Principle of Animation: Squash and Stretch
To get a better understanding of the ‘squash and stretch’ principle of animation I decided to research into all the important parts of this principle and how to successfully apply it to my own work. I watched Alan Becker's video on the squash and stretch principle to get a better understanding of this animation principle.
According to Alan Becker the squash and stretch principle emphasizes the speed, weight, mass or momentum of an object by making it get longer or flatter. Mass can be determined by how much an object squashes or stretches with more squash or stretch making an object softer and less squash and stretch making an object appear stiffer.
The squash and stretch principle can be used on characters as well to exaggerate movements. To show the speed of a falling character you could stretch the character out and then when the character lands you could have him squash into the ground before settling into another pose.
Example from Richard Williams’s book: The Animators Survival Kit (2001)
Facial expressions can be exaggerated to show emotions such as disbelief making the characters face have a squashed face with closed eyes.
Something to keep in mind though is the consistency of an object especially in terms of volume making sure the overall volume of an object stays the same even when say a ball gets longer or thinner and goes back to its normal shape.
Example from Richard Williams’s book: The Animators Survival Kit (2001)
Another thing to remember is an object does not have to hold a squash or stretch movement e.g. when a ball is falling it should stay in its normal position for the most part until it gets close to the ground where you can stretch it out just until it hit the ground.
Squash and stretch can be applied in both 2D and 3D animation.
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