Squash and stretch is the phrase used to describe "by far the most important" of the 12 basic principles of animation, described in the book The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.

 

The principle is based on observation that only stiff objects remain inert during motion, while objects that are not stiff, although retaining overall volume, tend to change shape in an extent that depends on inertia and elasticity of the different parts of the moving object. To illustrate the principle, a half-filled flour sack dropped on the floor, or stretched out by its corners, was shown to be retaining its overall volume all the time.

 

 

Intro to Squash and Stretch

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