MAYA: Three balls that should have been squashed and stretched

After getting a tutorial on locators and to apply the squash and stretch method to a ball, the task was to create three bouncing balls; a bowling ball, a tennis ball and a really bouncing ball, to which I thought of a squash ball.

When creating the three balls, I had to think about the weight of each. The bowling ball is obviously very heavy and large and wouldn’t bounce a lot, if it bounced at all. Although it has a smooth surface so would roll after being dropped. The tennis ball isn’t very heavy so it would be more inclined than the bowling ball to defy gravity. It would bounce a couple of times before rolling a little due to the soft, fuzzy surface which would restrict rolling a little compared to a ball with smoother surfaces. The squash ball, as I called it, is very light with a hard yet smooth surface. This means it would bounce a lot when dropped, to a higher height and roll quite a bit as well.

After creating these on MAYA, I tried to use the already created squash and stretch file of the ball but I just couldn’t figure out how to incorporate it and change it to fit in with my sequences. Instead of adding it to the three balls and possibly messing them up, I just tried to create my own locators and use one ball to try and squash and stretch when it was bouncing. Outcome? A lot more confusing than I had imagined. I got something i guess..

Even though this does not look like a realistic bouncing ball (squash on the floor and stretching in the air) I got the gist of what locators to place different changes in sequence in and I understand that I have to animate the locators and not the ball to get the ball to do something. I know that I have to create a hierarchy for the ball; transform > scale > rotate > ball. This is so that wherever the ball goes, the size (squash and stretch) will follow wherever it’s placed and that inside of the scale, the ball will be constantly rotating. So by having in order each of these a child of the parent means that by animating these locators, the ball will do as they do. This needs a lot more practicing but I suppose I kind of learnt something in the process which is a bonus!

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