Learn the fundamentals of keyframe animation with the bouncing ball!

Bouncing Ball Animation


Get to Know Keyframe Animation by Completing these Exercises#

- All of the blend files in the table below are in /homework/week_03_animation/keyframe_exercises/

Exercise .blend file
Before grappling with keyframes, take a moment to consider the concept of a frame. frames.blend
Now let’s add to the notion of a frame the concept of keyframes. keyframes.blend
Now practice setting lots of key frames until the technique becomes second nature. keyframe_scramble.blend
Start to think about character animation as you keyframe these mice running after their cheese! keyframe_mice.blend
Start to think about timing as you keyframe this sprint. keyframe_race.blend
Watch the video below that demonstrates the tricks of keyframe animation around tight corners. keyframe_race_track.blend

Animate a Bouncing Ball#


Write a Story that Communicates Emotion through Movement#

Movement is a powerful medium for stirring the emotions of your audience, whether toward laughter or tears.

Animation is a medium dominated by movement.

So it's time to start dreaming up and writing down stories that could be told through movement.

For example, here is a dark comedy about two best friends exploring Ansel Adams’ picturesque Yosemite National Park.

And here is a story, by former student Jon Broome, about two kids jostling for space on the couch.

And here is a story, by former student Leo McElroy, about a child and a hard to reach cookie jar.

And here is a story, by former student Yuki Hu, that focuses on achieving balance at the seesaw.


After you have watched the example films, work with a buddy or two, to start to think about an idea for this weekend’s project.

Check out the behind-the-scenes blend file: download_blend_file - dhoughton_bouncing_ball_story.blend

Work with your buddy to design your own short film between 10 and 30 seconds long:

As you start working on your project: - Refine the story that you planned in class. - Strive for depth of emotion through storytelling. - Plan how you are going to coordinate your work. - How are the characters going to interact? - Who is going to get their work done in time for the other person to get their work done? - Make sure to save time for quality animation. - Animate your short film in Blender. - Prepare your animation with simple lights and materials. - (Optional) If you’d like to go the extra mile, render your movie out of Blender so that we can see the most beautiful version of it. - (Optional) If you’d like to add sound effects and/or music feel free, but it’s totally fine if you submit just the silent visual component. - Make sure you set up a camera early on so that you know where your frame edges are. - Show your film to at least one other person before sharing it in class.

Extending the Project#

Some of these stories/ideas/themes will become our final projects. And some will be graciously laid to rest. As you finish your work, ask yourself if there are any aspects of this project that you'd like to build upon or extend for your collaborative work on the final project.

We'll start talking about the final project after we watch these stories in class.