Conspicuous CG

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Looks like she drove into her PlayStation.

The high-tech equivalent of Conspicuously Light Patch.

CG allows you to consistently animate complicated images with regularity (like Instant Runes). Computer-rendered animation was embraced by many animators because it allows for good animation sequences without totally sacrificing the budget for the rest of the scenes in a show.

Unfortunately, this means it stands out considerably compared to a traditional animation style. Techniques in digital inking (such as Cel Shading) can alleviate this. After all most traditional animation uses digital technology these days too, particularly for the inking and painting. Compare for example almost any anime series made in 2000s to ones in 90s, those bright colors newer shows have? Digital.

The ironic problem remains though that CG models look too good. It moves too smoothly and creates a 3D effect in an otherwise 2D universe. If done well you won't even notice the CG models against the traditional style animation, you may never know. Disney has been using it since the 80s in small amounts, and you probably never noticed at least as a kid. This trope is for when you do.

See also Special Effect Failure for when CG is conspicuous within a live-action work (or for other, practical bad effects), Uncanny Valley, Serkis Folk and Cel Shading. Often crops up in games with a Sprite Polygon Mix.

For when everything is CGI, see All CGI Cartoon. Voluntarily switching between CG and another animation style is Medium Blending.

Examples of Conspicuous CG include:

Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Trumping any of the below examples of unconvincing 2D/3D meshing are the helicopters from Golgo 13: The Professional. Of course, those helicopters have a good excuse: they were the first use of CG in anime history. You can see it here.
  • In Code Geass, CG was mainly used for the trains in the Tokyo Settlement and for the Ikaruga vessel during R2.
  • In Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, in some sequences where Ryusuke, Koyuki and Taira play their instruments, there is a CG close up of their hands on the fretboards and strumming.
    • The performance close-ups were done by filming people playing, and then rotoscoping the footage to blend it with the show.
  • The Lensman anime used CG for some of the spaceships and the titular Lens.
  • Almost anything by Studio GONZO:
    • Gankutsuou took this as an artistic choice. About the only things that don't look CG are the character's bodies and faces. This helps to humanize them in the context of their gaudy, artificial, futuristic surroundings.
    • Blue Submarine No. 6 was one of the first anime to use CG extensively. It looked less visually jarring than pretty much any other Gonzo series, due to the widespread use of blur filters to simulate DOF and that almost anything that wasn't a character was CG.
  • Black Lagoon uses CG cars that stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Candidate for Goddess used entirely 3D mecha.
  • Vandread actually had all scenes of mecha as 100% CG and all scenes with humans cell-shaded. This meant that the jarring disconnect of 3D CG and 2D characters interacting was very successfully avoided.
  • Karas averts the living hell out of this trope. The CG is obvious, but extremely well-integrated, not to mention extremely good-looking.
  • Tekkon Kinkreet's CGI similarly succeeds in avoiding this trope by incorporating traditional elements. Textures of cityscape rendered in 3D are hand-drawn, and cel shading works remarkably well with the simplistic art style of characters, especially when applied to vehicles. Even while moving vehicles tend to be cel shaded, bits of shading look handmade, and static vehicles are either rendered with irregular lines or simply drawn from scratch.
  • It happens a few times in Tiger and Bunny, but these bananas are an especially bad example.
  • GaoGaiGar used CG for when the Mirror Coating was applied to the robots, and for the Zonders morphing their bodies. Since CG wasn't used extensively yet at the time, it tended to really look out of place.
  • Lost Universe used CG for some of the scenes involving the spaceships, with fairly good results (though sometimes the frame rate of the CG sequences was very low giving quite a jarring effect. Other times they were smooth as silk). What was unusual is that the ships were just as often rendered with normal cel-animation which was... just not as cool-looking.
  • The Transformation Sequences in Futari wa Pretty Cure, the Queen of Light, and the Dark King have 3D CG which looks rather odd, since everything else is normal animation.
  • The third Fushigi Yuugi OVA has rather horrific CGI used for the fake Suzaku and Seiryuu dieties; it's made even stranger when the fake Byakko and Genbu dieties are traditionally animated.
  • All the Pokémon movies have made use of CG, with varying amounts of success. Poké Balls began to be animated using CG during the Johto era and other CG effects began to be used more often in the main series from the start of the Battle Frontier saga.
    • Not exactly true. The original Japanese theatrical release of Pokémon: The First Movie contained NO CGI whatsoever - the CGI effects seen in the American release were added on afterwards, to a special DVD edition of the movie.
  • In the various Digimon series, the evolution Transformation Sequences of two of however-so-many heroes will have a CGI Transformation Sequence, usually the main hero and The Lancer. All the other characters, without exception will have regular animated evolutions. It got most ridiculous in Digimon Tamers [1] and Digimon Savers.[2] Digimon Xros Wars finally brought this usage of the trope to a rest - all DigiXros and evolution sequences are traditionally animated - and overall did a better job in avoiding it, with it only noticeably appearing in the first episode.
    • In one of the seasons of South Park, this is parodied. Mmm, yes!
    • The effect is invoked for the D-Reaper in Tamers (like it wasn't scary enough) and the Spirits in Frontier.
  • Certain scenes in Full Metal Panic!.
  • The Instant Runes in Fullmetal Alchemist and Lyrical Nanoha.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, homunculus Envy's true form.
    • Scarier. It almost makes sense for an Eldritch Abomination to be conspicuously out of sync with reality.
  • Sakura Taisen IV and V, as well as the ST movie, all have CG kohbu and some CG backgrounds.
  • The CG blends in very well in Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex, notably the robotic Tachikoma. However, the Title Sequence of season 1 is 100% CGI, and looks very different than the rest of the series.
    • On the other hand, the theatrical film Ghost in the Shell Two: Innocence, which is in an Alternate Continuity from the series, uses almost 100% CGI backgrounds. The CGI is quite breathtakingly gorgeous in places, to the extent that it's a shame they had to obscure it with all that crummy cel animation.
      • It's also an interesting, probably unintentional metaphor for some of the elements of the series, the blending of the new and old.
  • An episode of Yu-Gi-Oh had the realistic guns on one of Bandit Keith's monsters replaced with futuristic lasers for the dub... In America. However, the lasers were done in CGI, which jarred dramatically with the monster's hand-drawn body.
    • The backs and fronts of the detailed playing cards are all CGI.
    • The dice used in Dungeon Dice Monsters, too, in the edited dub.
    • When the Nesbitt of the Big Five destroys one of Tristan's monsters, his Machine King's arm has a ridiculous amount of CG.
    • Let's not forget the stark contrast in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's between the Conspicuous CG Riding Duel segments and the rest of the series.
      • And the monsters that tend to be more bi-dimensional in the CGI than in the handmade drawings.
    • And let's not forget season zero, which tended to use this trope more commonly.
    • Not to mention the CGI swimsuits put on Alexis/Asuka and her friends in the 4Kids version of Yu-Gi-Oh GX to give the impression they're not in a onsen but in a pool. A pool with steam all around, apparently...
    • Without forgetting the crappy CGI shirt that was used to cover Yami's collar bone and shoulders.
  • Duel Masters features CGI effects for the monsters. This, being Duel Masters, is lampshaded by the characters quite often.
  • While later episodes use cel-shading, the cars in early episodes of Initial D stand out extremely oddly from the background, especially as the frame rate used for the CG is much higher than that of the animation. This gimmick is so well-known, parodies of it often reproduce this exactly, even if the show is otherwise traditionally animated.
    • The image at the top is from Lucky Star, and comes from part of a parody of Initial D, both in animation style and dramatic racing action.
  • The Gundam spinoff MS IGLOO is a whole series of conspicuous CGI, which is quite a feat.
  • Happens in the various Zoids anime series as well, with varying degrees of success. Oddly, the least successful and most jarring integration occurred in the last series, Genesis.
    • Generally forgivable as the CG Zoids and animated humans are rarely in the same non-cockpit shot, given the size difference between them the Zoids are usually in the background when humans are at the fore, or vice versa. And the Zoids looked cool.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion utilizes CG for a few of the angels, with Ramiel and Sahaqiel being the most obvious examples. This trope was probably intended, though; the CG just makes them look all the more alien compared to the rest of the world.
  • The Kirby anime had this a lot. King Dedede and Escargo(o)n frequently switched from being CG'd to being animated regularly, and Kirby is never shown any other way. This also sometimes happened with other characters, such as Fumu/Tiff, Bun/Tuff, Lololo/Fololo, and Lalala/Falala. And, of course, various machines and vehicles (the monster transporter, Dedede's tank, the Halberd, etc.) were almost always CG'd.
    • Dyna Blade, the giant armor-covered Bird God, was completely CGI in her appearance. She was also rendered pretty realistically compared to the rest of the CGI, with gradual shading, more muted colors and highlights. Though a bit jarring seeing her with the other CGI and hand-drawn portions, it did lend her an otherworldly feel.
  • In the 2008 adaptation of the anime Someday's Dreamers [[Summer Skies]], the backgrounds are so realistic that they might as well be photographs. Unfortunately, they contrast sharply with the much less detailed character designs, accentuating the lower quality of the moving animation.
  • Seen in the last few (more serious) episodes of Excel Saga. Parodied earlier in the episode "Bowling Girls", which animates a scene of a character attacking another character with conspicuously bad CG that stands out because it's so crappy-looking.
  • The Anti-Spirals' Mugann mechs from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann are the only thing in the series done in CG, which seemingly deliberately adds to just how alien they are.
  • In a fairly trippy sequence in Fate/stay night where Shiro faces down a very badly animated CGI dragon.
  • Moonlight Mile. CG hallway. Man, it really looks out of place.
  • In the Nodame Cantabile anime, CGI is used for most close-ups of instruments being played.
  • Cel-shaded versions were used in Transformers Super Link (Transformers Energon in America) and Transformers Galaxy Force (Transformers Cybertron) except in places in Super Link where fine movements and great detail was required, which is when they went with normal animation. Human characters were animated normally, effectively "hiding" the CG artifacts as affectations of mechanical lifeforms, but this resulted in the robot characters' chronic inability to facially emote.
  • Macross has used CG ever since Plus to help flesh out the increasingly complicated transformations of its trademark variable fighters.
    • Macross Plus was, as stated, the first to use CG—the most conspicuous would be the sequences where you see what the YF-21 is inputting to Bowman's brain and the space fold tunnel.
    • Macross Zero had CG that was so awesome that it couldn't help but stand out and play this trope straight.
    • Macross Frontier uses cel-shaded CG for the mecha, spacecraft, and their requisite battle sequences. If they hand drawn the mechas, the transformation sequence of a single episode would probably drain the budget for the whole season.
  • Sousei no Aquarion and Koutetsushin Jeeg used CG for some machines, and occasionally, a character would have to interact with a CG environment (Apollo entering a wide shot of Aquarion's cockpit in the first episode, Kenji riding his motorcycle also in the first episode). The characters would then be rendered in fairly obvious CG along with whatever they were riding.
  • The 2000 Anime adaptation of Metropolis used CG effects for the ziggurat at any time where it wasn't being shown head-on.
  • The gigantic camel cricket in one episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
    • Also, the reconstruction of the classroom after the Yuki/Asakura battle. Note that this is more-or-less accurate to the novel
  • Used a lot during the battle sequences in Divergence Eve, flipping back and forth between 3D and 2D animation every few seconds.
    • And it is VERY conspicuous, owing to the terrible quality of the CGI.
  • The Animal Crossing movie had some CGI during the opening (Kapp'n's cab) and the ending (the UFOs). A small amount compared to some other examples, but it really clashed with the otherwise-beautiful art.
  • Dennou Coil has an inversion—we're able to accept the CG Satchiis because they're computer programs. The weirding out happens when, in one of the final episodes, a Satchii is inexplicably hand-drawn.
  • Many of the battle scenes in Utawarerumono.
  • In Baccano!, a good percent of scenes in the halls of the Flying Pussyfoot have incredibly conspicuous CG'd backgrounds.
  • Keroro Gunsou: Keroro's ceiling fan. That's all.[context?]
  • Very prominent in Puni Puni Poemy; the Death Star-ripoff spaceship comes to mind, but given that they mix live-action along with this and traditional animation, and the OVA itself is a Widget Series, this is probably intentional.
  • Some of the scenes involving giant or many warships in Last Exile are CG-animated and, while they look pretty good, it's a noticeable change in style.
  • The Stock Footage of Kaze's Demon Gun from Final Fantasy Unlimited.
  • French-Japanese collaboration Oban: Star Racers is sort of an aversion to this. Racing scenes are rendered in cartoon-style 3D while all other scenes are drawn in a fairly traditional 2D anime style. However, the 3D and 2D animations are made so close in appearance and often mixed in the same scenes so well that it often takes watching an episode twice to spot the difference in many instances.
  • Super Robot Wars: Original Generation: Divine Wars uses CG for all of the mecha, and some of the ships.
  • The Blue Seed anime's opening had some pretty horrifically rendered CG plant monsters.
  • Makai Senki Disgaea usually only uses CG for magic effects (and the spaceship of Captain Gordon, Defender of Earth!), but the Prinny stadium in episode 8 is quite disturbing. And somehow hypnotic.
  • Haruka's house in Noein.
  • In Tegami Bachi, the Gaichuu—large, mechanical insects—are obviously CG. Even with the Steampunk / Cyberpunk feel of the series, it can still be a bit hard to accept.
  • Gundam examples: both the Archangel and the Ptolemaios are often, if not always, in 3D.
  • Probably one of the reasons Fushigi Yuugi's third OVA Eikou Den is hated so much is the fact that the Four Gods stand out way too much. It gets ironic when you consider that everything takes place inside a very much two-dimensional book.
  • An episode of Naruto had some rather conspicuous CG mountains in the Valley of Clouds and Lightning. This probably had something to do with the fact that the a large part of the area is destroyed during the events of the the battle.
    • Long before that one technique which Orochimaru used that made hundreds of snakes with swords in their mouths was in very conspicuous CG.
    • The Reveal of Tobi's army of one hundred thousand Zetsu was done in CG.
  • It shows up in the second episode of Tears to Tiara - the horde of revived skeletons are all CG.
  • For the most part, Kekkaishi is an example of the right way to mix computer graphics and hand-drawn animation. The barriers and Instant Runes are done so well that you could watch the whole series without realizing how they were done. But then you see a car moving and it all goes to hell. Automobile animation is still the kryptonite of CG.
  • All over the place in Romeo X Juliet, though worst in the finale.
  • The heart's eggs, X eggs, and mystery eggs from Shugo Chara.
  • Sol Bianca: The Legacy is almost nothing but—to the point of panning over CG-animated backgrounds with the pan at a noticeably lower framerate.
  • The butterflies in the Umineko no Naku Koro ni anime.
  • The watermill in the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni anime.
  • The vectors in Elfen Lied.
  • There's actually a lot of CG used in Bakemonogatari, but its visual style as a whole is so weird and varied that it's really not that conspicuous.
  • Sometimes, after the Skypiea Arc, especially noticeable on the openings, sailing shots of the Merry/Sunny in One Piece are CG.
  • Texhnolyze makes use of CG effects when showing Ichise's Texhnolyze arm and leg before they're attached.
  • Each of the Sailor Moon movies includes an exterior shot of the Big Bad's base rendered in CG. Even with a grainy filter added to make it blend in, it's still very noticeable.
  • Unfortunately Darker than Black's cars have a nasty habit of sticking out like a bruised pinky.
  • The leaves of the willow tree in episode 2 of Requiem from the Darkness look obviously computer generated.
  • Cowboy Bebop has a lot of this throughout, mostly for the hyperspace gates.
    • Also apparent in the "Pierrot le Fou" episode, where it's used to show how Pierrot's reality is slightly different from everyone else's.
  • Clannad uses CG for the alternative world. It looks convincingly classic but still sticks out. One of the few cases were the CG looks like the rest of the anime, only smoother.
  • The film Arashi no Yoru ni uses CGI for the rocky territory in the gorges. It stands out a bit, since the rest of the movie is otherwise animated in a very soft, watercolor-esquev storybook style.
  • The 2008 film The Sky Crawlers featured CGI airplanes and other items, to the point where it is absolutely distracting and makes you wonder why these bits were not traditionally animated.
  • The monsters appearing in the film adaptation of King of Thorn were almost always CG-modeled, whilst the main characters were mostly hand-drawn (with some CG added for the action scenes). It's forgivable for the first half hour but it eventually gets in the way of the drawn animation as the film drags on.
  • Bakugan uses CG to animate the titular spheres, flocks of pigeons and a pudding falling down.
  • Slayers: The second opening sequence onward had some computer-generated effects, but they were subliminal (as in, they lasted between one to three seconds), so the explosion from Next and the map of the world from Try are often overlooked. The fourth and fifth season openings, on the other hand, don't even hide them.
    • Also the last Non-Serial Movie, Slayers Premium, was the first in the franchise to utilize CG in the feature itself; the jars that the octopuses carry stick out, as do giant ocean waves and some of the spells.
  • The floating castle from Revolutionary Girl Utena. Justified in that it's a projection in-universe.
  • Bamboo Blade: The first sequence where the kendo teacher is driving his car is CG'd to the point where it came out of something else entirely.
  • Madoka Magica: The train tracks at the beginning of episode 9 are rather obviously a flat CG surface.
  • The Tenchi Muyo! : Ryo-Ohki OVA (the third OVA season, basically) had some of this. The scene where Ryo-Ohki is fighting the Kuramitsu spaceship, for example, looks like a cutscene from an early CD-based videogame.
  • Stellvia of the Universe used CG for exterior shots of the spacecraft. Usually, these shots didn't have any 2D elements at all. Like Vandread, the 2D and 3D animation was used in separate scenes.
  • In Lupin III: Return of Pycal, the animators didn't even try to make the CG mesh with the surrounding animation.
  • Infinite Stratos manages to avoid this. The 2D and 3D art (latter used for all IS sequences) are quite consistent, with only a few noticeable spots due to the unyielding rigidity of the 3D meshes.
  • Fate/Zero uses CG to animate Berserker, intentionally making him as alien-looking and out-of-place as he is described in the novel.
    • It's also used for cars, backgrounds, the Intro & Outro and the Next episode preview, with varying quality of either animation, integration or both.
  • A racing genre Capeta bluntly uses CG on go-kart racing of all things. It's quite jarring when the animation switch between a 3D models of karts and racers to anime and back whenever there's any character interaction, even grunt and sigh.
  • The audience in the last episode of THE iDOLM@STER
  • The real forms of the dragons and some of the mecha of Dragonaut: The Resonance. They don't blend in at all with the rest of the 2D environments and characters.
  • Hellsing Ultimate has this issue with many things, from Alucard's various forms, to basic guns and other weaponry.
  • The teacups in the Love Theme Park in episode 18 of SHUFFLE! stand out quite notably.
  • In the first Saiyuki anime quite a bit. The most baffling one would be the orange paper plane.
  • In Black Butler, horse-drawn carriages are usually rendered in CG.
  • The most ridiculous use of CG in an anime? A Super Sentai Stance done in Pretty Cure All Stars DX 2.
  • Kirameki Project: All of the giant robots are obvious CG, and everyone else is illustrated in a traditional cel-shading style. Occasionally, both humans and robots are in the same scene, leading to this trope.
  • Rocket Girls: Most prominently with ground vehicles and rockets. The actual space capsules are often animated, though they don't avoid this treatment entirely.

Comics & Manga[edit | hide]

  • 2000AD's Durham Red was produced using a combination of CG and painted artwork, but to poor effect in many episodes; where the murky color choices meant the CG looked almost unidentifiable and the characters were jarringly painted on.
  • All over the place in Marvel Max's US War Machine. It's especially jarring considering how raw & sketchy the rest of the art looks.
  • A couple of examples from Manga: Ken Akamatsu is extremely fond of using computer-rendered backgrounds for his series, and hand-drawing individual characters. This results in a white area just beyond the characters in question in every scene with a CG background, so you can always tell what was rendered and what was hand-drawn. This can be seen in both Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima.
  • The full-color re-edition of the manga Space Adventure Cobra makes heavy use of CG imagery for backgrounds, vehicles and monsters. Those updated elements are still the work of the same author, Buichi Terasawa, and are certainly gorgeous—going easily into Scenery Porn. But they also stand out rather sharply with the original 2D-art.
  • Used deliberately during Superman's "Y2k" arc, for Braniac 13. In the first issue, some of the transformed buildings were also 3D models, though this was dropped in later issues. Each issue was drawn by a different art team, making B 13's unchanging appearance even creepier.
  • Ghost in The Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface uses CG for several things, such as vehicles, robots, furniture, backgrounds, and the visual representation of Cyberspace. GITS 1.5: Human-Error Processor uses CG to a much lesser extent, mainly for the cityscape backgrounds in color pages.

Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • Starchaser: The Legend of Orin, a forgettable rip-off of Star Wars from the mid 1980's, was one of the first to incorporate CG and traditional animation. Needless to say, age was not kind to this one.
  • The Dragonlance animated movie has very bad example of the type. Most of the film is done in traditional (bad) 2D animation; however, the dragons and several other monsters are rendered in rather sub-par 3D CG. The interaction between the two is particularly jarring.
    • Pop quiz! That innocent-looking band of monks are all CG animated. Why ever could it be?
  • Averted in The Iron Giant, in which the animators went out of their way to program slight line irregularities into the rendering of the eponymous character with fantastic-looking results.
  • Quest for Camelot has above-average 2D animation for most of the movie... except for the giant troll, which was rendered in 3D reminiscent of ReBoot. Jarring, to say the least.
  • Anastasia, especially the crashing-chandelier sequence.
  • The King and I animated musical, especially the dancing Buddha statues and the ship.
  • Heavy Metal 2000: The Chamber of Immortality at the end of the movie is clearly not rendered with the same 2D animation used in the rest of the film, nor is Odin when he unmasks himself and walks into the Chamber.
  • Disney's earlier forays into mixing CG and traditional animation; Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin are two of the most obvious examples, with the ballroom scene in the former and the escape from the Cave of Wonders in the latter being particularly obvious (and jarring) examples. The Little Mermaid has a scene where Ariel runs down the stairs that is CG. It's painfully obvious, but it's also on the screen for about a minute. Interestingly, The Lion King also used CG, but because they knew what they were doing by then it WASN'T conspicuous.
    • Sadly, the more recent ones are pretty noticeable too. The Hydra in Hercules still looks pretty CG despite advanced cell shading simulation techniques being applied, and many of the moving objects designed to look like background elements in Tarzan are clearly 3D.
    • Perfecting the blend between the two mediums was pretty much the whole point of Treasure Planet.
    • Ironically, aside from the obviously non-curved lines on the cement mixer, the CG vehicles in Oliver and Company look pretty convincingly hand-animated. Helped, no doubt, from the fact that most cars in The Eighties were extremely boxy.
    • Disney's second use of 3D in a movie, The Great Mouse Detective (it's the clock fight), is pretty much seamless; the fact that all the gears are hard-outlined creates an effect not unlike Conspicuously Light Patch, but it's less noticeable since there are no painted background elements in this scene.
      • In that particular case, a computer used a wireframe model to draw the clock's insides on animation paper, an artist drew the characters onto another piece of paper, and the composite was copied onto a cel.
    • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, they used CGI to render large crowds, counting on the fact that nobody would be looking at the background characters to disguise the fact that it was really obvious CGI. Take a look at the people in the background of the "Topsy Turvy" sequence sometime.
    • Speaking of Beauty and The Beast, there was another example in the direct-to-video sequel, The Enchanted Christmas. The movie is drawn and animated traditionally, but when we see our villain...yikes.
    • The Black Cauldron is actually not only the first animated Disney movie to get a PG rating, but also the first to use CGI props.
      • And in actuality; right now you can spot where they used the CG-I. Justifiable in that this was at the time new.
    • Rare CGI film example: While Dinosaur primarily used CGI only for the characters with live action for the backgrounds, if you look very closely at some of the scenes in the film, you can easily tell that some of the background objects are CG animated like all of the characters.
    • The Hun attack scene from Mulan. Adding to this was the fact that it was also partially based on the wildebeest stampede scene from The Lion King.
    • Extremely noticable with the Ulysses submarine, the Leviathan, and the Drill Tank from Atlantis the Lost Empire.
    • Pocahontas has Grandmother Willow, whose face was animated with painfully obvious and noticeable CG.
  • In Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, CG is used when the rabbits are floating about in the giant vacuum thing. It stands out more, as it is CG shown against stop-motion clay animation.
    • Another stop-motion film, Chicken Run, uses CG for rain and for a giant explosion. The rain looks pretty good, but the explosion is quite obviously a computer effect.
  • DreamWorks Animation on the whole was really bad about this, even compared to Disney's early CG backgrounds, largely because they didn't just stick to backgrounds:
    • Eris's monster minions in Sinbad:The Legend of the Seven Seas look horribly out of place in the otherwise well-animated movie.
    • The Road to El Dorado had some of the same problems, the most obvious being the "To Shibalba" sequence (all the golden items are CG) and the barrels being lifted onto the ship. They weren't even cel-shaded.
    • And then the train in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmarron.
  • Dragon Hill makes quite some use of CGI; sometimes it looks decent mixed with the traditional animation, and sometimes it is horribly out of place. The sequel takes this Up to Eleven, considering how it was made on such a low budget.
  • Jetsons: The Movie has it in any shot of the Orbiting-Ore Asteroid.
  • The Chinese animated film The Fireball suffers from this, as does most recent Chinese animation in general.
  • The Fearless Four starts as a typical traditionally animated movie for its time, but as the movie goes on it becomes basically a CGI movie with traditionally animated characters.
  • Titan A.E. mostly used 3D for ships and environments and 2D for characters, playing to the strengths of both mediums without (for the most part) trying to disguise either as the other. Unfortunately, this made the few times it broke with this rule all the more jarring.
  • Batman and Mister Freeze Sub Zero occasionally used CGI for the Batplane (and cars on the freeway during a chase scene).
  • The Thief and the Cobbler: Subverted. There are elaborately shaded roses, scenes moving in 3D and way too many details in the climax which all look like they required computer animation - but were all entirely drawn by hand!
  • In The Return of Hanuman, the volcano monster is the only thing made with CGI.
  • The Land Before Time sequels after Wang Film Productions took over the animation production from AKOM exhibit this IN SPADES! (Starting with film VII, the sixth entry is not exempt either, but there was no interaction between the CG and Hand-drawn characters.)


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • 1997 point-and-click adventure game Jack Orlando has everything hand-drawn except for few CGI cars. When they are parked, they blend in pretty well, but they often stick out in motion.
  • For that matter, a lot of video games can fall into this trope. Primarily prevalent around the Playstation era where it became pretty obvious what Full Motion Videoes were pre-rendered ahead of time. Some of the most prevalent examples were:
    • Valkyrie Profile: The Great Magics.
    • Dragon Quest VII: The game normally looks like a slightly upgraded Dragon Quest VI with the enemies animating when taking an action. However; many of the backgrounds look out of place, and several of the spells resemble this, Ultra Hit especially. This becomes a bit style-breaking. This is part of the reason that the game looks rather, well, dated.
  • The anime sequences of the Sega Saturn and PlayStation remakes of Lunar: The Silver Star and Lunar: Eternal Blue have this. The standouts are the boat from the famous "Wind's Nocturne" song sequence (which is jarring because it's hand drawn in the shots before the song starts) in The Silver Star, and the hall leading to Lucia's sleeping chamber on the Blue Star in Eternal Blue.
  • Newer games that stick to a Sprite Polygon Mix tend to have considerably lower polygon counts and much more simplistic models for their 3D special effects and terrain. This is evident with the recent higher definition offerings from 2D specialists like St!ng, Nippon Ichi and Vanillaware.
  • 1998 PC game Grim Fandango uses 3D models for the characters, and 2D backgrounds designed to look 3D. It might not have been quite obvious back then, but it's clearly obvious in today's age.
  • Alone in the Dark and its sequels managed to mostly subvert this trope by using pre-rendered 3D scenes as backgrounds combined with real-time polygonal foreground characters and an intelligent masking system that made sure they integrated with the environment more or less seamlessly. The often creative use of camera angles helped the illusion.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • The Arkentools in Erfworld are rendered images superimposed on the drawn art. In this case, it's a deliberate effect intended to make them stand out by looking a bit "otherworldly".
    • Possibly inspired by the similar use of CG to identify "Martian Technology" towards the end of It's Walky.
    • In a similar vein, the use of digital brushes is very conspicuous in the scenes with masses of bats.
  • Platypus Comix sometimes utilizes CG backgrounds.
  • The Martian technology of A Miracle of Science manages to convey this impression, despite everything being laboriously hand-drawn. Again, it's to convey a sense of otherworldliness.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Super Mario Bros Z has this trope in Episode 8 with Bowser's Omega Doomship. But it's justified; Alvin-Earthworm said that if he used a fully-rendered Doomship, the file size would've gone too high, even after Tom Fulp raised the file-size limit for all users on the site JUST to accomodate him!
  • Fighters High and Merc Force by IkuZo! Studios exhibit this frequently. Episodes are the result of a combination of physical sets, green screens, and CG. It's pretty obvious where the CG is.
  • Later seasons (8 and up) of Red vs. Blue has an interesting version of this trope. As a machinama, the things they can do in the game engine can be rather limited. So they started using CG at points to allow for battle sequences that would otherwise not be possible. While the CG itself looks different from the in-game segments, one of the most noticeable features is simple the fact that you cannot do many of the displayed maneuvers in-game. I.e, punch someone hard enough to get them stuck into a wall indefintely, and keep them alive at the same time


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Dreamworks animated mini-series Invasion: America did this most often, including: In all the space shots, all the shots featuring flying ships or aircraft, all the scenes in the underground base, all the scenes on the surface of the moon and the meteor launcher and meteor attacks
  • Used extensively (and expensively) in Futurama.
    • It's more prevalent in the earlier seasons, especially when used on Bender. For someone who's a robot, these are the only instances in which he actually... looks robotic.
    • Averted at some points where even the crew doing the commentary have trouble distinguishing what's CGI and what's hand-drawn.
  • CG is becoming increasingly more common within American animation, no doubt due to the budget saving potential. The Simpsons, American Dad, and Family Guy all use it for mechanical things like cars; lately Family Guy has been using it more for live-action-like tracking shots; see the 9th season episode "And Then There Were Fewer."
    • Speaking of which, it's used a lot in The Simpsons Movie.
    • The Family Guy episode "One if by Clam, Two if by Sea" has a Tron lightcycle sequence done mostly in 3D, like the movie. The reproduction of The A-Team's opening sequence in another episode uses it for vehicle shots. And most of the space battles in the Star Wars spoofs.
      • After it was Uncancelled, all vehicles use CG rather than traditional animation.
  • The "outer space" episode of Phineas and Ferb features this in spades. Dr. Doofenschmirtz's giant robot in particular will switch between traditional cel animation and 3D animation between cuts.
    • "The Chronicles of Meap", for Meap's spaceship and for Balloony/Collin (the latter of which falls somewhat in the Uncanny Valley)
    • The Christmas Special, for Santa's sleigh
    • "Cheer Up Candace", for the Mix-and-Mingler Machine and for when everyone is ejected there (a particularly egregious example)
    • In fact, in later episodes, CG was used extensively for moving vehicles and other such things.
    • Most recently, "The Beak" superhero costume the boys make.
  • Winx Club uses CG for, say, school buildings and vehicles.
    • If only they used CG just for buildings and vehicles... In the second season, most of the scenery was CG-rendered, often very poorly, not to speak of many lame light effects used for magic attacks. Or just see the effect of the rocks falling in the water, in the last episode of that season, to cringe. Or, worst still, some painful CG hair on a masked motorcycle rider. Thankfully, the third season toned down this excess of CG, and many backgrounds looked much better.
  • Besides the Medium Blending of 3D Cyberspace vs. the "real world" in Code Lyoko, in the 2D animated parts they would often use CG to animate mostly doors swinging open and closed (but also for some other less noticeable items). Ironically enough, in the first season it blended well, but as the seasons progressed it got more and more obvious.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, art directors at first attempted drawing the Fire Nation tanks by hand, but the design turned out to be so complex that CG had to be brought in.
    • Later designs for the evil flotilla of zeppelins in the finale were also largely CG. Unfortunately, in some wide shots, the CG suffered, as they used an obvious low frame rate as compared to both the hand-drawn characters in the shot and the moving background paintings, causing them to visibly jump back and forth as the scene zoomed out.
    • Aang chasing the Hei Bai into the forest had the one time CG was used for a human character, namely Aang.
    • The turning portions of the doors in the Air Temples (the ones that "unlock" via airbending) are obviously CG.
  • In Sequel Series The Legend of Korra it's much more common, used for Satomobiles, Aang's statue in Republic City, Yue Bay, police zeppelins, airbending training gates, and the boat Korra travels on. Fortunately, the CG is very good and actually blends pretty well with the hand-drawn animation, so, while noticeable, the effect is not jarring.
    • CG is also used for people multiple times, but generally briefly or in the background (see the drive for the coach Mako and Asami road in "The Voice in the Night" and Asami and Korra during part of the car-race in "The Aftermath").
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends spoofs this: After Eduardo refuses to be in Bloo's movie, Bloo says that they'll use CG to put him in later. Sure enough, we later see the movie, and it contains a Conspicuous CG Eduardo.
  • The Star Wars: Clone Wars miniseries used CG extensively for the space ships. The Definite Article Clone Wars series just upped and went into All CGI Cartoon.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series frequently used CG for cityscape backgrounds, and it showed horribly. We all thought it was pretty cool back in 1994, though.
  • The vehicles in Xyber 9: New Dawn are poorly done CGI and did not age well at all.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man Animated Series is possessed of highly simplified, bright, flat character and background designs, so when fully CGI black helicopters show up, it's rather jarring.
    • The worst example is a large Christmas tree in the second season episode ""Reinforcement". It topples over after being set on fire and somehow manages to clip through the 2D background elements in the same scene, while moving extremely unconvincingly for an object of its size.
  • The BattleTech animated series used CGI when the mech pilots turned on "Enhanced Vison" for battle scenes.
  • The French animated series Space Strikers uses CGI for spaceships.
  • The 1994 Iron Man animated series had this for the eponymous character's transformation sequence in the first season, with the same background regardless of where Tony currently was. The second season replaced it with a better-animated 2D sequence.
  • In the otherwise excellent episode "Doomsday" of Justice League Unlimited, there was a much reviled Special Effects Failure of the Batplane racing to intercept a Nuke over the ocean—all in low-grade CG, causing some Narm in what was otherwise a tense scene.
    • There was also all the CG Javelin planes they used, which all looked bad.
    • "Dark Heart" contained some truly terrible CGI helicopters.
    • In Fearful Symmetry, a CG surgical robot attacks Supergirl. The claw is supposed to grab her arm, but it's about half a second behind her arm movement. You can tell the editors cried a lot over that scene.
    • And the CG intro of the first two seasons.
  • If you watch an early episode of South Park concurrently with a recent one, the CG used for the recent episode can be jarring in how obvious it is. Interestingly, every episode except for the original pilot ("Jesus vs. Santa") and Cartman Gets an Anal Probe, is entirely CG animated with 3D software!
    • There's also the episode that re-used footage from the first episode. Now that was a sticky situation!
    • The "Cthulhu Trilogy" of episodes has the titular Eldritch Abomination and the other creatures rendered in CG, with a very heavy but intentional contrast with the paper cut-out style of the other characters, to show how utterly alien they are.
    • Lately the even the background shots of the suburbs and the town are very clearly 3D.
  • Class of the Titans began using CGI in its second series to animate cars in a transition sequence. It shows... badly.
  • Invader Zim, mostly for space sequences and the like.
    • According to the commentary on the DVDs, the CG was so expensive that the mere addition of walnuts to the "Room With A Moose" episode blew a severe part of the budget. However, this may be an exaggeration. Not only that, but they didn't even ask for CG walnuts; they just got them.
    • Not to mention the very CG "Nano-Zim," an episode where nearly all the scenes taking place inside Dib's body are CG, complete with fighting CG nanobot mechs. This episode seems to be the most well-known example of using up so much of the budget.
  • Ben 10 Alien Force has several instances of this. Kevin's car gets swapped for CGI on several occasions, as well as the Rust Bucket, which had already received this treatment late into the previous Ben 10.
  • Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century uses especially painfully obvious CGI to animate the futuristic city whenever there are no characters shown.
  • Batman the Brave And The Bold uses Conspicuous CG for automobiles and planes, though it still looks better than what's used in Justice League.
    • The 2D drawing style being close to cirka 1970 comics style could be part of what makes it Conspicuous, as then anything 3D stands out as being Conspicuously Modern.
  • Kim Possible has a robot toy army attack Ron Stoppable in The Movie; whilst they may both have been computer animated, the robot toys appear to be created with a different animation or CGI effect to the rest of the show.
  • A Crossover episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series where they meet Jake Long and his friends at a skateboard competition. The prize is a new fancy skateboard that rotates in its glass case. It's CGI.
  • Bounty Hamster uses cel-shaded CGI for spaceships and other detailed objects which are required to move very fast.
  • Galactus, in the 1990s Fantastic Four series. Hungorto, his Captain Ersatz in Duck Dodgers was also Conspicuous CG, possibly as a reference to this.
    • And while we're on the subject, many elements in the Silver Surfer series, but especially Galactus.
  • The little-known banned British program Pope Town has static backgrounds that are obviously CG, in stark contrast to the flat, low-tech character designs (which are a notch below The Simpsons). Also features Idiosyncratic Wipes that aren't really wipes (think 3rd Rock from the Sun or That '70s Show), consisting of a helicopter shot jumping from one building to another.
  • The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! cartoon has painfully, glaringly obvious, conspicuous CG. But then, given the inspiring material... that is probably intentional.
  • The Fairly OddParents: An early season one episode had a Matrix parody. The season six finale, and the original Grand Finale, had a Matrix parody. Both times the CGI is so blatant it had to have been intentional.
  • The airships in The Secret Saturdays are this, but it somehow seems to fit with the show.
  • Sector V's treehouse when it turns into a rampaging tree monster chasing Nigel and Lizzie in the episode "Operation: G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D." of Codename: Kids Next Door.
  • Metajets has racing planes that are quite blantantly CG compared to the rest of the Animesque style.
  • Any Direct-To-Video Scooby-Doo will have Conspicuous CG. In Goblin King, a 2D Scooby and Shaggy fly in a completely CG background.
    • The intro to Aloha, where there's CGI dolphins swimming amongst hand-drawn fish looks almost painful.
  • Pops up every now and again in some Henry and June shorts on KaBlam!!.
  • In The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, he backgrounds of some of their outdoor adventures (especially cloudy skies or northern lights) tended to stand out from the regular 2D animation, mostly in season 1.
  • Some characters in Courage the Cowardly Dog have been modeled with CG, and their designs are mostly Nightmare Fuel.
    • The best known example is the "Blue Fetus Thing" from "Perfect" (considered the scariest thing on the show and is the page picture of the Courage the Cowardly Dog Nightmare Fuel page).
  • A small handful of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes use CG scenery, usually blending it with the 2-D pretty well. At times, it sticks out:
    • "No Free Rides"; several times through the entire boat-stealing sequence, the ground below is CG, most notably when the street signs are shown moving towards the screen.
    • "The Sponge Who Could Fly"; the "lost episode" begins with SpongeBob walking in place while CG ground scrolls beneath him, passing an occasional 2-D rock or coral.
    • "The Best Day Ever"; during the opening number, SpongeBob is running along the sides of his pineapple house. Not only is it 3-D, it appears to be a perfect sphere.
    • "Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm" - the scene where Spongebob and Sandy are running from the worm uses very obvious CG on the coral/trees.
  • An odd example can be found in Beast Wars. In each following season, characters like Optimus, Megatron and Cheetor change constantly with the technology. However, other characters like Rhinox, Waspinator and Blackarachnia (Until her upgrade) did not. Making their jagged lines and low-res textures look out of place to the others.
  • Tuff Puppy uses CGI liberally for things such as machines, a few vehicles and the like. Although the CG is cel-shaded, it can come off as blatant and lazy at times considering some of the things rendered could've been easily animated in 2D.
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades occasionally uses CGI for vehicle scenes and Bio-Vipers. The rogue Bio Viper in "The Anomaly" is a REALLY nasty example of this trope in action.
  1. where there were three main heroes and just two of them got the CG treatment, leaving out just ONE
  2. where all four main heroes got the CG treatment for all their evolutions... until Burst Mode came along and only two of them got it as usual