Project 4: Rube Goldberg Machine – Due: 4/7/2022

For Project 4, we were tasked with creating a Rube Goldberg machine, an intricate machine with moving parts that showcase different parts of our animation talents. We were also tasked with adding lighting to the scene and showcasing it within the animation. My storyboard for my idea was as follows:

As you can see by my terrible illustrations, this animation is supposed to be based around musical instruments. The item that leads off the animation is supposed to be a drum mallet and the things it is knocking into are small drums that are supposed to roll and knock the ball into a clarinet. The ball is supposed to fall out of the end of the clarinet, roll on two pieces of metal that are supposed to be from a triangle that you can ding. The the ball is supposed to roll over some piano keys and finally fall into the horn of a tuba. I had anticipated to add music to the entire scene to make it a little more fun.

This is what I had achieved an was ready to start rendering out and making the final touches to:

I realized the clarinet would have been too involved for the time that I had left, so I decided to cut a pipe in half and make it chrome to resemble the metallic finish of a flute.

And then, everything went wrong. When I added the drum and made the mallet and tried to animate the sequence, the drums started to float off into space, the metal ball was falling through objects that it once had no trouble rolling on, and nothing was working as it should. I tried for hours to get everything to work as it should. But the more I tried to fix things, the more things started to break. I ended up having to revert to an earlier point in my project and attempt to just get something to work correctly. That is what the video is below. I can’t truly call it a Rube Goldberg machine simply because I don’t think it has enough moving parts.

But then I went back to work trying to fix the project and start fresh to make something I could be proud of. I still had issues even starting from scratch and thinking that I had encountered every problem that I was going to encounter along the way. I had intended for dominoes to play a role in this animation as well as mallets, but nothing seemed to be working the way I wanted it to. So I kept some of the assets that I had created and placed them throughout the animation.

Newest iteration of the machine
(Not perfect but better)
Final Project Animation

After quite a bit of rendering an playing around with Maya, we finally got the final animation to come together. Part of the reason it took so long was because of the problems we were having with rendering. Arnold rendering was not working on Sofia’s computer, and then we started to see the watermark when I tarted to render. We realized that Arnold recently decided to require a license to render without a watermark. And all this was after we got Maya to stop crashing when trying to render. The project was filled with issues and some of the videos were not the quality we wanted, but I still think the animation looks nice, and flows somewhat coherently.