I found I could import my 2D frames into maya to use as direct reference for the 3D animation, which has been a big help. Here’s the first short test to see how it was to work with:

It made my 3D animating a lot faster and more confident and confirms I can work out the timing, arc, etc in 2D and then only have to transpose that into 3D and worry about any technical issues with the rig separately.

Here’s a full run cycle, not as smoothly looping as it could be for now, but I’m glad I can work much faster this way. The pole vector constraints on the arm iks are what’s causing the weird twisting issue in the shoulders, I’m still trying to figure out why and how I might circumvent that.

Having experience the rigging and animating side of the model now, in future models I would give greater attention to how best to structure the shoulder mesh and set up the arm iks so that they enabled shoulder movements better.

On the plus side, the feet move in decent arcs throughout the cycle and I did get the arms swinging pretty smoothly. I’ve definitely learned a lot even just from this much, which I think shows compared to my earlier walk cycle attempt – in that instance I was using far too many keys rather than really thinking about having only strong, clear poses the program could smoothly transition between.