Bouncing Balls

In my first and second lesson, we focused on animating bouncing balls. This is because it is a fundamental part of animation and there is a lot to it – timing, spacing and squash and stretch. It can be applied indirectly to lots of animations. First we watched some examples to get an idea, then we were given tennis balls and had to film and observe it bouncing.

This was the video with me dropping the tennis ball, we had to time each bounce, then try and convert that into frames for the time of each bounce. Most animations are made at 25fps (frames per second), and we used a sheet to work out at what frame each bounce would be:

AP 1_001

We then went on to animate our bouncing balls. To start this I made a rough sketch of my planned ball bounce and then neatened it up to show each frame:


I then used a peg bar to put hole punched paper over my draft and traced each frame onto a different piece of paper. My first animation turned out like this:

I wasn’t too happy with it because it isn’t very visible, so I sorted out the lighting issue and re-shot the animation:

This one was a lot better! And it allowed me to see what I could improve on, for example I felt that it was too fast, to test this theory I changed the frame rate to 12.5:

I felt that this looked a lot better but a bit too choppy, so I decided to make another animation of the bouncing ball but with more frames to slow it down. This was my draft:

AP 1_003And this is how the animation turned out:

I was much happier with this one, I feel that it looks a bit more realistic too. If I were to make it again I would make sure that the ball stays the same size. In this animation it ends up being slightly smaller than it started.

Next I wanted to try a different ball so I decided to do a heavy ball, I also wanted to show more evidence of rolling, which is why I chose to animate a bowling ball; because the holes would show the roll. I sketched out my draft:

AP 1_002I also wanted to challenge myself, and I really wanted to show the origin of the momentum, therefore I decided to add a hand pushing the bowling ball off of the table. I drew the draft to trace over in each frame but then I thought that the bowling ball is solid, so it wont show any evidence of squash and stretch as the others did, and the hand wont change too much. Because of this I tried something different, I cut out the hand and bowling ball and moved them on the piece of paper, taking photographs each time to animate it. This became more of a stop-motion animation but I wanted to try something different anyway and I really like how it turned out:

I was very happy with this animation, but I still worried that it was too fast, so I changed the frame rate to 12.5 again:

This shows the position work better for each frame and looks good, but I felt it was a bit too slow. Therefore my target for future lessons is to get the timing right.




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