Bouncing ball animation: the first thing you should learn to animate

It may seem simple but the bouncing ball is actually the foundation for every animation. So when I decided to start learning animation seriously, the bouncing ball was the logical place to start. Completing the bouncing ball exercises really helped develop my understanding of some of the core principles of animation, such as squash and stretch, timing and spacing, ease in and ease out, and arcs.

Animation test 1: ball bouncing in place.

How I did it:

step 1:

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Draw a line for the ground and the ball in its starting position, this is the first key frame.

Step 2:

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Now on a new frame draw the ball at the point it touches the ground. Make sure that you keep the volume of the ball the same in every frame (this is harder than it sounds if you are drawing by hand but it is very important.)

Step 3:

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Add a frame in between the first two frames. In this drawing stretch the ball slightly to give a feeling of elasticity but remember the overall volume needs to stay the same.

Step 4:

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Add a new frame in between the top two positions.

Step 5:

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Add the next two inbetweens shown in green for clarity.

Step 6:

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Add the final inbetweens, shown in orange.

Step 7:

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Add one more drawing after the contact position, this time you want to squash it slightly.

Step 8: Finally, repeat all the frames backwards so that your animation starts and ends with the ball at the top position. This way you can loop your animation, and now we are done!

Animation test 2: ball bouncing across screen.

How I did it:

step 1:

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The method for animating a ball bouncing across the screen is pretty much the same. However, this time the ball will be animated across an arched path. It is a good idea to draw out the path first.

Step 2:

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Draw in the high points and contact positions.

Step 3:

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Now add the frames where the ball is stretched.

Step 4:

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Add the first set of inbetweens.

Step 5:

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Then the next set of inbetweens.

Step 6:

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And finally draw the squashed positions.