Sunday, December 8, 2013

Squash 'n stretch

Still working with the Preston Blair book.  He gives lots of examples of "squash & stretch," which is how animators make their creations appear to have solidity and flexibility, how they appear to react to outside forces... such as a ball bouncing down steps.

Every time the ball hits a step it "squashes," or flattens a little, as a result of impacting a hard surface.  As it bounces again it stretches or becomes somewhat streamlined as it sails through the air.  What would be the point of animating a ball that stays exactly the same shape regardless of whether it's hitting the floor or going airborne?  There would be no character - and no interest - to such a ball.

Similarly, characters faces squash and stretch in reaction to different emotional situations.  Here I've drawn several of Blair's examples. 

First this dumb mutt has a completely vacant look on his face.  Then he notices something: "Huh?"  Something that amuses him.  Makes him smug and silly.  And then something about it seriously pisses him off.  So much so that he barks ferociously.

Heh heh.  Dumb ol' mutt.

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