Bouncing Balls

Maya – Ball Bounce

Bouncing a Ball or Three

And so it begins, the delve in to 3D. Everyone seems to be freaking out over this huge new program with new concepts to grasp what with motion graphs and locators and all that. I’m not sure what it is, but the way I’ve grown up through my adolescent years with my particular set of interests I feel like I’ve unknowingly trained my brain to be able to process more or less the basic stuff in Maya. The motion graphs and key frames are what I’ve been using in Adobe Premiere for the past year with an additional axis. I’ve dabbled in coding and I’m decently computer literate so understanding the setup of a workspace as well as things like 3D co-ordinates comes easily to me.

So long story short, I think I can deal with the basics of Maya.

First task, animate the motion of a ball bouncing. My ball was a good ball, a great ball. All other Balls? Forget ’em. This ball was ‘yuge and was the roundest ball of all. You wanna good ball? You come to me, I guarantee you the *best* ball. This bally was gonna smash the competition bigly. I heard China are working on a ball, but it can’t beat my ball; I’m making Mexico pay for my ball.


Our first proper 3D task of this semester is to create three bouncing balls of varying weights, sizes and elasticities, meaning a Bowling Ball, a Tennis Ball and a Bouncy Ball. My first attempt was the Tennis Ball because it was more or less the mid-point of the three with the most average ‘stats’. I even had a go at some shoddy texturing and lighting to build a scene. It bounces well and I feel it works  as an animated bouncing ball.TennisBallRender_01.png

Next I did the bowling ball, and I modeled an alley with a pin to try out object interaction. A key thing I was trying to achieve here was getting the backspin on the ball as if it had just been thrown by a human. The ball didn’t have to squash at all due to its material, and I ended up not bothering to texture it in the end. I am quite happy with the result, but if I were to redo it I would make the alley longer to allow the ball to pick up more speed.



Lastly, I tried the bouncy ball. With this one, I wanted to try more object interaction and try multiple bounces at an angle. I had made decent progress on this ball when Maya decided to crash on me  so the bounce pattern remains unfinished. It makes the initial impact and the object interaction which is what I really wanted to try, so I dub it a mild success.