chapter
The Eff ects of Friction, Air Resistance and Wind
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The Eff ects of Friction, Air Resistance and Wind Imagine a cartoon elephant running along. He wants to make a sudden stop. How should he be animated? If he is on an ice rink, it is diffi cult to see how he can stop. It might be possible to turn him round and make him work his legs as though running in the opposite direction. On ice, he would get little purchase and so this method would produce little result. If he is on a normal surface he can use the friction between the ground and his feet to slow himself down. The animator must, however, arrange the elephant’s weight to be as far as possible behind his feet as he slows down. If he was upright, the friction would slow down his feet, but the upper part of his body would continue moving quickly and he would fall forwards. So his body must lean backward. He might go into this position with a slight jump to achieve the maximum eff ect of his weight bearing down onto his feet. With his back foot covering the maximum area of ground for friction and his front heel ploughing into the ground for maximum braking eff ect, he can stop quickly. As he stops he must bring his body upright to avoid falling backward.