Join Ran Ben Avraham for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating the squash and stretch animation, part of After Effects: Bouncing Animated 3D Sphere.
- [Instructor] Our next step will be to create the squash and stretch animation. So first we need to scale down the sphere a bit. The reason for that is that once we will squash and stretch the sphere, it would step outside the boundaries of its composition size. And since our composition is 1000 by 1000 pixels, we can bear scaling it down just a little bit. So let's select the Texture_Map layer which holds the CC Sphere effect, and we'll go to the Effect Controls and let's the radius to 350.
Now since our intentions are to animate the squash and stretch animation, we'll need to place its keyframes in a different composition. So let's create a new comp, Control + N, and once again we are creating a composition that's 1000 by 1000 and the duration we will use is two seconds. Now let's call this new composition squash and stretch animation, and we'll hit OK.
Now I'm moving to our Project window. We'll place the squash and stretch animation in the PreComps folder. And for reference, we'll drag in the 3D_Sphere composition. Now let's create a new adjustment layer, ctrl + alt + y, and we will rename this layer Bezier_Warp. Wonderful, and we'll add Bezier_Warp effect to this layer.
Now before we start modeling the squash and stretch, let's talk a bit about poses. Ultimately we want the sphere to have three poses, the natural pose which is the pose we are looking at right now, the squash pose, and the stretch pose. Just so we don't get confused, let's create three markers, one in the start of our composition, one in the middle, and one in the end. To create a marker we need to hit the Star key on the num pad, one in the start, one in the middle of our composition which is one second down the timeline, and one second afterwards in the end of our composition one more.
Now let's give names to those markers. The middle one will be the natural pose. Double click on it, and that will open up the Layer Marker window, and we'll name it Natural, and hit OK. The first one will be Stretch, and the last one will be Squash. Wonderful, now we can't really see it but we know it's squash.
Now we need to make a keyframe for each pose. We'll start with natural, since we are already in the natural pose. And we'll create a keyframe for all the parameters in the Bezier_Warp effect, that is every parameter except the Quality. We want the Quality to be at its highest which is 10, and we want to keep it at 10 at all times. Now that the natural pose is set, let's go to the stretch pose.
And let's see, we'll first start with the edges. Drag those out and downwards a bit. As for the bottom ones, we'll drag those up and out. Now it's easy to go overboard here so we need to be careful not to overdo it. Let's stretch it out a bit.
Not too much so that the sphere won't step outside the boundaries of the composition. Something of this sort, and we'll squash it in.
You can drag those a bit outwards until we get a shape that we like. Maybe drag those backwards a bit to get a more of a oval shape on the edges and avoid any distortion in the center.
So this looks like a nice squashed sphere. And if we'll drag the playhead, we can see how we can create a nice animation out of it. Wonderful, now let's move to squash. Over at squash, I would like to first basically squash the sphere. So we'll start with the top edges once again and shift drag those down to just about halfway.
Okay, now let's drag these handles downwards, the side handles, and we can drag those out a bit to stretch it outside. These can go downwards. We just want to squash our sphere, but not all the way. And the bottom should go down as well, but not too much.
I will try and make this as symmetric as possible, and this looks like a nice squash. So this is our animation, squash and stretch, wonderful. The Bezier Warp is a great tool to creating a squash and stretch animation of all sorts. And even though the language of animation mostly is a language of exaggeration, we need to make sure we don't over exaggerate our animation.
This is a project-based learning experience. Each step of the process is rich with object lessons that are applicable to the variations that a motion design and compositing artist will face in the real world.
- Creating a sphere
- Adding reflections and color correction
- Creating squash and stretch animation
- Expression linking a sphere's rotation properties
- Connecting a sphere to a position null
- The bounce-decay-stop expression
- Animating the position and rotation
- Animating the sphere color map
- Creating an automated shadow