AM Class 1: Week 3 – Excitement & Bouncing Ball

Week 3 has already come to an end, and it surely was a busy one. The assignment this week was a combination of a couple different tasks. The first part consisted of a set of sketches conveying the emotion “Excitement”, we then had to turn one of those sketches into a 3D pose of our Stu character.

The next assignment was to animate a bouncing ball that mimics the weight of either a basketball or soccer ball, using no squash or stretch and in a frame limit of 50-100 frames. (Side note: 24 frames = 1 second of animation for film) This was our first true animation assignment, where we got to really hammer in the principles of timing,spacing, and how to work with the graph editor.

This assignment was a lot of fun to think about and attempt, I feel like I am really starting to get a better understanding of how timing and spacing are used to create a realistic and believable animation. As part of the Ball Bounce assignment, we had to show our planning for the animation, because it is extremely important to have a clear end goal in mind for your animation before you ever sit down at the computer and try and animate. This is a habit that Animation Mentor really tries to hammer into their students, always PLAN before you Animate. This is something I used to not do very much before coming to AM, I used to kind of just hop in to Maya and animate without much of a plan except for what was in my head. AM has been really great about teaching a strong and structured workflow to make animating a shot much less confusing and manageable.

Below are my sketches for my Excitement Pose:

and here are 3 images; consisting of my original pose, my mentor’s critiques and suggestions on how to improve it, and the revised version of the pose. My inspiration for this pose came from seeing a commercial with Tiger Woods in it.

Animation Mentor - Class 1 - Week 3 Poses

Now here is my planning for my bouncing ball (I did a basketball):

And below are two videos; the first, is my original ball bounce and the second, is the revised ball bounce, fixing the very minor comments my mentor told me to address to make it more believable.

That is all for this week, but stay tuned for my next update which will cover all of the work for week 4 – Bouncing Balls with different weights!