Bouncing Ball Test

This is just a basic bouncing ball test. I’m trying to get a better handle on using the IPO curves to control acceleration and timing issues.

Any comments or crits are welcome.

Keep up the good work. My only crit is that the ball stays in the air too long, it shouldn’t take so long to hit the ground.

A decent start. I have to agree with Nathanael, but also add…
There is a thread on this with a lot of very useful info. Orinoco started a “Blender Bootstrap Animation class” with several very good exercises, including the bouncing ball, which is here:
It might be worth your while posting there to get some in depth advice.

Thanks Natahnael and freen. I checked out the bootstrap thread (thanks for the link), and I might give that a whirl.

In the mean time, I think you’re right about it taking too long to hit the ground. I saw that problem really in the second fall, so I tried to correct the timing on that fall.

Here’s where I am now–

Okay, some crits:

  1. The ball shouldn’t “ease in” to the ground at all. The PosZ IPO should be much sharper at that point. Tip: you can break the handles (select the key, then press H) on all the ground contact keys and make the curve sharper, more like a V. You can describe the weight and material of the ball by how sharp you make those contact keys. In the end. your PosZ IPO should kind of resemble the path of a ball bouncing across the timeline.
  2. The roll off at the end isn’t working because it happens all of a sudden for no reason. You could make the horizontal move start at the beginning of the animation to make the roll at the end more believable.

Thanks freen. I appreciate the tip–especially from someone whose work I admire (“The Busker/A Sad Sad Song” is one of the most impressive animations I’ve seen here)

I thought I had made the contact curves pretty sharp, but then I zoomed in and saw what you were talking about. I edited them as you described, so I think the timing should be improved:

And yes, the roll makes no sense here. I originally did it as preparation for the next bouncing ball test (link below) but I should probably take it out at this point. Anyway, here’s my attempt at a ball bouncing across a table and then rolling to a stop:

(Something is definitely off on the descent of each bounce. I notice the problem especially on the third one, but I suspect it’s there for all.)

And lastly, I’ve been doing these as a break from my limited character animation work. I think some gaps in the basics of animation are hindering my attempts in that area. But I couldn’t resist trying to apply some of what I’ve learned. Here’s a quick jump (done with a character I modeled and rigged a while back while following the excellent “Intro to Character Animation” tut):

I’m sure there are issues there, but it’s probably my most lifelike animation, which tells me some of this work on the basics is paying off–but there’s a long way to go.

As always, any crits or comments are welcome.

I think if you try posting in here as well as reading you might be able to get somewhere.

Thanks or the compliment, mgetty, but it just goes to show how we’re always learning. I was so disappointed with the busker’s movement at the end, that I decided to focus on some fundamentals again. I’ve been getting back to basics and doing some bouncing ball stuff too.
(BTW, the busker is a fork of the model I built from that same tutorial.)

That latest bounce clip is a big improvement. Now the issue is with the floats. It’s not that they’re too long or too short, 'cause that’s up to you, but that they’re not consistent.

This stuff is kinda like doing scales on a piano or something, but I think it really helps when tackling more complex animation.

With the bounce, roll clip, it looks like you have X keyframes on every bounce, and they are easing in and out. This makes the movement jerky with the speed ups and slow downs. You could probably get away with deleting all but 2 X keyframes, one at the start and one the end.

Good progress, keep it up!

…and another plug for Orinoco’s threads… he has several good exercises other than the ball and there’s plenty of good advice there too. Just a suggestion.

Thanks freen. I think your advice is dead on. All along I’d thought the problem with the bounce roll was with my zpos curves, but I think it might be the xpos keyframes as you say. I do have an xpos key frame at every bounce. I’m going to revise this so there’s jsut two. I’ll probably post one more after I make that correction, and then I’ll move onto the bootstrap exercises and post my results in that thread.

Thanks again for the advice, and good luck with your own animations. To hear you say that you were disappointed with the Busker’s movements and are revisiting some basics yourself is at once both encouraging and depressing.

I suppose no matter how far you go with this stuff you can always see the next height you’d like to reach.