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Re: sing along bouncing ball

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Doyle Lewis
Re: sing along bouncing ball
on May 14, 2014 at 1:29:27 pm

Hey Jon Colando,

So I'm the guy who made the template John sent you and am happy to answer any questions you have about it. But to start I'll just break down the basics of using it. If you have more questions about how to customize the expression or anything else then we can get into that but it is built to give you full control just using the sliders.

So it is built in such a way that you can duplicate the comp and use a new comp for every sentence of your singalong. This is at least the way I have found easiest to use it. So you will want to open the comp for your first sentence click the text layer and type in the first line of lyrics for your song.

Now there is a precomp named "Ball image here" open that precomp and replace the white ball with whatever image you want to use for your bouncing ball and delete the white circle. The white circle was just a place holder to give you approximate scale and in case you didn't have an image you wanted to replace it with. I generally do this step first because often the shape of the ball changes how you want it to hit on the words.

Now all the edits you have left should be only on the layer on the top named Ball animator. I made this layer the controller for all the other layers and expressions so that you would not have to parse through any of the expressions yourself. If you hit the layer named "Ball Animator" and hit the letter U on the keyboard the keyframes for that layer come up. As you can see only one set of keyframes comes up. When I was building it I wanted to make it as simple as possible.

Now delete those keyframes. I like to delete them so I can set my bounces per second first and then animate position. Now open up the effect control pane (usually next to the project pane) and there are all of the controls for the "Ball Animator" layer. Use the "horizontal position" slider to move the ball into the center of the screen where you can see it. Next set your bounces per second using the "Bounce per sec" slider until you have a pace you like. Then Slide the "vertical level" slider until your ball is landing on the words the way you like. (The ball is dynamically linked vertically with the text so that if you move the text to the middle or top of the screen the ball follows vertically, the "vertical level" slider is more a calibration slider to account for different heights in fonts)The final slider to deal with during this animation calibration phase is the "Bounce height" This just controls the how high the peak of your bounce is. Adjust this until you like how large your bounces are.

Now to the final step; keyframing your animation. Start at the beginning of your timeline and move forward placing a keyframe on the "Horizontal Position" slider every time the ball hits the bottom of its bounce. You can do this either by eye or by using your bounce per second value to mathematically figure out where the keyframes will go. Don't worry about changing the values of the keyframes yet, this is just about marking the bounces. Once you have marked enough bounces for every word or syllable (depending on if you want the ball to hit every word or syllable) then go back to the first keyframe and move the "Horizontal position" slider till the ball is all the way off screen. Then using the next keframe button to advance to the next keyframe. Now adjust the "Horizontal position" slider until it lands on the first word or syllable in the right place. Then advance a keyframe. Do this until the animation is complete.

So that pretty much it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Doyle Lewis, Assistant Videographer

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