Till now we were animating the position of the ball. But, along with the position, the rotation of the ball is also an important part in bouncing ball animation. Since the ball is a perfect sphere and was in shaded mode we were not able to understand its rotation. But when we toggle the display to wireframe mode and take a closer look at the ball it is obvious that it needs to rotate.
We can do this with just 3 keyframes:
• the first frame,
• the second last frame, when the bouncing stops and
• the last one where the ball comes to a stop.
Set a keyframe for rotation on the first frame.
(For Maya software users use the short-key + ).
Then go to the keyframe where the ball stops bouncing and starts rolling along the ground. Rotate the ball using the manipulator to the amount you want. The autokey button is on, so it will now automatically set a rotation key at this frame. Then go to the last keyframe, where the ball comes to a stop and rotate the ball some more.
In the forward motion of the ball, there is no force slowing down the ball from rotating until it starts rolling along the ground. Simillarly, the graph should look similar to the translate-z graph, i.e. linear between the first 2 keyframes and then ease-in to the last keyframe.
Check the playback again.
And, your “Bouncing ball animation” is complete.
Hope you understood how to animate the bouncing ball. Experiment with it. Try out animating balls of different sizes, mass and other properties.