IN THIS CHAPTER
Designing compelling animation
The elements of illusion: Reality versus perception
Creating and breaking the laws of nature
Applying Newton's Laws in animation
Have you ever wondered what makes some animation so compelling and other animation so dull? Regardless of the content of a site, or even the style of the site's graphics, some animation is engaging, whereas other animation is annoying or even pathetic—we've all seen it, limping or flashing across our screens at one time or another.
Of course, your response to animation is partly determined by what you're expecting from an interface (sometimes you want diversion, and other times you want to find information—fast!). Most designers are aware of the issues of usability and relevance they should consider when adding animation to an interface (whether they decide to ignore them or not). But, what happens after you've done all your audience research and content planning and you decide that animation would be appropriate for your project?
The next step should be fun, right? Unfortunately, unless you have the privilege of working with a skilled animator, you're actually entering one of the most complex and challenging areas of visual design. Although most people recognize "good" animation when they see it, the leap from appreciating motion to designing motion is difficult, even for people who have natural aptitude.
The good news is that you possess an innate understanding of physics, even if ...