Maya: Bouncing Ball

This is one of my first animations using Autodesk Maya. As with Flash, we began by animating a bouncing ball. The ball I used for this exercise was pre-rigged so that squash and stretch could be applied to it - so even though I am doing 3D animation, the principles of the 2D animation I have done previously still apply.

It's not perfect but I improved a lot using the software by doing this exercise, especially considering I had not previously used it before. Following on from this exercise, we we're set a brief where the ball takes on a character, i.e. it is scared or excited.

This is what I animated for the second brief - there are a couple of obvious points to improve - create a more natural-looking finish; also to add the ball turning to look at the viewer as it hesitates on the edge; and maybe some more distortion as it looks over the edge.

I'm finding that animating using Maya is personally very interesting as previous to starting the course I had a strong interest in 3D modelling using 3D packages such as Solidworks and Truespace - I went to a high school with a great Technology department and teachers. As a result, I was able to experiment creating various 3D CAD models and also with 3D printing. I'm really excited to make the most of this opportunity to continue this interest on the Animation course and to see what I can achieve in Maya.

I've added some examples of the 3D modelling experiments I did before starting the Animation course at Falmouth below:

I produced this client information sheet to accompany a disaster relief shelter I designed for my A Level Product Design coursework. I used Solidworks to create the model of the shelter and zip, and Vue in the top render.

Alarm clock modeled in Solidworks

AS Level Product Design project

For AS Product Design I designed and made a nightlight - first be designing in Solidworks, and then using a 3D printer to print a real-life version of the computer model I had created. The above image shows the Solidworks model I created for the project. My design included a switch located in one of the side towers - when the tower roof was turned the light would turn on or off - this involved using a reed switch and magnet. Below is an exploded view rendered in Solidworks showing the different parts of the light:

3D printed components

Finished night light -
Right: illuminated