Animation Principles

In order to be able to animate something, it is always important to observe. This is the starting point of my Maya project for uni, by testing out different balls dropping on different surfaces. The aim of this video is to observe and analyse the curves, frequency, and all sorts of factors that would affect how these balls bounce.

The balls I have used are
-Tennis ball
-Plastic pool ball
-Pinball sweet

And the surfaces I have chosen are
-Wooden floor

The one with the most ‘stable’ bounce is the tennis ball because of it’s texture, it’s made and it’s weight. Therefore it bounces up and down for a few times and gradually settles down with little differences each time.
The plastic pool ball bounces for less amount of times compared with tennis ball because it is much lighter and it’s texture is much more smooth too. The factor which makes it bounce is more likely to be the momentum and acceleration from dropping. So as it touches the floor it bounces up and starts to stabilize straight after. Also it stops after rolling around on the floor because both the texture and surfaces are smooth with much less resistance there to stop the ball from rolling.
The pinball sweet only bounces for two or three times as it has a solid quality unlike the other two balls. There is no air or inner force to push it up against the floor after dropping, therefore it doesn’t bounce up as well as the other two did and rolled away very quickly.

Week 1-

A start to the Maya software in the first week of seminar, creating a bouncing ball animation by using a ‘sphere’, and setting key frames as I move the ball up and down by changing the number of the Y axis

Week 2-

A practice of creating a ball bouncing across the screen only by setting key frames in Maya. The video footage was just a reference for practice purposes.

Then adjusted the bounces by using animation graph editor to make the sphere bounces in sync with the background footage.

Animation Graph Editor 01

▲ The image above is my original animation graph editor before I made any changes. I selected them all and did ‘Weighted tangents——> Free tangent weight’ in order to move the tangents around easier

Animation graph editor 02

▲ This image is my graph editor after I adjusted all the bounces as I moved the tangents up so the ball is more in sync with the footage in the background

Animation graph editor 03

▲ This is a zoomed in section of my graph editor, it shows how I changed the tangents and the effect it did to the spacing of the ball

Practice on my own footage: Tennis ball-

Plastic pool ball-

Pinball sweet-

Applying the same rules into my own bouncing balls video, adjusted in animation graph editor.

Week 3-

Adding squashes and stretches to the ball according to the animation principle using a squash handle. Then later on adding a texture to the ball in Maya by using ‘lambert’

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