3 answers · asked @ video mark 1:52 · Lesson: Auto-Keying · Course: Fundamentals of Animation

How do you make the rolling ball?

I like that rolling ball. A great first animation. But how do I do it? Can someone please give me a numbered list of steps to follow, so I can learn this stuff? Even when the instructor said what he was doing, it was too fast to switch back and forth to Blender to do it myself. UGGH! So frustrating.

  • How to Roll a Ball in Blender

    A very basic beginner's step-by step animation tutorial

    Initial scene (You can download the .blend file here)

    For clarity, we're going to animate the ball in manual mode (i. e. without Auto-keyframe insertion). So before start make sure that your Automatic Keyframe Insertion button is OFF:


    We'll roll the ball first from left to right, and then back to its original position. To do so, we need to set the keyframes for:

    - Location of the ball (because it will move) and

    - Rotation of the ball (because it will roll while moving).

    For our ball animation we'll create 3 keyframes:

    - first keyframe - for the starting position of the ball (far-left),

    - second keyframe - at far-right position of the ball,

    - third keyframe - the ball is back at its starting point (far-left).

    Our animation will be 120 frames long:

    - for the first 60 frames the ball will roll to the right,

    - for the next 60 frames it will roll to the left.

    To set the length of the animation, type 120 into your End field of the Timeline and press Enter:


    Now let's move the ball and create the keyframes. 

    To create the first (starting) keyframe:

    1. Make sure that the playhead of the Timeline is in frame 1. (If it's not on frame 1, move it there via Right mouse click.)

    2. Select the ball.

    3. Make sure your Properties panel is visible (press N if it is not). In Transform section of this panel, hover the mouse over the Location fields and press I key (it's a hotkey for keyframes creation).

    Notice that the Location fields have become yellowish green: this color change indicates that the new Location values for this keyframe have been written:

    4. Hover the mouse over Rotation fields of Transform section and press I key again. This will set values for initial Rotation of the ball.

    Now, if you look at your Dope Sheet, you will see a column of orange diamonds at frame 1. Those are Location and Rotation values for your newly created keyframe #1:

    Now let's move & rotate the ball and create the 2nd keyframe:

    5. Move the Timeline's playhead to frame 60 (via Right mouse click).

    6. Select the ball.

    7. In Transform / Location, type 3.5 in X field and press Enter (this will move the ball to the right). Then, with your mouse over Location section, press I (this will create keyframe values for the new location of the ball).

    8. In Transform / Rotation, type 250 in Y field and press Enter (this will set the rotation value of the ball at its far-right position). Then, with your mouse over Rotation section, press (this will create  keyframe values for the rotation  of the ball).

    To create the 3rd keyframe:

    9. Move the Timeline's playhead to frame 120 (via Right mouse click).

    10. Select the ball.

    11. In Transform / Location, type -3.5 in X field and press Enter. With your mouse over Location section, press I.

    12. In Transform / Rotation, type 0 in Y field and press Enter. With your mouse over Rotation section, press I.

    To play the animation:

    10. Press Space.


  • I followed these instructions and did not get exactly the same result in 2.79.

    I don't know how to include a video here to show the result. I searched the web and the instructions I found to make an MPEG don't work (there is no render > output button so I can't save the render output) and the Manual (2.80) is too complicated to understand. Blender is wonderful but very hard to learn when I can't spend my full time studying it.

  • Here's another related question: in the Manual there is a screenshot of the Encoding Panel. Now pretend that you want to find it but do not know where the Encoding Panel is, and you do not see it in the Blender UI. What would you do to find it? A simple search in the Blender Manual does not give me instructions where to find it (see https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/render/output/video.html?highlight=encoding%20panel). Should I search the Web for simple questions like this? Should I post in blenderartists.org? What would you do to find it?