Animating BB - 8 (Star Wars)


BB-8 was one of the main attractions on Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens. I really couldn’t resist my self from animating BB-8.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo Da Vinci

Making this illustration wasn’t that easy as I thought it would be. Keeping it minimal was really challenging. I’ve sticked to strong line representaion and minimal colours. Bringing cutness was the toughest part.

I wanted BB-8 to move on a flat surface, accelerating and decelerating while simultaneously moving its head.


Started sketching a rough drawing on my notebook and thought of animation after taking inspiration from BB-8 videos.

BB-8 body animation

BB-8 body

I’ve made 3 circles considering perspective of the body and connected each other with bold lines and masked it with a circle using photoshop. Exported it to After Effects and gave a simple rotation

BB-8 body animation

As I wanted to achieve acceleration. I’ve rotated body little faster in between start and the end for a small duration of time

BB-8 Head animation (Horizontal)

Cuteness of BB-8 lies in its head. Adding an eye and some blush next to it in the right ratio will hopefully bring in the cuteness

BB-8 head

Once I completed sketching on Photoshop (sorry! to be honest, I don’t like illustrator) imported the file on After Effects and tried rotating head horizontally by taking care of eye and antenna movements as shown in the above image

Head animation

I really love the way it looks once it is done. Adding a little jerk on the antenna made it look little more realistic.

BB-8 Head animation (around the body)

Setting head anchor point

Setting the head’s anchor point to centre of the body is really important as it has to rotate the body. So the the head can be treated as the child of the parent (body).

head rotation with small bounce

After combining the head horizontally and around the body animation I’ve added a little bounce on the Y-axis to make the sudden movement look little more realistic

Some final touch

added a final touch of fastness by adding lines behind head while it accelerate by moving head forward

BB-8 Final

Final output was pretty impressive than I thought it would be.

Thanks :-)

See more of my designs on Dribbble or Behance

Credits : Abhishek Damodara, Abhishek Madhavan