Saturday, May 2, 2009

Animation Lesson 3: The Boring Bouncing Ball

We haven't actuall got to this in class yet, but I don't have the patience to wait. I want to do walk cycles and complex characters, and animated animals, and magic creatures, funny clips, and feature films... and preferably before the age of 93. So, I found this tutorial online which explains very nicely all the good things that one learns by doing the infamous "Bouncing Ball" exercise. I gave it a quick bash.

My first attempt was too jerky for my liking, so I cheated and cut out the 2nd frame of each image - changing it from animating on two's to animating on one's, which seemed to do the trick. In hindsight, it would probably have been easier to just change the frame rate. (The correct way to make it smoother would've been to draw more in-betweens inbetween or change the spacing but by then I'd be 75-and-a-half so not this time.)

FYI: "Most animation is still produced for film and tv. Film is projected at 24 frames per second (fps). Early cartoons were all drawn with 24 drawings for every second of film, i.e. onedrawing for every frame of film. Some clever chap finally realised that the animation looked just as good if only 12 drawings were drawn per second of film. Each drawing would be shot twice, to keep the overall timing the same. Nobody noticed the difference, and a lot of carpal tunnel doctors went out of business. This discovery can be attributed entirely to prohibition. Animators of the twenties were notorious alcoholics. Not these days, glad to say. Today’s breed are wholesome family men, loyal to their wives, good fathers, upstanding members of society, clean living wackos. The practice of animating 12 fps is called animating “on twos”, and the practice of animating 24 fps is called animating “on ones”. It was still occasionally necessary to animate scenes on ones if a fast action was required, or if the camera panned over the background, i.e. move from left to right to follow a character across the screen. Such shots would look jerky if shot on twos." The Angry Animator

I also cheated by doing it in Flash, but I saved a few trees in the process so I'm sure you don't mind.

First attempt - with my planning sketch

Happier with the speed of this one.

Bouncing Ball done, tick. Now on to walk cycles....

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