Week 2: The first of many bouncing balls!

So I’ve been rather busy this past week and it only allowed for me to get one ball exercise done, but next week I’m hoping to get a couple more done, this is not entirely because of me being busy though, it is also because I’ve really been taking my time to LEARN the concepts that these exercises are designed to teach. I’ve been using the 11SC forums extensively to get feedback on each exercise and then I go back and make multiple revisions based on how much feedback and critiques I received. I cannot begin to go into how much I appreciate the amazingly helpful and talented animators that visit those forums. Everyone is SO helpful and willing to take time of out their schedules to help out each other with critiques and answer questions. There are many extremely talented and veteran animators that visit the forums as well and they too offer just as much feedback as the amateur animators.

Anyways on to the actual work that I’ve done. The first thing I did with this assignment was REFERENCE and PLANNING. I knew I was going to start with the simplest of ball bounces, one that goes just straight UP and DOWN. So I grabbed a tennis ball from my closest and my trusty iPhone stopwatch and began dropping it from the edge of my desk and timing the bounces. My goal was to replicate how the ball physically bounces in the real world. I did many trials of each bounce and then averaged the times to get an idea of my timing for each bounce. This was a little time consuming but it actually made things move much faster when I opened up Maya because I more or less knew exactly where to put my keyframes. Of course there was some tweaking but it sure was a nice way to start! Below is a picture of my planning notes that I took.

Planning Notes - Ball Bounce

Here is the very first attempt at my ball bounce prior to getting some valuable feedback from 11SC.

And here is the final version after about 3 iterations of changes and critiques to get things right. You can definitely tell a big difference, in the weight of the ball and the timing/spacing. I’ve still got a long way to go but I feel after doing this exercise I’m starting to get a better sense of timing and weight.

Stay tuned, a new week is about to start and I hope to have some more content up soon. I’m going to try and do more than 1 post a week if I can!