To start off our Maya assignments we are going to animate a 3 different balls. For that we need to explore the use of squash and stretch.
Squash and stretch is one of the principles of animation as shown in ‘The Illusion of Life’ by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
“Anything composed of living flesh, no matter how bony, will show considerable movement within it’s shape in progressing through an action.” – Illusion of Life
Squash and stretch is what it says. The application of squashing and stretching an object to show exaggeration and weight of an object. Different weights require a different amount of squash and stretch. A heavy ball would require very little whilst a light bouncy ball requires a lot more.
Another thing to take into account is the momentum of the ball, at what height is it dropped? and the pace at which the momentum stops.
I found this visual representation of squash and stretch really helpful to try and understand further the principles.
1. Squash & Stretch – 12 Principles of Animation
The creator, Alan Becker does a whole series covering each principle. It’ll be no surprise that more of these videos will be used as reference.
Another helpful thing Alec showed us was basic Maya Hotkeys. As Maya is a complex software it’s important to learn the basic shortcuts to be able to do the first task, bouncing a ball.