The Fundamentals: The Bouncing Ball


I think there is a room for this forum for people who wish to practice the Fundamentals of art.
Things like drawing heads, hands, and people in poses etc.

One of the biggest fundamentals in animation is the ability to do a decent bouncing ball.
The bouncing balls help us with issues projecting weight and mass.
It also helps us to fine tune our timing.
So having that in mind, lets play Ball!.

Ok here is the mini challenge:

This will be the first (of I hope will be many) exercises in the fundamentals of animation.
The rules are simple:
Do 5 animations of a bouncing ball.
But the balls have to be made of different materials

Rubber Ball
Wood Ball
Lead Ball
Glass Ball
Beach Ball NEW!

Do a short animation of the ball bouncing
at the end of the challenge, post a link to your animation.
If you cant post an animation, post a link to an image sequence.

Also please don’t use any hard body dynamics engines!
Key framed entries only.

And based on some suggestions on another thread,
Please post also the MOTION GRAPH for each ball.

There is no dateline for this. Post your results on this thread and we will comment on it.
The winner of the best drawing will get a NO-PRIZE on the mail.

Have fun, and lets start the road to learn to animate well.

Also feel free to participate in any of the “older” Fundamental Challenges. The dates are unimportant.
The FUNDAMENTALS: Ears and Hairstyles

The FUNDAMENTALS: Eyes+ Eyebrows




I like it… I’ll start right away! :slight_smile:


lead and glass would be similar.

I would recommend doing:

rubber ball , beach ball , bowling ball


I guess I could do an animation of a glass ball smashing into bits after the first bounce :smiley:


Lead and glass balls bounce?


Originally posted by Max_Power
Lead and glass balls bounce?

yes, but not very high. ever try dropping a marble? it doesnt just stay on the ground.


Doesn’t it depend on what the floor is made of? like a bowling ball on a wood floor, Carpet, stone, cement etc…


I think this is a great idea, but maybe you should set some restrictions… such as not using, I think its MAYA’s dyanimic controls in which you can set up gravitation pulls and just hit play as it bounces onto the plane.

Ah oh well, its still a damn good idea!


Originally posted by Max_Power
Doesn’t it depend on what the floor is made of? like a bowling ball on a wood floor, Carpet, stone, cement etc…

I think a lead ball will still bounce even if it lands on a thick slab of steel.


if deforms enough it wont necessarily bounce


Bounce a bowling ball off someone’s head…


Good Point NeoGSR!

I made a modification to the rules.
No hard body dynamics!
Key frames only.



I still think you guys should add the beach ball to the list , you dont have enough variation. Lead , glass and wood balls are all heavy balls which will bounce similar.


Sheep Factory you have apoint.

I’ll add one more cathegory
Beach Ball it is!


PS Dont forget the other Fundamentals Challenge:
Draw the Celebrity >>link<<


Sorry for the bump.

I just wanted to see if I can get more people to sign in before I go to bed.



It would be nice if a few of use drew it instead doing it in 3d. Good old traditional way! :smiley:


Hey I am a big proponet of traditional media.
If anybody wants to draw the bouncing ball, it is fine by me!



Its late and I would post a quick thumbnail, but here is my 2D entry of a cartoony rubber ball. I wanted to pay close attention to the squash and stretch aspects of this thing.

Overall I think its ok, but to me its a bit too quick. Its onlly 2 seconds. but you’ll get the overall idea.

2D Cartoon Rubber Ball Bounce


Cool! Timing works, perspective looks good, trajectory is ok.

But - just my own personal opinion, which probably isn’t shared by anyone else here - I hate squash and stretch. I’ve always hated it. Especially if it’s too much, if it has to be used it should be subliminal. Well it depends, if the ball is supposed to be alive, and made of dough, and it’s a very extremely stylized cartoon, then I guess it’s okay but I still wouldn’t like it… :slight_smile:

I mean it just makes no sense whatsoever… in reality even the bounciest ball will only flatten a bit at the point of contact, not the far side… and then it certainly won’t stretch between bounces… a very large ball with a strong rubber skin filled with jello might deform a bit more like this, but still it would be very different - it would be jiggling all over the place, all the time.


steven is right…

The ball should preserve volume , I would ease up on the squash a bit.

also here is a tip my anim instructor gave :

you should add a contact frame just before the squash to get rid of the strobing effect. try it it helps.

Also the ball should stay at peak a little longer imo.

good start though.