps. That is why I made it.
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:icond715:
d715 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Yeah they're a pain, took until photos untill we got them right
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:iconamitanchan:
Amitanchan Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Animators are not horse-trainers (except in those odd cases where they are), so they don't know better.

Also, hurray for tidbits!
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
The show does an excellent job of animating proper gaits. Fan artists however...not so much.
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:iconamitanchan:
Amitanchan Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
I could say I meant to put down "artists" instead of "animators", but we all know damn well I didn't.

So now I'll prowl through deviantArt looking for awkward pony movement.
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Haha :P

Look for pictures that have the front leg drawn with their elbows well below the body line. Those are the most guilty.
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:iconamitanchan:
Amitanchan Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
That actually covers a very wide number of pictures...
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Truth.
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:iconkeinzantezuken:
KeinZantezuken Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
BUT WHAT ABOUT MUSTANG-AMBLER TYPE
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Mustangs have no amble :P they walk or they run...they hardly even trot.

I suppose I could do up one of the fancy gaits that are on the Tennesse Walkers...but thats a crazy looking gait!
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:iconbri-sta:
Bri-sta Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
Animation time!
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:iconglittering-pony:
glittering-pony Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2012
That might be coming if I mess around in Flash enough!
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