It's finally done! After two months of working on this in every bit of free time I have, this little walk cycle animation is finished. This started as a tiny little project for me to learn how to make a proper walk cycle and ended up as a 35 second journey through a complicated landscape. And while I need to disclose my understanding that I'm still terrible, I am kinda proud of this!
The illustration was done in Illustrator and imported as a massive layered file, which knowing what I know now, should have been broken into many little pre-comps. And what I really like about this project in the end is the art direction. I'm really happy with the palette and all of the texture.
By making this animation I learned a lot more about rigging, how to make a simple walk cycle, and a ton of effects and tricks for more polished looking movement. Some of the biggest takeaways were learning how to better use the graph editor and control pre-comps with null objects. Can't wait to do it again and do it right.