Squash & Stretch is the first Principle of Animation. All things react to forces applied to them, sometimes squashing on impact, or stretching when lifting off. We'll study bouncing balls and understand how the early animators took these observations and applied it to their animation. Plus we'll see why animation looks worst without any Squash & Stretch!
- [Instructor] Squash and stretch is the first principle. All things squash and stretch depending on the kind of force applied to them. In this example, we're looking at a live action ball bounce of a tennis ball and a lacrosse ball. If you frame by frame some of this video, you'll start to see the motion blur makes it look like the ball is stretching some. Now, at a small scale it's probably stretching a little bit but not as much as the motion blur is making it out to seem. Nonetheless, early animators were inspired by photos like these and decided to adopt the principle of squash and stretch.
Let's look at some animation. If you look at the animation of this ball bounce, you'll note that it feels a little odd or hard or something like that. Basically, it's animated with no squash and stretch and thus it feels a little less life-like. But don't worry, we can add life to this ball simply by adding a little bit of squash and stretch by using the scale tool. Let's stop it really quick, turn on our scale tool, and select the joint right in the middle of this ball.
Now I know that as its going down, I want it to stretch out a little bit, right about here. When it contacts the ground, I know I wanna squash it a little bit right about here. And when it's at its top apex, I wanna make sure that all of these are set to one so that it's not squashing or stretching because there's no extra force applied to it. Now when it pops right back up, I wanna make sure that I stretch it out again because all the force is pushing back up.
And again at the apex, I wanna go to one for everything and then stretch it right before we contact the ground. Right about here, squash. I've gone ahead and finished the animation by adding more squash and stretch. I might have over done it a little bit but I wanted it to feel kinda nice and happy and bouncy. Now that we've added squash and stretch, the ball feels a little bit different doesn't it? See how it stretched going down and right as it hits the ground it squishes a bit and then pops right back up? We're mimicking what we saw in real life by embellishing that motion blur a little bit.
This one addition makes the ball feel more real. By taking cues from live action, the early animators adopted the principle of squash and stretch and gave more life to their scenes. Now you too can adopt this technique and make your animation even better.
Animation has evolved tremendously in the last century, but some principles always stay the same. This foundation will serve you for a lifelong career.
- A history of character animation
- Squash and stretch
- Pose-to-pose animation
- Secondary action