First Maya Weighted Bouncy ball animation

During Wednesdays lesson of making a basic coke can model I was tasked to try out a weighted bouncy ball animation in Maya to help practise my knowledge of animating in the program. I have decided to make a light and heavy bouncy ball to show how I represent the different ways a bouncy ball will bounce in the animation. I have made these animation using the basic animating technique in Maya, by first making a sphere for the ball. I resized the balls for the light and heavy ball allowing me to recognise which ball had the particular weights.

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Looking online I found an image that had the arcs for the animation allowing me to see how I could use this as a reference to draw out my own arcs for the animation. Because I have never made a weighted bouncy ball before I only knew how to make the typical bouncy ball animation. So by using this image I was able to see a clear image of how the ball will move/ bounce across the stage to represent the specific weight. This image was taken from https://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/cse459/13au/assignments/assignment_1/2d_ball_animation_tutorial/ on 24/09/16

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This slideshow above shows the different plans I have made for the weighted animations, this is because I  needed to plan my key poses/ frame numbers and figure out how I can use the arcs to move the ball across the stage. As you can see the red lines are hand drawn in Maya using the pencil tool in Maya to draw the arcs. As you can see the different compared to the heavy ball and light ball is the light ball has S written on the arcs, these are smear frames which help to show the exaggeration of the ball as it bounces from one key pose to the next. As you can see in one of the images I have shown the ball stretched out, which is one of the smear frames this helps to demonstrate the squash and stretch principle of animation from “Richard Williams The animators survival kit book”.

This is the Heavy bouncing ball animation which has been animated using the plan in the slideshow above. Watching it back I think it looks effective in the weight but I think next time I need to go through the animation frame by frame just to double check all the animation on the stage. I have made sure the Heavy ball has less bounces, as because of gravity the ball would not have the energy to keep bouncing up like the light ball. Plus the ball will not squash and stretch as dramatically as a light weighted ball.

Now here is the Light bouncy ball animation, which like the heavy ball has a plan that I have used to move the ball. However this ball is lighter in weight so the ball will go further than the heavy ball. But I think looking at the animation, the ball does not disperse it’s energy, as it keeps going with the same height as it bounces, so next time I need to make sure the ball loses energy towards the end so that it shows that natural movement of the ball. Plus I think that I have got the squash and stretch correctly, as using my past experience of making a bouncy ball in Maya in the FE course I was able to make a nice, natural moving ball with exaggerated bounces.

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