Project #7: Posing and Bouncing Ball

Suggested Reading:

  • "Posing a Character" - Really useful information on posing. It covers silhouttes, lines of action, twinning (twinning = bad), and provides quite a few good tips.
  • Review Richard Williams Animator's Survival Kit
  • Animation Principles.doc and/or
    1. Squash and stretch
    2. Anticipation
    3. Staging
    4. Pose-to-pose action & straight-ahead action
    5. Follow-through action & overlapping action
      • Overlapping action example: three-linked pendulum - without | with
      • Follow-through/overlap example: Lt. Dan tail jump (see tail on landing)
    6. Slow-in and slow-out
    7. Arcs
    8. Secondary action
    9. Timing
    10. Exaggeration
    11. Solid modeling and rigging, or Solid Drawing
    12. Character personality, Appeal

    Additional Reading & Reference:

    Part 1: Posing a Character

    Posing characters will help your understanding of balance and weight placement on a character. As we did in class, try to mimic these actions yourself so you can feel (rather than imagine) the position the character is supposed to be in.

    For each of these positions, pay attention to where the weight of your character is placed. If the exercise calls for the character to stand on one foot, then how much weight will one leg hold and what must the other body parts do in order for the character maintain its balance?

    When you pose the characters, you should work from a locked camera to achieve the best line of action and silhouette, but it is good practice to look at the character from all viewpoints to check balance. If the character does not look balanced, alter it until it is correct.

    What to do:


    You will be graded on Balance/Weight, Line of Action, Appeal, Creativity, and Thumbnails (these don't have to be pretty).


    Part 2: Bouncing Ball

    Find two balls of different weights -- the bigger the contrast in weight the better. You will be using these as reference. Plan each exercise on paper before beginning - this may feel like a waste of time, but it will help you finish faster, easier, and with better results. (Planning sheet examples found HERE and HERE) Make sure you animate at 30 frames per second, and it usually helps to set playback to realtime. These settings can be found in your preferences under 'Settings' and 'Timeline'.

    Download the ball file HERE

    Go through the ball tutorial HERE

    What to do:

    1. Animate both balls in the same scene with no forward momentum. (only animating y-translation.)
      • Pay attention to timing and spacing
      • Include squash and stretch
    2. Animate both balls in the same scene with forward momentum, and have them slow to a stop.
      • Find some way of showing the rotation of the ball (texturing or wire frame.)
      • Pay attention to arcs.
    3. Animate a ball with intent and emotion. Tell a story with a ball as the character. Every action the ball makes should have a reason and you should be able to see the ball thinking.
      • Apply all the principles learned in the bouncing ball as well as anticipation.
      • Here is a good example of bouncing balls showing character and telling a story. Though you don't have to do anything this elaborate, keep in mind the ways in which the balls move, anticipate, and interact as characters.



    Playblasts are Maya's way of creating a preview of your animation that runs in real time, and is much faster to create than a render. Go to Window > Playblast > OptionBox. Change the option for Viewer to 'Movieplayer', change the Display size to "Custom" and enter 640 and 480 for the two values. Change the scale to "1.00", and check "Save to File" and name it appropriately.