Well How About That: Bouncing Ping Pong Balls Play A Song On The Xylophone

August 6, 2019

PROTIP: Play video at 2X speed for a more recognizable version of the song.

This is a video from Youtuber DoodleChaos starring 213 ping pong balls precisely bouncing into red plastic cups and onto a xylophone to perform Jacques Offenbach's "Galop Infernal". Some more info while I play the drums on my desk with two pens until somebody tells me to stop and I point at my headphones and pretend I can't hear what they're saying, then play even louder:

I underestimated how random ping pong ball bounces are. Even on a perfectly flat tile, there can be over a foot diameter where the final bounce ends up. My first design for this contraption included 3 bounces, but I ended up redesigning it to be more reliable. I'm thankful for this decision because it meant less time tracking the ball paths in Premiere. If you're curious how I achieved this effect, I moved a mask to cover every single movement of every ball's path by hand. Repeating and overlapping multiple layers became very complicated because the balls would cross paths. Once I learned tracks could be nested together I became more organized.

Pretty neat. For reference, the only noise I've ever gotten ping pong balls to make is the sound of warm beer being chugged after I destroy my opponent at beer pong. "Of course you still play beer pong." I will never not play beer pong. "Aren't you a little old for that?" I'm not a little old for anything, I'm young at heart. "Didn't your doctor say you have heart disease?" He also said my penis was below average, so clearly he's a quack and should be disbarred. "That's for lawyers." You're right I SHOULD call my lawyer, that's defamation!

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to carey, who knows what I like, and I like people who aren't afraid to live life to the fullest and make the ping pong ball xylophone music machine of their dreams.

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