(Sorry for the horrible Youtube upload — hit my daily Vimeo limit and I'm still waiting for it to reset...!)
For an initial test, I don't think it came out too badly - especially considering I was absolutely dreading doing the shuttlecock! It was done on a whim, mostly; there's precious little reference on youtube and the shuttlecocks I bought are useless cheap plastic things that don't bounce at all. So I'm having to make a lot of educated guesses as to the motion of the shuttlecock.
Obviously it's very rough so far! I tried to pay attention to the tilt of the feathers and ball, considering how the feathers hitting the floor would effect the rotation. It definitely needs more rotation - a shuttlecock is very bottom-heavy and it will always tilt so the ball points downwards. I'd like to have it swing downwards towards the end, just before it lands - perhaps having the feathers hit the floor and knocking the ball downwards to get it going.
I guess the first thing I'm noticing is that it doesn't really bounce very high, or enough times. It's quite a springy thing and if it weren't for the feathers scraping the ground and getting in the way it would probably bounce a fair bit. I'd like to animate more of that sort of thing - the ball trying to bounce but interrupted by the feathers.
Without decent reference it's hard to say whether it looks correct or not, so I think it's going to be very much a case of eyeballing it...!
Here, I've removed most of the rotation so I can focus on getting the bounces right. Maybe it's because there's less going on, but I don't like this version as much as the last one...! Maybe once I've started jazzing it up a bit it'll look a little nicer...
I'm less happy with the speed here, too. I actually delayed the shuttlecock's initial rotation after it strikes the ground the first time - I wanted to give the impression that it drags along the floor before rotating forward but, thinking about it, it probably doesn't make much sense. I think it would probably bounce first - unless it landed with the feathers quite close to the ground there's no reason for it to drag.
I'm not sure if the bounce is really high enough - the closer to the middle it bounces, the higher it goes. Unless I have it strike the ground at a slight angle it should probably go higher, but wouldn't travel as far. If it hits at an angle it won't go as high but it would probably travel much further. In the context of this animation I think it would be best for it to travel further.
I'll have to scurry off and do a few more thumbnails. I've been working a lot from my earlier sketches and improvising as I go along, which in all honesty I think might work better for this particular animation, as a lot of it is just eyeballing to see what looks right. Still, it won't hurt to have a solid foundation of what I want to do...