Before you can animate, everything has to be created. This would include the sets, props, the objects or characters you need to animate, EVERYTHING! For more complex scenes, you will need to do a lot of planning.
If you were making a film, you would have perhaps, already made a storyboard and an animatic, which tells you roughly how your film communicates, how many shots are needed, how each shot would look - i.e. the composition, camera angles and what is the action in each shot and what is its duration.
Based on this you can create all the assets required in a particular shot.
For more details on Storyboarding and Animatic you can check the below module:
The purpose of this exercise though is not making a film and what we need is very obvious, all we need is the ground for the ball to bounce on and the ball itself.
a. Creating the Assets - Primitives:
The objects that we need to create are very simple geometric shapes, called as Primitives in 3D. All we need is to create a Plane for the ground and a Sphere for the ball. These Primitives can be created easily by the software, if you specify the basic parameters of the object.
For example: The length and breadth of the plane and the radius of the ball. Besides this, you may also have to tell the software how many subdivisions you need to create.
Think of other simple geometric shapes like these that perhaps can be Primitive 3D objects. Make a list of them. Then check in your software whether it allows you to create them. Also, you can check for other objects that you may have not thought of.
In the process of creation and later animation, you may need to select, position, rotate and scale the ball. Familiarise yourselves with where these tools are. Most softwares will have them easily accessible on the main interface and also have shortkeys that you can use to select them.
For more details on on Interface you can check the below module:
When you select any tool, the software will also display a manipulator around the selected object that allows you to change its value. Experiment with this. You will need to do this all the time.
Remember, you need a plane long enough for the ball to bounce and roll until it comes to a stop. And the size of the ball with respect to the floor should also be in proportion.
Refer the Video:
c. Setting the Frame Rate:
Before you begin animating, you will need to be sure of one thing - the speed of your final film i.e. The frame rate of your animation or the frames per second (fps) at which your video plays.
This will change depending on where your film will be seen, whether in a movie theater, on your TV, or on the Internet and even in which country. Here is a table of the most common speeds of film.
|24||Movies (in a theater)|
|25||PAL - the TV system in India, UK and many other countries|
|30 (29.97)||NTSC - the TV system in USA and other countries|
In India, most often, you will need to use 24 or 25fps. Your software will allow you to set this frame rate. Make sure with each new project you are working on, it has been set correctly.
Imagine, what would happen if we created animation at 30 fps and then saw it on TV. Since TV would play it at 25 fps, the video will play slower stretching the animation by 5 frames every second. The sound will perhaps still play at the same speed and go out of sync with the video and your overall film will be lengthened in time by as much as 20%!
Ofcourse you would not want that to happen with your video. Would you?
So make sure that you get into the habit of using the correct fps.