Birds are amazing creatures because they can fly. It’s not only hollow bones and strong muscles that make a bird fly. There’s also something about the bird’s wing shape.
The shape of the bird’s wing is called airfoil.
Because of the shape of the wing, the air mass on top of the wing pushes less than at the bottom. This causes the wing moving upward.
Birds not just flap wings up and down. When the wing goes down, it also rotates forward and down and then lifts back up to start over again. Rotating the wings forward causes the air mass to push the bird not only in an upward direction but forward as well.
Knowing this obscure but important fact will make your animation stronger and show your deep understanding of the object you animate.
For more detailed explanation about the nature of birds flight, feel free to refer to this amazing video tutorial (not mine):
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