Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Ball That Bounces

And now for something completely different...

As many of you know, my study in college was animation, and my emphasis was traditional, hand-drawn animation.  I took the required 3D animation classes, but they were just never my thing.  I would just rather use my hands and draw all day than model and troubleshoot every frame.  It's been over five years since I graduated from college, and my current employment unfortunately doesn't allow for a whole lot of animation in the traditional sense, but I do have a little bit of downtime when I work on improving my skills on the graphics programs.  One day I decided it had been way too long since I did some animation, so I decided to go WAY back to the VERY basics, and dug into my memories of Intro to Animation to do one of the classic animation exercises:  The bouncing ball.  This is a very common practice for animation students, and gives a chance to work on the principles of squash & stretch and timing, and allows for some creativity as to what the ball is made of, how and how much it bounces, etc.  For this one I went pretty simple and made it pretty squishy. (What's it made of, you ask?  Um, goo.)  While I usually used paper and pencil in the past, my current resources include Flash and a nice tablet, so that's what I used for this project.

So there you have it!  My classmates might feel some proxy shame that I'm proud enough of a recently-produced bouncy ball project to publish it online, but I was just pretty excited to be animating anything at all again, and while it's rough, I think it's fun and a little bit of a different post for the blog.  And now I feel kind of inspired to do more (and more complex) animation!  Basic human figures, you're not too far off...

(By the way, this is just one sequence of bouncing that works best on a loop, but I have looped it a few times in the video so you can see its movement more smoothly without having to restart it.)


  1. Very cool! Next stop, Disney, right? I think the bouncy ball is impressive in its simplicity, because it definitely has style and character even thought it is simply a ball looped a few times. I am excited to see more! Perhaps do a 3D model of a rough human form saying some outrageous line from Singing in the Rain.

  2. nice, the timing at the top and bottom of the bounce is really good, I can't wait to see a full length feature (or at least a comedic short) about the Ball that Bounces!

  3. That is so cool. Next, you should do a teen girl squad short that moves!! Well, more...