ID 750 Fall 2000 - Expressive Motion
All materials copyright Maria Palazzi

Assignment : Using Timing to Visually Define Weight

"Timing, more than anything else, defines the weight of an object."
John Lasseter, Pixar

quicktime movies

Assignment goals:
The student will explore different types of motion for the classic animation exercise, The Ball Bounce. By incorporating squash and stretch, arcs of motion, slow in/slow out, the student will increase their understanding and sensitivity to motion and its implications.

Minimum requirements:
It is the goal of the student to use 2 primitive spheres as balls and to give each of the balls its own distinct properties, by the use of different approaches in timing and motion. One ball is to be visually described with timing and deformations as a soft surface ball and the other should be visually described as a hard surface ball.

Animation length will be no more than five (5) seconds.

Assignment introduces:

Assignment requirements:



PDF file for the Learning Maya 2.0 tutorials is in Network Neighborhood\Grumpy\MayaDocs\

Principles of 3D Computer Animation by Michael O'Rourke pgs. 147 - 161
Timing in Computer Animation, by John Lasseter

1. Research- Sign out ACCAD's video camera and video tape the two different balls when they are dropped to the floor. Look through your footage and select the best bounce for each ball. Find other video reference by looking a animation, traditional and computer-generated. Save these as reference movie files in your home space.
Video reference in movie files Due Friday, September 29th

Web Reference:
How Things Work: Bouncing Balls
Bouncing Balls

2. Analysis- Create a timing sheet from your movie files of the bounce. Start with 150 frames (5 seconds x 30 fps) and while you are viewing the movies frame by frame, mark down how many frames it takes between the ball drop and the bounce and back to the top of the ball arc, etc.
In your sketchbook, make notes and drawings which illustrate the key positions of the ball and its shape change as it contacts the floor. Use this to guide timing and key poses for your animation.
Timing Sheet and Drawn key poses Due Monday, October 2nd
Timing Sheet for download (MSWord file)

3. Animation approach- This animation will be "blocked in" with key poses to establish the broad motion of the movement. The blocked in motion gives you a rough look at the timing of the piece as a whole. You will layout the piece from beginning to end showing the broad motion. This would be translation on the translation node and the addition of squash and stretch once the keyframes for the translation are established. The timing of the key frames will come from the analysis that you did and from your sketchbook drawing reference.
NOTE: Simplicity is the key to this project. Keep in mind the focus of the assignment is in the 2 balls' motion and distingishing between a hard and soft surface ball.

4. Assignment Due Dates

Wednesday, September 27th
Workshop on Digital Video and making movies with Barb Helfer
Shoot video of balls, make movies
Gather reference materials
Create a timing sheet from video reference

Friday, September 29th
DUE: Movie Files from video reference
DUE: Learning Maya, Lesson 1: Bouncing a Ball (playblast)
DUE: Learning Maya, Lesson 2: Adding Character (playblast)

Monday, October 2nd
Critique: Swinging Boxes
Introduction to Ball Bounce
DUE: Timing Sheet and Drawn key poses

Wednesday, October 4th
Workshop on Video Facility with Barb Helfer
Continued work on motion

Friday, October 6th
Critique: animation of Ball Bounce w/2 balls (Hardware Render)
Continued work on motion

Monday, October 9th
Final Critique: animation of Ball Bounce w/2 balls - on VHS

Wednesday, October 11th
DUE: animation of Ball Bounce with sound - on VHS and as Quicktime movie file
DUE: animation of Pendulum - on VHS and as Quicktime movie file
DUE: animation of Swinging Boxes - on VHS and as Quicktime movie file

Adding sound in Maya

return to ID750 syllabus