One of my projects during the first semester of my second year at University was to create a 2D or 3D character walk cycle. I decided to make a 2D character because I really enjoyed working in After Effects during my first year, and want to further my skills in it this year. This is the first character time I have design and animated a character, and below I will show my full development from sketches to my final walk cycle.

Moodboard and inital sketches

I started off the project by searching Pinterest for inspiration and creating a small moodboard of character designs I liked. I wanted my character to be simple and I wanted it to be inspired by flat design. I then sketched down some initial ideas and was left with two character ideas that I liked, I tried them in different colors/shapes and I also looked at what colors and styles I could use for background and details.

Sketchbook Scans Sketchbook Scans Sketchbook Scans Sketchbook Scans Sketchbook Scans

Initial Digital Sketches

My next step was two bring my two previous ideas into Illustrator to see how they would work digitally. I really liked the alien, so I decided to make that as my character.

Initial Digital Sketch Initial Digital Sketch

First Walk Cycle

This is a walk cycle I made following this youtube tutorial. I had never made a walk cycle before, so it was good practice before I started animating my own character.

Scale Perspective

My character from the front, side and back. I changed the body a lot from my initial design, so that it would be easier to animate and so that I could have more movement. All my designs are made in Illustrator.

Scale Perspective

Character Synopsis

  • Full name: Yo Yonan
  • Age: Unknown
  • Sex: Male
  • Yonan is a curious alien that likes to discover new things. He is also very fascinated with everything that is related to earth and humans. He's favourite hobby is going a planet after austronauts have left it, and inspecting the trash they have left behind. So far he has a collection of 3 backpacks, 5 cameras, 1 towel, 19 empty packages of space food, 1 gold pin, 6 pairs of boots and a photograph of a cat.

Rigging in After Effects

Screenshot from After Effects

Here is my character fully rigged. I used a rigging and animation tool called Duik to do this. Made this video to practise movements.

First Alien Walk Cycle

My first version of the walk cycle. I was not happy with this, because I felt that it looked a bit weird because I couldn't streched the legs fully out without the body deforming.

Second Alien Walk Cycle

Because I wasn't happy with the first version of my walk cycle, I remade it using another body shape and this time the puppet pin tool in After Effects. I also added some background details.

Second Walk Cycle

My new Scale Perspective.


Planet Details Banner Details

Third and final Alien Walk Cycle

After talking to my lecturer I went back to my first version and made some changes. I added movement to the body, which made it look a lot better. I also added blinking and the background details. I ended up really liking this version after making these changes, so this now my final walk cycle.

Time Management

Gantt Chart

My gantt chart.

Trello Screenshot

I used Trello to stay organized throughout the semester.

My Illustrator and After Effects file can be downloaded here.