Friday, July 20, 2012

Bouncing Balls Galore

While I unfortunately have no drawings for you to vote on this week, dear readers, I do have two (count 'em, TWO!) animations on which to feast your eyes. Now, I'll admit they are not the most exciting things in the world but they are very important exercises that will do nothing but help in the long run. You know, like learning your scales (don't tell anyone that I never really learned my scales on guitar I'm gonna do it right this time shhhhhh).

First off, I've finessed my single bouncing ball from last week. My mentor was generally pleased with it but he did ask me to tweak the timing a bit so here is what resulted:

With animation this simple, I think I sometimes get too caught up and overwork a shot, past the point where I should have stopped, to the point where I no longer have a clear vision in my head of what I want to be doing (this definitely happens to me with more complicated shots as well, just not as quickly). Then suddenly, I'm at a point where I can't make it look good again and I've also lost my ability to tell what looks correct anymore. At that point I usually flip my chair around to my TV, play a couple rounds of Mario Kart (or Super Smash Bros. if I'm feeling especially frustrated and feel the need to Falcon Punch the crap out of a tiny, electric Pokemon), and come back with fresh eyes. I find that it really, truly does help to take a break every half hour or so and stop staring at your animation (sidenote: the pomodoro method is so effective, it's insane. It seems too simple to be as effective as it is but TRUST ME. Google it). That way, your eyeballs don't fall out of your head and your mind and body get a little break. Oftentimes I come back and boom! I see exactly what I couldn't see earlier, and am able to fix the mistake. I think this is good advice for any level of animator, or frankly for anyone who works at a desk all day long. Breaks are good. They will help you.

Okay tangent over. HOMEWORK! This week we were assigned another bouncing ball shot (but this time we used two. Schwing!) One ball was supposed to be a very heavy one, like a cannon ball or a bowling ball. The other was supposed to be very light, like a beach ball or ping pong ball. The point of the assignment was to understand how differences in spacing and timing affect how the audience will perceive the weight of an object. How does the timing of a bowling ball bounce differ from a beach ball? What are the differences between a ping pong ball and a cannon ball as they roll off a table? After watching practically every youtube video of people throwing beach balls around and dropping bowling balls in parking lots, here is what I came up with:

Pretty happy with this one too, though I might make a few tweaks to both shots before Sunday. Thanks for reading! I'll be back next week, when I'll have a new emotion to pose out and I'll need your help again, friends! So stay tuned and go see Batman this weekend so I can geek out with you about it. 

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