Squash and stretch is a fun animation technique where characters change shape as they move around. When a character squashes, they get shorter and wider, and when they stretch, they get taller and thinner. This makes the character look like they're bouncing or stretching like rubber! It's a great way to make animations look more lively and interesting.
Squash and stretch is one of the most fundamental principles of animation, and it is often considered the cornerstone of the art form. It involves exaggerating the shape of an object or character to create a sense of movement, weight, and impact. This technique is used in both traditional hand-drawn animation and computer-generated animation.
The purpose of squash and stretch animation is to add more life and realism to characters and objects, making them appear more dynamic and fluid in their movements. When you watch a character in an animated film move, you should feel as if they have weight, mass, and momentum. Squash and stretch helps to create this illusion by giving characters an organic sense of motion.
There are many different ways that squash and stretch can be used in animation. For example, if a character jumps up into the air, their body will squash down as they land on the ground before stretching up as they propel themselves back up again. This creates a sense of impact and momentum that makes the movement feel more realistic.
Another way that squash and stretch can be used is to convey emotion. For example, if a character is scared or surprised, their body might compress into a smaller shape before bouncing back up again. This creates a visual representation of how the character is feeling, without having to rely on dialogue or other cues.
Squash and stretch can also be used to create anticipation. For example, if a character is preparing to run, their body might stretch out slightly before contracting as they launch themselves forward. This gives the audience a sense of what’s about to happen before it actually does.
One thing to keep in mind when using squash and stretch in animation is that it needs to be balanced with other principles like timing and spacing. If you overuse squash and stretch, it can make your animations look too cartoony or exaggerated (which might be what you want). However, if you don’t use enough squash and stretch, your animations can look stiff and lifeless.
Squash and stretch is a fundamental principle of animation that is used to create a sense of movement, weight, and impact. It can be used in many different ways to convey emotion, anticipation, and other aspects of character and story. When used correctly, it can help bring your animated characters and objects to life.