I've just wrapped up my first block studying at iAnimate.net. This was the first time I've taken an online class and I had a little trepidation, but the experience was great and I think I learned a lot. For those who don't know, iAnimate is an online 3D animation school. If you're familiar with AnimationMentor then iAnimate is the same sort of thing. I won't get into a whole review just yet, but I wanted to share some of what I've been doing since it was so much fun to make. Here is the first batch. I was in the beginner's class, they call it Workshop 1, so we covered all the basics of timing, spacing, offset, etc. We started at the very beginning working with bouncing balls. I know they're not super exciting to watch but they are fun to animate and they make experimenting easy(er).
These are all animated in Maya. I used a ball rig that was supplied with the lessons, but I ended up doing quite a bit of modification to the rig to try out different things. I also did a lot of shot planning in 2D in flash. I have to say I like drawing a lot more than working in Maya.
First a simple ball bouncing in place:
Then something a little more dynamic:
Next, trying out different ball materials:
And finally, something really complicated: