Saturday, 10 March 2012

Tennis ball bounce V4 & V5

Vimeo takes so long to process my videos that by the time it's done, I've already done another version. Ho hum...

Massively adjusted the arcs on the ball. It certainly looks better, but I don't know if it's at all tennis ball-like? I like the path of the motion a lot more, it's a lot smoother, but there are still issues with the timing. It's far too slow overall and there's no sense of force, or of acceleration/deceleration as the ball rises and falls. Again, these are all things that can be refined easily with the fcurve editor and the dope sheet.

I managed to tweak the ending so that the ball continues rolling for just a little bit after the last bounce. Rather than individually keyframing the horizontal motion between each bounce, as I had been before, I set the ball's final resting position on one keyframe right at the end. The ball could then continually move forward and would ease into the final keyframe right at the end in accordance with just one fcurve handle, saving me having to ensure that the flow of the curve was smooth between multiple keyframes.

It struck me that it would probably make more sense to take my captures using one of the cameras that the final render will be captured from. What looks alright from a flat, side-on view can look totally different (often broken) from another perspective - so working this way will help me to make sure that my final animation looks decent from the required perspective.

Other than that, not too much change. I've altered the curves slightly and tried to make adjustments to the timings so that the ball spends just a little less time in the air - I've shunted the keyframes a tiny bit closer together to try and improve the speed, but it still seems off to me. Something about the whole thing looks really, really wrong but I just can't put my finger on what. It almost looks like it bounces too much, or too many times? Something about the second and third bounce, I think... It might be the speed, again - it's just too slow. It takes too long to get from the apex of one bounce to the next.

This would all be so much easier if I had my own reference footage.

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