The Twelve Basic Principles of Animation first recorded by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their 1981 book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation.
I highly recommend reading the lengthy and beautifully illustrated chapter on the Principles of Animation, see "The Illusion of Life" Chapter 3, from p 47.
We'll be studying the 12 Principles of Animation in detail in the coming weeks. Here's a brief overview of the 12 Principles:
1 Squash and stretch
4 Straight ahead action and pose to pose
5 Follow through and overlapping action
6 Slow in and slow out
8 Secondary action
11 Solid drawing
Animating a Bouncing Ball is nearly always the first animation assignment given to both 2D and 3D animation students. This deceptively simple exercise can teach you a lot about the nuts and bolts of animation tools, but more importantly how to give believable weight and appealing timing to your animation.
Strobe photos are fantastic for showing the beautifully symmetrical parabolic arcs followed by everything that leaves the Earth... except a rocket.
I have some great reference vids for you:
Sony Bravia & Nissan Qashqai ads contrasting super bouncers and bowling balls.
Also check out the video "Ball Tests" by Brendan Body (also in sidebar links -->)
Click to download Maya Ball Rig
I've given you both .ma and .mb files and we'll talk about the differences.
Study "the Pixar Story" (it's up on Youtube in 9 parts) -- there will be a quiz! :oD
Start experimenting with animating some bouncing balls in Maya -- we'll go through it in more detail next week. You can use the rigs or just primitives.