Today we worked on timing and spacing. These are key to creating good animation. Timing is the point at which a major event takes place. Spacing is the pacing of images to get to those major events. The ball bounce exercise is used to illustrate these key skills.
We started out with mapping out the bouncing ball. As a ball bounces gravity affects it. The ball loses energy and the arc becomes smaller and smaller. In this exercise, I had four bounces, the four impacts are considered the timing. The pacing of the frames between these bounces is the spacing. As a ball bounces, there are varying speeds at which the ball moves. Speeding up as it approaches ground and slowing down as it reaches the top of the arc.
The first arc has 20 frames before first bounce, second has 16 frames, third has 13 frames and final has 10 frames. Because we were given those guidelines for the arcs, it was somewhat difficult for me to get started. After fourth attempt, I figured out that the planning was the important part. So, between frame 1 and frame 20, the middle is frame 11. I had to map out the spacings for the first 10, and last 10, attempting to get spacing wider going towards ground and tighter as it approached top of arc.
Here's the finished product:
I don't like the result so much, but it did illustrate that timing and spacing are critical for getting believable action. Given that these exercises occur within a three hour time frame, I have to consider it fairly successful. With more practice and more time, I think I could get it to be smoother and more believable.