Can’t get enough of the funny way your dog or cat trots around? Animator Stephen Cunnane breaks things down with his mesmerizing animal gait animation. Focusing on four-legged animals (quadrupeds) Cunnane’s animation moves from walk to sprint, giving a close-up detail on how the paws’ movement makes the body gently sway.
“Animals walk weird…who knew?! This animated video helps break down animal gaits for animators, artists, or any old fan of studying creatures,” Cunnane writes. And clearly, his work has been a hit, with over 60,000 views of the clever clip. If you think looking at the gaits of animals is all fun and games, it’s actually serious business.
Animals not only change their gait depending on the type of terrain, but some—like lizards—even use it to help with respiration. Interestingly, humans were unable to fully understand and define the gaits of animals until photography made it possible to create still images of animals in motion. English photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s 1878 images of The Horse in Motion was even taken to help settle the idea that at some point, all four of a horse’s hooves leave the ground when trotting.
Across six different gaits—walk, amble, pace, trot, canter, and gallop—Cunnane uses a canine to demonstrate a type quadruped gait. The well-designed animation will bring a smile and any pet owner or animal lover who can’t get enough of watching mammals move. And, if you prefer insects, Cunnane has another animation for you.