I took a step back this time. I'm still feeling very anxious and overwhelmed by this whole thing - seems Softimage really isn't my forte - and I'm just beginning to panic a little about the amount of work I still have to do... logically I know I'm not behind but I'm so desperate to get this part of the brief over and done with so I can just concentrate on the next bit. Unfortunately that clashes with my desire to be absolutely perfect.
So, anyway, I was poking around on Youtube and I managed to find a couple of reference videos that I thought might help give me more of an indication of the shuttlecock's movement as it strikes the ground.
I took this one from Will's blog (sorry Will!!) and trimmed it down so I was able to loop the point of interest. It's a little difficult to see, but you can kind of get a feel for the motion - looks to me as if it lands cork-down, then bounces to the side and lands on the feathers. When the feathers strike the ground, it bounces back forward and is knocked in an arc, landing back on its other side where it bounces very slightly and rolls around a little until it comes to a stop.
Rather similar to the observations I made from the video uploaded onto myUCA. The main difference here is the direction it bounces and lands caused by the trajectory/angle it lands at.
I tried to mimic the overall path of the bounce, opting not to tinker with any rotation at this stage. The speed and distance travelled in each bounce are a little off, but I did try to match the overall timing with the video as best as I could. I wasn't sure how I felt about it at the time - I was a little hazy and still getting myself very worked up over it, so I had trouble seeing whether it had potential to work or if I should just have scrapped it entirely and started fresh.
Looking at it now I think that perhaps it bounces forward just a little too far, and not far enough when it bounces from left to right. I think that it could have stood to bounce a little higher, too, bearing in mind that it was going to be rotating forward to land on the tip.
See? This is why I need to calm down and take breaks. Looking at it with fresh eyes I can much more easily see what could have been fixed, rather than rushing straight ahead and making a billion different half-finished versions. Oh well...