A mini-animation lesson: How many layers make up Common Murre chick Maxwell?

The Legend of the Great Auk is the story of a ghostly extinct Great Auk who visits fellow alcid Maxwell, a Common Murre chick that nests on Funk Island where the Great Auk used to live in great numbers. Common Murre chicks, see when they are about a quarter of their adult size, are led to the ocean by their male parent, often descending from a high clifftop where they’ve fledged. As Maxwell awaits his pop, he gets some sobering but ultimately encouraging words from “Great Auk.” In this video, animator and director Karen Lewis explains part of her animation process.

She must track down a “rogue foot” from the 46 layers that make up Maxwell’s animated character for the crash scene – the moment when Maxwell first encounters Great Auk.