Ball with tail jumping on rocks animation

In this task I created a bouncing ball with a tail animation in Maya 2016. I had to create a animation of the ball bouncing with a minimum of 60 frames with 24 frames per second. So making my animation I made the ball bounce from one side of the stage, so it would be right, left and right again to help practise animating a tail in different directions.

Using the animators survival guide by Richard Williams I used the image of a squirrel moving to help me figure out how the tail would follow through with the bouncing ball animation as it hits the rocks and springs upwards. Below are four different playblasts of the animation in it’s basic blocking stages.

This blocking is a rough bounce animation from one side to the other, this just allowed me to practise the basic principle on bouncing a ball on objects, helping me to judge the bounce for the arcs in the graph editor.

This animation is with the really basic blocking of the bouncing ball to help me adjust the ball so that the rough arc shapes are there to help me find the pathway of the animation. Furthermore this blocking would allow me to develop the animation, adding the squash and stretch animation to make the ball animation so I can adjust/ block the tail to follow through.

This playblast is the blocking for the animation of the tail to help me figure out the animation of how the tail would move to follow the ball.

This final playblast is the whole blocking animation without the arcs added/ edited in the graph editor making a animation that looks like the ball is moving in curves, bouncing gradually rather than bouncing fast and slow as it goes upwards losing momentum.

This is the final animation using the graph editor for both of these videos, I used the graph editor to adjust the arcs so at the top of the graph the ball moves in a arc as it bounces in the air. But when the ball moves down towards the rocks the ball moves in a straight line diagonally to build the speed as gravity pulls the ball down. I have also added some lights into the scene, helping to make the animation a bit more interesting than just using a plain background.

Using lights I have added a three light setup with directional lights at an intensity at 0.5-0.25 to help have a nice lighting to the animation. I tried using the brightest intensity but it was too bright with all three lights, so I experimented with the intensity using the render view to see which one was the most effective. I think this animation has turned out nicely as the ball and tail bounce a smooth curves and the tail follows the ball in a natural way. I think some tweaking to the graph editor may be needed but other than that I think the light intensity next time should be turned up a little just to get some extra light as it is slightly dark in these renders.

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