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Jazzman's 3D animation thread: UPDATE: I got a job animating games!

1356

Posts

  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hello there, what have I been doing last few days eh? Nobody has been asking that? Oh I see, well I'd best just plow on regardless, here's 1 of 3 animations I am doing as part of Bizzare's animation test (They are the guys who made geometry wars, Project Gotham racing, The club, and are working on Blur) for character animators (I'm seeing if I can score an internship or something maybe, get them to let me in the building, make tea *shrug* gotta get ya foot in the door!)

    So yeah, the guidelines on the website for this animation were :

    (Yel2Red) The YELLOW BOX being picked up by the character and put onto the RED BOX

    In one animation the box being picked up must be heavy; in the other animation the box being picked up must be light.

    So there ya go! Here's what I ended up with, and more shotgun sunrise animations incoming (or the mod overlord guys will be on my ass)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDfreV2GU18

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Here's a new animation, check it out,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsW5WVmOXk8

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • crawdaddiocrawdaddio Tacoma, WARegistered User, ClubPA
    edited May 2009
    Sorry your thread hasn't gotten a lot of love lately; I'd have contributed, but I have no experience in animation, and, more relevantly, I'm not very knowledgable about movement. I'll see what I can do, though.

    I like your characterization movements, for the most part; only one I can't figure out right now is at the 00:16/00:17 mark. Also, in the previous animation, I get that the guy (or girl, I guess, to be fair) is just getting ready to lift the box at around 00:17, but it didn't read that way to me, at least at first--I though the box was heavy and then suddenly got light until I watched it again.

    As for the actual depiction of weight and movement, there are a couple of things I see as problems (though because of aforementioned inexperience and ignorance, I could easily be wrong here); first, the character getting up in the first of the two Bizzare tests. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone get up that way, and it would seem to me like the initial lurch would have more of an effect on the character's legs. After that, the actual lift seems off, though I'm not sure why; the kick seems a bit too high and synchronized, and the ensuing movements (jumping back, presumably to catch balance, and catching the box) seem a bit too fluid, too...deliberate? That's about the best I can do, there.

    In the second one, the main thing I noticed was that in the actual toss of the box at the 00:28/00:29 mark, again, the movement seems a bit too fluid and deliberate; in that particular case, I think it's because the character hops a little bit too soon or too lightly, but again, I'm not sure.

    I hope something there helps, or at least encourages you to keep posting; I do like seeing your stuff.

    crawdaddio on
    Try putting your donger in a dishwasher and see how that comes out.
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hey crawdaddio, the movement 17 seconds in is a star jump, I was trying to get him to sort of, warm up I guess? I don't think the star jump is very clear from that angle, and it's kind of a half-hearted one. I'll bump it up a bit or remove it maybe.

    In the first test, you are completely right about the lifting the box. A lot of people have said to me 'it looks like its stuck to the ground then suddenly comes free'. I will definitely be changing that before I send it off, and I'll post an updated version.

    Him getting up is definitely a problem. That whole intro is a problem to be honest, I'm going to have to have a long think and some experimentation with it. And yeah, I didn't spend anywhere near long enough on the 'stumble backwards and catch the box' sequence.



    As for the second one, I'll take a look at the last bit of the throw and see if I can make it more natural.


    I definitely feel the second animation is far far stronger than the first, it's been amazing how much time and effort it's taken to get weight and momentum really clear and readable. I can see why this is the sort of thing a games company will make you do before applying b/c it's an awesome test of the fundamentals.

    Anywho, I'm gunna rework a lot in the first movie, and tweak the second, then I'll check back in.

    I also have a lot more fruit fucker animations for the game but I'm not sure if that stuff is meant to be kept under wraps for when patches and stuff are released sooooo, I might not post that stuff for a while, but I will say, I got it moving and attacking and stuff just like Leggraphics wanted!

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    yo, check out this snippet form a changed first animation, it's the part where he's getting up at the beginning after he falls from the sky.

    Does this looks more natural?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKcqYR3cxe0

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • FuzzFuzz Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Hey, I've been watching your thread from the beginning though have never posted and thought I would since I see that you have been improving. Your guy seems to have a lot more character now just through his animation.

    I don't have any animation experience, just a normal guy, so take that for what it's worth.

    I don't really get the walking animation of your fruit fucker. It might just be that there isn't a reference to show that he's moving, but it looks like he's just walking in place.

    Fuzz on
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hey, thanks for taking the time to post. The walking on spot thing is because it's a game animation so I don't actually want him walking about cause the game engine will determine how fast he's going etc

    Any animation where they are staying in one spot is for this reason fyi


    (I actually found out recently while getting him to attack etc in game that it's not as simple as that but that's the gist of why some anims are on spot when I'm doing them for a game)


    Btw, do you think the last video I posted is an improvement on that getting up animation? If you don't recognize which video it's from, it's post no.82

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • FuzzFuzz Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Youtube is not loading for me right now for some reason, but I do recall noticing how he doesn't use his hands to get up. The last one you posted had him showing some effort in getting up by basically doing a sit up, but I still think it's a little unnatural that he wouldn't use his hands, you know?

    It's not really that I don't see someone doing this. I could see someone trying to show off by getting up that way, and if that's the way you're going with it then it's fine, but for me it just seems like it'd be a lot easier for the guy to put some weight on his hand while getting up.

    Fuzz on
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Yeah you may be right. I was actually doing it so that he pushes himself up, but it's a lot more difficult b/c you have to change the way his arms works mid animation, so that instead of working from the shoulder down, his arms works from the hand upwards, otherwise his hand won't stand still against the ground while you're moving his torso etc.

    It's a real pain so I did the arm thrusting instead but if it just doesn't look right I'll have to go back to the other way.

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • sabyulsabyul Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Fruit fucker thrust needs a more powerful anticipation pose. The more different it is from the actual thrust pose, the more dynamic and powerful it will read.

    sabyul on
    http://www.frame-advantage.com - Specializing in high quality fighting game video content
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I agree 100% about the fruit fucking, will make some changes (I'm gunna ask the mod guy if I can keep posting updated fruit fucker stuff)


    Right, stayed up till 6am animating again, ANIMATION 4 LYFE YO

    Here's amended versions of both animations:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IsnBAMcK10

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82zVZ54l58o

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • sabyulsabyul Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Nice work on the heavy box. I wish it crushed the yellow box at the end though ;)

    Most of the gestures read pretty well, except he does a little hop (not the one when he's angry) that I'm not sure I get quite yet.

    sabyul on
    http://www.frame-advantage.com - Specializing in high quality fighting game video content
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    You know what, everybody hates that goddamn hop, I'm just gonna nuke the thing from orbit.

    Glad it reads well, that crushing idea is actually pretty good......hmmm.


    I'm currently about 5 hours into the third (of three thankfully *wipes brow*) and it's the one with no specific instructions other than, 'involve the boxes in some way'. So I get to be a little more creative and have some fun story boarding the poses and stuff :D

    I don't think the first draft will be done for another day or two though, and I'm stopping at 4:30am today so that's going to set me back I guess hehe,

    night night!

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • FuzzFuzz Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The getting up from falling looks significantly better, although I think it's odd that his hand flails backward like that. It might look alright if you timed it better. To me it seems like his weight would still be on his arm for a second after he lifts it up and tosses it backward.

    I can really tell the red box has weight now, which is neat. Stuff like that makes animation look so cool to me.

    The neck/body cracking/warm up bit, I'm guessing that's what he is doing, seems a little too body-involved. It looks more like he's dancing, especially during the neck cracking..

    Again, if that's not what you were going for then disregard this.

    I tried youtubing "neck crack" (something I don't recommend doing if you have a weak stomach) and couldn't find that cliche "ready-to-fight" neck-crack look, although I did notice a lot of the videos had people putting a hand to their face to assist in the cracking and rather than tilting their head on a horizontal plane they turn their head down a little and rotate it.

    And again, this is a little gross..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WXNmcg3d-Y&feature=related

    Although, I don't think that's what you're going for. I can't find a good video of it..

    What I'm getting at is when you're trying to crack something you really want to isolate whatever it is, otherwise you're not going to get it to crack.

    I'll post this video as an example of what I'm talking about and also because Brad Pitt in Snatch is awesome. Take note of when he's cracking stuff at around 0:56. See how he keeps his head straight while turning only his body?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FToxVMaUA4g&feature=related

    Man.. that Brad Pitt..

    *cough* erm, I'm going to go do guy stuff now.

    Edit: watching it again (god damnit, I swear I'm not gay) and noticed the part right before he throws the punch he does another body twist. That is still isolating only his middle part, just in case you thought, "well hey, he's not keeping his head straight." I hope you understand what I mean. Seriously, going to stop watching this video now..

    well ok, one more time..

    Fuzz on
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Cool man, thanks for the detailed reply.

    The motion I'm going for is a kind of...relaxed stretching I guess, not trying to crack a joint but more like, warm up. If he's moving around a bit much I will limit that and I may work that motion Brad Pitt does at 54 seconds in as a replacement for the little jump thing nobody understands. I think that'd fit in pretty well

    In other news, I'm about 70% done with the final anim and have had a blast doing it, hopefully will be able to post it up tomorrow evening

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Right here's the third animation, still needs a decent amount of polishing, especially towards the end, and having realised that I would need various camera positions (since the character moves around a lot) I hastily slapped together a series of pans and zooms etc to try to keep an eye on all the action, but I'm no director, anyway, here it is.

    Point out parts you can't 'read' etc, you don't need to be an animation expert just tell me what bits made you go 'huh, whats he doing?'

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNq3VtiX5NM

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • KazhiimKazhiim __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2009
    There's a weird delay at the end when he throws the red block. Like the inertia of lifting the block up was supposed to happen at the beginning, but it happens just before he releases it.

    Kazhiim on
    lost_sig2.png
  • RubberACRubberAC Sidney BC!Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    He thrusts forward, pelvis first, before kicking the red box. That is... not normal.
    He jumps really far forward on one foot, while hardly even bending his knee.

    RubberAC on
    raneasig.png
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hey guys, you're both so right. The box throw is off because there is a split second change just before he releases the box where it\s actually switched out for a new box entirely and I definitely haven't got the time right on it because I was focusing too much on making sure you can't tell the boxes have switched. I'll work on making that more natural. Maybe the box should just release a lot slower?


    And on the kick at the end, frankly it is horrible. I was kind of desperate to finish and the last little bit wasn't really story-boarded out so I threw that together as fast as I could. I'll revisit or completely change it because it simply isn't good.


    Soooooo relieved that (as of yet) nobody has had a problem with the part with him in the air on the flying box. Because maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan that was a fucking ball ache to do, which is why I was so burned out when it came to that kick at the end.

    Catch ya later, I'ma go fix it up

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    ok here's a short vid showing the parts I changed, which should (fingers crossed) have addressed the two issues you brought up!

    Now I'm going to re-install my cpu fan so I may gone some time :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN-TZ3cF0v4

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • VistiVisti Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    The kick looks natural enough if it was a piece of rubble or perhaps a ball, but what kind of mass would a cube have to fly like that from a kick like that?

    Visti on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hmm, it does kind of react like a plastic football (soccer ball for the Americans of AC). the cube isn't meant to be made out of anything solid particularly, I guess it would be like, a cube of balsa wood or something maybe?

    I guess I figured it looked pretty light when he threw it earlier in the animation? I think you're right though, it's clearly a little lighter at the end there than it was at the beginning, but at least I didn't make him struggle with it or anything when he threw it.


    Btw, the reason I'm saying this in a 'well, there's nothing I can do' kind of way, is because all of the renders have already been sent off to Bizarre games, emails have been exchanged etc, so there really isn't anything I can do about it. Well, unless I wanna make it better for personal satisfaction, but I kinda have to move on unfortunately.

    Still though, thanks for the crit, I think it may feel a little light at the end there.

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • LoomdunLoomdun Registered User
    edited May 2009
    a kick like that would barely even make a light box slide, even if it was a hollow box it would probably move forward like, a foot, and it wouldn't even go in the air at all

    edit: the slowing down in running looks kind of odd, to bad I don't have any room around me to run and stop to see why

    Loomdun on
    splat
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hmm, again I agree that I should make the boxes trajectory slower and closer to the ground. I wish I'd had a few more comments and thought about it a few days ago when I posted so i had time to change it before it was sent off :?

    The run slows down far too fast, I think I actually slowed it down before I sent it off and its not as bad from other angles but yeah, just me sitting in my room staring at it for like 20 hours, I miss a lot of things.

    Anyway, can't change it (in terms of showing it to the ppl it was for) so that kind of sucks, but..post quicker next time! I really do need feedback though, so thanks. Unfortunately in this case it is too late for me to fix it, but at least I've learned some things!

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • LoomdunLoomdun Registered User
    edited May 2009
    I space out a lot

    Loomdun on
    splat
  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    If I were you I'd do this...

    Read the Animator's Survival Kit, and if you can get a hold of a copy, watch the "Animator's Survival Kit: Animated". And also, look up stuff on "Animation Mentor". Look at the stuff the students there are doing. The kinda of exercises they're doing. How the models they're working with are set up.

    Here's a link to a webring of Animation Mentor student's blogs: http://www.webring.com/hub?ring=animationmentorb

    Look at the order the Mentors are having the students do their exercises... and run through them yourself. A lot of the early rigs are very simplistic, and very easy to recreate. But the principles that these exercises can teach you are very very valuable. If you look at pretty much any Animation Mentor student's animation compared to pretty much any... lets say... Art Institute student's animation, you can see the things that Animation Mentor gets across to students very very well...

    Weight, character, secondary motion, strength and weakness through posing. I haven't seen an animation mentor student who didn't know how to do all of these things correctly. So, well, the best place to start would be to try some of the bouncing ball exercises, but in 3d on a straight on camera.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    OK cool, I'll take a look through these blogs when I wake up (It's pretty late here atm).

    Are you an animator or have done the animation mentor program or something? Do you get the feeling I need to step things way back or something, that I'm getting ahead of myself?

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    I'm not so much an animator as I am studying animating at the moment. Very much like you actually. But from what I've seen of what you've posted so far, you're missing out on some very key weight and follow through issues which all relate back to the basics of character animation. Your character is moving from point A to point B, but that's all he's doing. He's going through the motions, but he doesn't seem to be doing anything else.

    Here, look at these reels of what people do in the first 12 weeks of the Animation Mentor school (which is only a character animation school, nothing else):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fzITM4EgnU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqqibpas4Io

    Now these two progress backwards from the order of the assignments. The assignments are weekly and go in this order (If I remember correctly):

    Week 1:

    Meet your mentor (who is someone in the industry) and your fellow classmates.

    Week 2:

    Bounce a ball that weighs roughly that of a basketball, make a pose that shows (blank emotion) with the rig.

    Week 3:

    Animate 2 balls dropping/bouncing, one that's really heavy, and one that's really light. Do another emotion pose.

    Week 4:

    Run your ball through an obstical course convincingly and with weight/personality. Do another emotion pose.

    Week 5:

    Animate a pendulum character going from either a stop to a full on to a stop, or a full on to a stop. emotion pose

    Week 6:

    Give character and weight to a ball with a fluffy tail attached. Emotion pose

    Week 7:

    Finally a walk cycle, another emotion pose.

    And basically a variation on those for the rest of the 12 weeks. Each week at least requires 20-40 hours of work, countless revisions, tweeking, criticism, ext. And only at week 6 do you really start doing anything with anything that seems like it has character. But the rest is there to give you the understanding of physics and arcs and all that good stuff that good animation relies on.

    Here's an example of someone who understands these things and someone who doesn't. These are both from people who've gone through a school for animation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU6aLDZ4Ero&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqyg2PZjLoI&feature=channel

    And for the one who doesn't... well, here's their progress after 3 classes at Animation Mentor (so not even a year). Keep in mind, this reel landed him a job, the other one... well... didn't.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWerMSEP9LY&feature=channel

    It's very obvious that focusing on these basics at first, and really learning how to get them right and why they work the way they do helps in the long run. So while, no, I don't think you're stuff is bad, I do think you are getting ahead of yourself. You shouldn't be working on a full body animation yet. Hell, you shouldn't even be doing animation of anything that requires a rig yet. Do some ball bouncing tests in Maya or 3DSM or whatever you're using. Post em here, we'll tell you how they look. Those of us with a good enough eye for animation will tell you why they work/don't work.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hey, awake now. Cool that was a very informative and useful post, I just spent 20 minutes looking around the animation mentor site and thought 'whoa this looks bitching', but when I finally got to how much it costs it was a lot more than 18 months at university with England's standard fess. Which is totally sad, if it was around the same money as I'm going to be paying for the game art course I'm doing in September I would have totally looked into swtching/doing both, but there's no way in hell I can afford to pay 18 thousand dollars.

    I think what I'll do is this:

    1) I'll do my best to track down videos of the animation tasks each week in animation mentor, and I'll complete them as best as I can with my own set ups and post them here. SO while obviously I'm not getting the animation mentor experience, I'll be doing the right kind of exercises.

    2) I still need to be doing full human animation for the shotgun sunrise mod, I can't/don't want to, turn round to those guys and go 'sorry I'm not going to animate your zombies any more, I need to get back to basics'. And besides I think that it's useful working with animation within the constraints of a game, because that teaches useful skills like compiling, animation blending between poses in-game etc. I know I don't post that stuff now but that's cause I realised I totally wasn't meant to be showing that stuff, so for now I can only get crits on that stuff from the mod guys.


    Anywho, thanks for the help, I'm away tonight but when I get back tomorrow I will do a ball bounce that shows weight and do a pose that shows an emotion (although my rig doesn't have a face atm!

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Oh, I wasn't suggesting that you should attend the school. I'm in the same boat, if I could do the animation mentor program, I would, but right now it just doesn't makes sense. I'm going to start pretty much doing the same thing as you, taking the assignments and doing them on my own, but trying to get as much feedback from the internet as possible.

    Also, use the Animator's Survival Kit for reference when doing these exercises. It seems like pages 36-39 are almost completely what the first 3-4 weeks at animation mentor are trying to really drive home. As far as your model not having a face, for the poses the animation mentor model (Stu) doesn't have a face either. Sometimes it has two little black dot eyes, but that's it.

    I'm going to watch this thread and try to help as much as possible. It's important for an animator to be able to look at something and know what's off about it, so giving critiques here will help me as well. :D

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
  • LoomdunLoomdun Registered User
    edited May 2009
    yah I definitely agree, but un-fortunately there's not much I have to say at all, I have no experience in this stuff all I can say is it does definitely feel like a thing is moving from point A to point B and only giving the "symbol" of moving through it "such as legs moving = moving forward". Perhaps theres some form of way of thinking that relates to how a 2-d artist interprets a symbol (such as football shaped eyes) to how a 3-d animator artist interprets movement.

    Loomdun on
    splat
  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited May 2009
    Actually it's rather simple. Movement is movement. The same principles used to give 2d animation weight and personality are used in 3d animation as well. The disconnect takes place in both 2d and 3d animation. In the same way that someone might make a very stiff and lifeless 2d animation someone can do the same thing in 3d, if they don't understand the underlying principles and the basics.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
  • LoomdunLoomdun Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Oh I seeee

    Loomdun on
    splat
  • StrokerXStrokerX Registered User
    edited May 2009
    Hahaha...that 4th demo reel was awesomely bad. Poor guy. That kung fu fight? ha!
    Great posts.

    StrokerX on
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Yo, knocked up all the last fruit fucker animations for the game, and made this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4dnKF7CZlI

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    So far so good. Only thing I can see that might be off is it looks to me like they weigh about the same, but the left ball is just bouncier than the right. But that might be what you were going for. I'd next try one where they bounce around, possibly running into eachother and bouncing away.

    Death of Rats on
    No I don't.
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited June 2009
    You may be right, I thought I'd covered that though b/c the one on the right drops a lot faster than the one on the left.

    Anyway, got an in-game cutscene to work on, and I'll do another ball animation tonight

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Yo, been hard at work on cool stuff I hope to show you soon, but for now, here is a little ball bouncing round a bunch of obstacles.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF08dPiZwYA

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thejazzmanthejazzman Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Had a go at another animation mentor style task,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b35WcSaZxus

    thejazzman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • crawdaddiocrawdaddio Tacoma, WARegistered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2009
    thejazzman wrote: »
    You may be right, I thought I'd covered that though b/c the one on the right drops a lot faster than the one on the left.

    ...

    You do realize that an object's weight has no bearing on the speed of its fall, right? A lead ball would fall just as fast as a hollow plastic one.

    For the balls, I would try introducing a bit of deformation on the bounce; nothing really dramatic, but technically, anything that bounces is deforming elastically, at least a little bit.

    Also, the obstacle course one isn't really convincing me; if the ball is going to bounce off the vertical...platform(?), I'd imagine it would bounce at least a little upon landing on the oblique one, too. And maybe the tiniest bit when landing on the green blob ground. The slowing down on the ground seems a bit too sudden, as well. Also, though this is getting really nitpicky (and uninformed, all the while), I would imagine hitting the twirly platform would affect the trajectory of the ball.

    crawdaddio on
    Try putting your donger in a dishwasher and see how that comes out.
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