Project 5: Path of Action


We are going to animate a bouncing ball that travels along a path of action, or arc. The first step will be to draw the path that your ball will travel along. As you reposition the ball in each scene, you should be careful to keep the center of the ball right on the path.

You will be spacing the ball to create the illusion of weight and gravity as the ball bounces access the screen. You could easily animate a bouncing ball with three scenes. (Scene 1 with the ball at the top left of your screen, Scene 2 with the ball at bottom center, and Scene 3 with the ball at the top right) Then you could simply leave the timing up to Morphink to mathematically space the in-between drawings evenly. What you would get would be a floating circle, that did not appear to have any volume, weight, or gravity. The circle would travel at a consistent speed, and the ball would travel on an unnatural straight paths. We are going to control the timing of our bouncing ball and make sure it travels on arcs. A bouncing ball will travel slowly as it reaches the top of its arc, and more quickly just before and after it hits the ground. Remember that if your drawings are spaced closely, then the ball will appear to move slowly. If your drawings are spaced farther apart, then the ball will appear to move quickly.

You will also use squash and stretch to manipulate the ball in this assignment. Remember to maintain volume or your bouncing ball will appear to be made out of jello. As the ball strikes the ground, the ball will slightly squash. You can also stretch the ball (along the path of action) to increase the illusion of speed just before and after the ball strikes the ground.




Open Morphink 2.0

Maximize the window to fill your screen.

Select both the "Draw" tool and the "Auto Edit" tool. Draw in a path of action for the ball to travel along as it bounces. (See the blue line in my example above) This path will serve as a guide, that you may wish to delete when you are finished animating the ball.

Draw a circle. Fill it with a color of your choice. To fill, choose the Fill tool, then choose a color, then click on the circle after it becomes actively selected. (You will notice the outline changes to a broken or dashed line when an object is active)

Place this circle, your ball, at the top left of your path of action. This will be Scene 1, the first frame of your bouncing ball animation.

Now create a new scene. (Click the Insert Scene button once)

In scene two:

Use the Drag/Rotate tool (shaped like a hand) to move your ball along the path of action.

This is where you must begin to think about the timing. The ball will move slowly at the top of the arc, so keep that in mind when you determine how far to space the ball in scene 2. You can also use onion skinning as you position the ball in each new scene.

To use onion skinning click down on scene one (AND KEEP YOUR MOUSE BUTTON HELD DOWN) Now, with the mouse button still held down, drag across to the right until you get to scene two, then release your mouse button.

When you are happy with the position of the ball in scene 2, create a new scene and position the ball again, farther along the path of action. (Use onion skinning each time to see how all of the scenes relate to one another)

When your ball has reached the other side of the screen or the end of your path, you know that you do not need any more new scenes.

Next, you can go back and add the squash and stretch in the appropriate scenes. (Use the "Edit Stroke" tool)

This animation should play in one direction. To change this from the default "ping pong" motion, got to the Animation Menu/Options/click Forward/click OK.

Adjust the frame rate with "Decrease Speed" and "Increase Speed" buttons until your ball is moving at an appropriate speed. (Click play, and then adjust the speed by clicking on adjust speed buttons multiple times)

When you are finished, please upload the compact version of your animation.

Thank you!