For this short looping robin animation I wanted to practise character animation as well as experiment with a few different style options in After Effects.
First I established the key poses in Adobe Animate, drawing frame by frame and adjusting until I was happy with the timing. I used this sketch as guide for animating the various shapes and paths that made up the robin in After Effects.
Although most of the animation was achieved by transforming shapes and paths, I used Rubberhose to rig the legs. This useful tool speeds up the process of creating simple IK rigs in After Effects - meaning I could more efficiently and accurately animate the knee bends on the robin.
I wanted the flapping of the robin's wings to feel really fast and frantic, so I hand drew some smear frames to exaggerate their speed. In animation, smear frames are used to simulate motion blur. By depicting two wing poses on a single frame, the viewer to receives more information about their movement, despite only have a limited number of frames to view.