In this tutorial, you will learn how to animate a bouncing ball lazily and really quickly!

If you plan to become a character animator, best you learn how to manually animate a bouncing ball because you will learn a lot of skills and techniques that can lead to better character animations later on. But for the rest of us, who just want to animate stuff as quick as possible, probably to just get another video out on Youtube, this method will help you achieveĀ a bouncing ball animationĀ in probably 5 minutes or less.

So without wasting much time, let’s get into it!

Here are the steps:

  1. Delete everything by first selecting everything (pressing A) and then X -> Delete.
  2. Add a sphere (Shift+A -> Mesh -> Sphere). This will be our ball.
  3. Move it up on the Z-axis a bit (G -> Z -> 5).
  4. Add a plane (Shift+A -> Mesh -> Plane). This will be our bouncy floor.
  5. With the plane selected, go to the Physics tab in the Properties window on the right.
  6. Click ‘Rigid Body’, and set the type to ‘Passive’. This pretty much sets it up to be a collision object. But we want this collision object to have some bounciness. So, set the bounciness up to 1.
  7. Now select the ball, and go to the Physics tab. Also click ‘Rigid Body’ and leave the type as ‘Active’. We want this to simulate animation. Now change the bounciness to 1.
  8. Playback the animation (Alt+A) and observe your bouncing ball! (Not related, but if you manually type in a bounciness value greater than 1, you will see that your ball bounces higher and higher each time, just something I observed that’s all).
  9. EXTRA: If you want to make your ball bounce down a path or trail really quick, just add a Wind force field (Shift+A -> Force Field -> Wind). Then set the strength of that force field to a point where you can see your ball move in the direction of the wind (I set mine to about 5000 to start seeing the effect).
  10. Finally, you probably want to bake your final animation into keyframes. To do this, first make sure you’re ball is selected. Then go to the Toolbar on the right (press T if you don’t see it) and under Rigid Body Tools, select ‘Bake To Keyframes’. Enter how many frames you want keys to be set and enter. You should now see keyframes in the timeline. Note, your ball will not have any rigid body associated with it any longer, it just becomes a mesh with animation applied.

That’s it! Hope you learned something from this tutorial and please feel free to drop a comment or ask a question below!