Primary Research


Above are some stills of my primary research – My own live footage. The four images are four different balls that I tried bouncing. A golf ball, a rubber ball, a bath bomb and a marble.

Film Reference bouncing ball

Bouncing ball research

To begin my research for the bouncing ball, I have decided to first research bouncing balls within animation and films in order to help me when I come to animate my own animation. Below are several that are different weights and forces. In addition looking at videos such as these will show me how a bouncing ball has been placed into the scene – the setting and the story of the ball.

 Bravia Sony (

The Sony Bravia in 2010 released an advert to demonstrate the colour that their television have. The advert begins when we see one or two small balls bouncing down a large hill. Suddenly we see thousands of small balls descending down the hill – all different colours. I decided to look at this advert for some video reference as it gives me an idea of how 2 or more balls may interact as well as showing me how high the rubber ball can jump. This video uses close ups and slow motion which is very helpful when I will come to animating my own bouncing ball. In addition this advert gives me a good idea on timing and spacing of a small of this weight. The only bad thing is that there are quite a few balls that are bouncing at the same time which can be confusing – however I will try and focus on a small section of the film instead to solve this problem.

Labyrinth & The Juggler

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth

Whilst looking for video reference of a ball bouncing I came across the scene in the Labyrinth that features David Bowie (or Michael Moschen) spinning the crystal balls. Although this doesn’t necessarily show us the bouncing ball – I wanted to include this in my research as it shows how a ball can move – and how the weight of a ball can be enhanced or decreased by such exercises. It also just gives me an idea about the weight and spacing of how a ball can fall.  – I did some further research and found a ball juggling man that again shows these same things.  

KashiraSpirited away

I also wanted to find further research into animation and a bouncing ball. Although the references from Spirited away are no actual balls but heads. I still feel that looking at the way they move because of their weight has helped me gather understanding at how a heavier ‘ball’ would move. Furthermore because these heads actually have a character and are not inanimate – it is nice to understand how the animators have emphasised certain moves to give them more life then just a head – especially as they do not talk.

Bugs life

Flik_rockTo understand weight and how my balls can be animated – similar to spirited away I looked at the scene in bugs life when ‘Hopper’ pulls the lid of the seed bank and pours them over another grasshopper. We can get a good sense of how the heavy the seeds are because of the timing that they fall and bounce to the ground. I have also looked at one of the first scenes where ‘Flick’ knocks over one of the rocks. We see a good bounce here that projects the weight of the rock – a heavier material compared to the seeds and the berries.

Harry potter and the order of the phoenix

During one of the scenes in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix there is a room full of globes that are thrown from their place during a battle against the death eaters. Shows a light ball falling to the ground as it appears the ‘globes’ are very light – almost glass like because they shatter on impact. Nice to watch how this material gravitates and differs compared to a solid ball I’ve already looked at.

Shaun of the dead –

Father of the bride –

High School Musical –

In the Shaun of the dead we see a small boy kicking his ball against the wall. Its very simple, yet displays everything that I will need to reference for a basic ball bounce. Good for my first practice. In the Father of the bride (a family comedy) there is a scene that shows a basketball match between to family members. Watching this footage is just a good source to again touch on the weight and timing that I can refer back to later on. Another basket ball video. What I find useful from this one scene is just the last ten seconds when all the basket balls are frown at once before the camera, so that the bounce is completely caught until it dies out. It also is useful to watch the directions and paths that each ball makes depending on the force it was thrown. As well as the speed it rolls away.

TV maltesars adverts – /

These two Maltesers adverts show a bounce of a single small malteser. I wanted to collect a range of sizes and weight balls for my research and I found this to be perfect for a small ball bounce. In the advert a pregnant lady places her malteser on her stomach and waits for her baby to kick to bounce the ball. It’s a very short bounce but it’s capturing another material than some of the other balls I’ve already collected.

Indiana jones

The-Ball-and-Indie-indiana-jones-1379826-485-330 (2)

Moon despicable me

Despicable Me Gru and Tiny Moon

Both of these films feature a large heavy ball – instead of the average size bouncing ball, I have mostly been looking at. Although these two video references don’t really show the ball bouncing – they are good references for me to understand how weight is shown. At the moment I haven’t properly thought about how I’m going to display the difference of weight among my two balls. They are going to be different and so I will be using video references such as these above to help me to understand how I can clearly show this.

Already Existing Animation tests Animation basic test Above is a animation test that I found online. From this video I can see how another student has explored the idea of a bouncing ball and an ‘asset’ (the potato sack) – They have created a short animation with a story.  The Potato sack is teaching the ball how to bounce right. It actually helps me watch the ball and see the things that are wrong with it in the beginning. The ball changes from just basically rising and falling into a stretchy and bouncy ball that ends up knocking the potato sack over. Other video ref This is a video of a basketball that someone has filmed for their own video reference. This film is very helpful to me as it gives me a better idea of how I will capture my own primary research. The ball has been dropped in several different ways so that the animator will have a variety of shots and experiments to choose from. I hope that when I get to my filming my primary research I can take inspiration from this and capture many bounces.


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