The task of the canon fire was to demonstrate the basic laws of physics (equal and opposite reaction), weight and force. The rig was provided to us so all we had to do was animate. See my thumbnails below:
I used these as a reference when I started animating. Initially, my animation was quite extreme. The canon was jerking upwards far too much.
From a reference video I found that the canon barely moves due to its weight. Unfortunately, this looked very bland when animated so I settled for a midpoint – not realistic but not too extreme. After keying in the movements, adding a canon ball and fixing up the timing I finished the scene by adding a camera, a skylight and a basic sky-dome. However, when I went to render I found that the rope was not visible:
I checked it visibility, the rendering settings, its own rendering properties and nothing made a difference. In the end I could not get it to render, so my final video is missing the rope. Did anyone else run into this issue?
EDIT: You can actually make the rope visible by applying a Normal modifying and flipping the normals. However, it doesn’t look good: parts of it disappear – especially where it wraps around the back of the canon. So I chose to keep it hidden.
I am fairly happy with this animation. However, if I had more time, I would like to animate the canon going through a wall (or similar) as it would be interesting learning to use the physics engine.