animator’s reference

Brendan Body’s ‘Tips and observations of bird flight’

“Bird flight is notoriously hard to animate convincingly, and there are many reasons for this. The action is very fast, but even in slow motion it is often hard to understand what’s happening underneath because the bones are concealed by feathers, plus the movement is completely alien to us, it’s not something we can act out or get a feel for. When investigated thoroughly, many things about flight seem odd, even counterintuitive. Over the years I’ve animated quite a few birds and have slowly gained a rudimentary knowledge of the dynamics and biomechanics of flight, as well as how to apply some of the traditional animation tricks to it. So, here are my tips to make your bird “fly good” and avoid the traps that many fall into. I hope it helps.”