1. Although I've had a certain degree of success with automated walking, I'm abandoning this particular approach. First, key generation for quaternions in Blender can give inconsistent results, leading to armature flipping, as many people who've done character animation can attest. This makes the Action Baking portion of this a bit problematic. Blender simply needs better locomotion tools, and a half-assed python script isn't going to cut it. I came to this conclusion after realizing that my solution became narrower and narrower in scope with each revision. New direction for better locomotion:
Designation in Action-based walk-cycle of which bones contact the ground and frame ranges during which they should be slip-less. I'm going to try to use that info in conjuction with the Repeat function of NLA strips to generate good, non-slipping animation. The benefit of this method is that you can make your walkcycle arbitrarily complex (or simple), including all kinds of nice, keyframed secondary motion for realism. The downside is that stride lengths that vary with velocity will mostly be out. Or maybe not. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
2. I'm enabling comments from here on out in this blog. If you're following the production of BlenderPeople, please
leave me a note! The emails and messages I've received from people who follow this have been all that has kept me interested in the project at times. Giving out love is free, people!