"Why's there so much molten lava? Yet so few polygons?"
—Shirou, "Wouldja Like Some Making F---?" by *veloxiraptor
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 a Computer-Generated image stands out considerably compared to that of the 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 the early 90s, those brighter colors and flashy effects newer shows have? Digital. The gradual disappearance of this trope can thus be largely chalked up to the fact that Technology Marches On. The limitations of early computer rendering technology and an overall lack of experience in the field by most animators are what led to the most egregious of the examples listed, though some can be chalked up to production companies that just resorted to CG to speed things up regardless of how well it worked.
The ironic problem though is that CG models look too perfect. It moves too smoothly and creates a jarring 3D effect in an otherwise 2D universe. If done well you won't even notice the computer generated models against the traditional styled 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.
Sometimes, of course, Conspicuous CGI is deliberate—a character is in deliberately obvious CGI as a style choice, such as the Hydra from Disney's Hercules, which allowed for more heads and Rule of Cool meant nobody cared. Sometimes it's blended, like in Treasure Planet. But when it's used as a a cheap shortcut, it just clashes horribly.
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.
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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 the history of animation (even beating out Pixar by a year). 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.
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.
In Divergence Eve, the monsters from another dimension certainly looked out of this world.
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.
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.
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... not as cool-looking.
All the 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.
There are times in which certain Pokémon are shown in CGI. In the 11th movie, there is a Mamoswine stampede that makes the Mamoswine look like they are made out of clay. In an early Diamond and Pearl episode, Combee appear in this style, looking really out of place (nevermind that Combee are cartoony insect-like Pokémon). In Black & White, Klink and its evolutions are always in CG, like the Unown swarm in the 3rd movie. Plenty of attacks in the Diamond and Pearl series of the anime also had a tendency to clash with the animation.
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 Tamersnote where there were three main heroes and just two of them got the CG treatment, leaving out just ONE and Digimon Saversnote 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. 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.
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.
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 utilize this more frequently.
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.
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 2D 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.
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 Kirbyanime had this a lot. King Dedede and Escargo(o)n frequently switched from being CG'd to being animated regularly, and Kirby is (almost) never shown any other way. This sometimes happened with other characters as well, though this got less frequent as the series went on. And, of course, various machines and vehicles, as well as various things that were particularly large (the monster transporter, Dedede's tank, the Halberd, etc.) were almost always CG'd. The CG is also of a noticeably different frame rate from the rest of the animation at times.
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.
One late episode is about a mother and baby whale. Jarringly, one of them is rendered in CG and the other isn't.
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.
Cybertron/Galaxy Force forgone the cel-shading entirely, making it all the more obvious. Though the animation (especially facially) itself was vastly improved by comparison.
Macross has used CG ever since Plus to help flesh out the increasingly complicated transformations of it's 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, being the first it was kept minimal, mecha were hand drawn most of the time.
Macross 7 used non-cel shaded CGI in the opening at several points (most noticeable with the zoom-out at the beginning). The show itself had none, and rendered everything (including mecha, like Plus before it) through more traditional methods.
Macross Zero was the first to use CGI for mecha outright leading to some very clashing animation.
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.
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.
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.
In 00, every spaceship is CG. Also, the ELS in The Movie are pure CG to emphasize how alien they are.
The Gundam spinoff MS IGLOO is a whole series of conspicuous CGI, which is quite a feat.
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.
A recent 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.
Cowboy Bebop has a lot of this throughout, mostly for the hyperspace gates.
The "Pierrot le Fou" episode.
the planet surface in episode 21 is also obvious CG
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 photorealistic-looking CGI airplanes and other items, to the point where it is absolutely distracting and makes you wonder why these bits where 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 even a pudding falling down.
Slayers: The Next and Try seasons had small bits of CGI incorporated into their openings (the titles for both, an explosion for Next, and a map of the world in Try), but the seasons themselves were all traditionally animated. However, when ''Revolution'' and ''Evolution-R'' were made, well-made but horribly noticeable CG was done for some of the spells, water, hallways, and a slew of out-of-place 3D objects for the opening songs.
Before Revolution and Evolution-R was Slayers Premium. Unlike the former, Premium was made when CGI in general, let alone combined with 2D artwork, was still stodgy, yet was thrown in for a third of the film. The octopi's palace sticks out, as do the octopi's jars, the ocean, and the monster's signature spell.
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. Though usually, these shots didn't have any 2D elements at all.
In Return Of The Magician, the animators didn't even try to make the CG of Pycal's home or the crystals mesh with the surrounding animation. It could've been a deliberate choice, because the crystals were supposed to come from another world.
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 opening and ending themes and the next episode preview. In other words, anything that's not an organic creature or humannote though there were the worms in episode one, and Saber did go CGI for a couple of scenes in episodes 23 and 24. This also is coupled with a wavering quality of either the animation, integration, or both.
The adaptation of racing Manga series Capeta bluntly uses CG for every single race and other assorted vehicles. It's quite jarring when during said races, the animation suddenly switches the the CG karts and racers to hand-drawn and back whenever there's any character interaction.
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 there's quite a bit. The most baffling one would be the orange paper plane.
In Black Butler, horse-drawn carriages are usually rendered in CG.
Appears in the 2004 animated series for Area88, where the planes are all rendered as intricately detailed, cel-shaded CGI models. As the planes themselves are usually shown dogfighting each other, this isn't quite the limitation it would otherwise be in terms of effects, but there are more than a few instances where CGI and traditional animation mix. This leads to somewhat jarring visual results, most notably when the view zooms in on a pilot in the cockpit. The vivid character models stand out against the often matte rendering textures for the CGI planes.
Sadly used in Studio Ghibli films produced in the 21st century. While their films are known for their highly detailed backgrounds and fluid animation, they also contain some very blatant and jarring CGI sequences that are many times smoother and more detailed than the 2D backgrounds in the rest of the films. The CGI isn't even cel-shaded! It's usually used for "side-scrolling" scenes, but (thankfully) never for characters.
Averted in Ponyo. This movie was done with traditional cel animation. In fact, Studio Ghibli shut down their computer animation division before Ponyo was released.
No CG is used in any Studio Ghibli film after Tales from Earthsea. Beginning with Ponyo, all animation is hand-drawn.
In Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, the Nyapollon game the Sakura Hall dorm residents develop for the school festival, has a lot of this'. However, its justified In-Universe because they're only high school students, and they're also working on a very rushed time table.
Sonic X of course, was produced on a shoestring budget. But even for its day (2003), the CG was pathetic. As in "14 year old with hex editor could do better" pathetic. Almost every explosion is rendered- for better or for worse, and whenever Sonic spin-dashes, he's always rendered for no other reason than to make it look cool. The one time he isn't rendered is probably the coolest spin-dash in the whole show.
AKB0048 uses CG for the concerts and some dance sequences. The mecha are also CG.
The World God Only Knows intentionally uses this trope at several points, usually to designate some obviously magical effect (like Instant Runes or the capture of Loose Souls). It's sometimes also used to show when Keima plays a game that isn't as sophisticated (or, in one case during the first season, just plain buggy).
One opening of Detective Conan has a really obvious CG car...being driven by normally animated Takagi and Sato.
Comics & Manga
2000 AD'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 recent 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.
The "War that Time Forgot" story in the New 52's G.I. Combat uses CG to consistently draw firearms and it's glaringly obvious.
CG was used in several Pk2(the sequel of Paperinik New Adventures) covers and to show the melted cars and glass caused by sonic weapons. Yes,you'll notice it.
Films — Live Action
The CGI in After Earth is all over the place. For instance, while the Ursa itself doesn't look too bad, the remaining wildlife aren't as well-rendered in comparison (the sabretooth-like cats especially). An oddity considering the film's budget was $130 million.
I Am Legend contains one of the most notorious examples of this. CGI zombies were added to the film at the last minute when the director wasn't impressed with the practical make-up effects that they were going to use.
Same thing happened with the 2011 remake of The Thing.
Stardust uses it to noticeable effect in the smouldering trees caused by Yvaine falling to earth, and when Lamia has to quickly build her magical inn.
While Tremors used animatronics for its monsters, the sequels took to using CG for things that the animatronic creatures couldn't do, like running. While not as bad as some other examples, the difference between the animatronic creatures and the CG are still very noticeable.
In the very beginning of The Wolverine when the grizzly bear walks close towards Logan's path. Averted in the bear's second scene, in which it becomes an obvious animatronic.
Despite the extremely realistic tiger and green screen effects (which won the film its Academy Award for Visual Effects), Life of Pi can suffer from this a little bit, such as the scenes with the orangutan.
While the effects in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen are for the most part, competent and well-made. It begins to look like its one render away from completion once the setting shifts over to Egypt.
Megatron's arrival at the Nemesis also deserves a mention. The booby prize going to when Starscream backs into the hatchling pod.
Virtually any and all movies produced by The Asylum and Syfy will have this for any of the creatures, the objects and people they encounter and other random stuff.
The Spy Kids series loves to mess with this, but finds a way to make it all part of the silly fantasy charm. Until we get to the third film, and 90% of the action choreography consists of "shove a big object towards the screen to show off those fancy 3D glasses we made everyone wear". Which makes things get distracting, really fast.
Iron Man 3 has this happen with a random deer when Tony crashes into Tennessee. The suit(s) also tend to fall into this on occasion (such as the empty suit flying into the truck).
Films — Animation
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.
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, although the Space Whales are still a pretty blatant case of this trope.
Ironically, aside from the obviously non-curved lines on the cement mixer, the CG vehicles in Oliver & 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.
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.
Painfully noticeable in The Rescuers Down Under. The CGI quality is absolutely terrible (though excusable for 1990), with untextured boxes passing for New York City traffic and generic-looking untextured buildings in cityscapes. Other parts of the film where CGI is used include the main villain's tractor and a scene where a large CG globe is used.
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.
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.
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!
The film adaptation ofTop Cat has the characters (in Flash animation) on CGI scenery and even the scene at the beginning where T.C. clings to the bottom of a helicopter taking off. Understandable since the movie was animated in Mexico and Argentina... and the movie was released in 3D.
Done consciously on Osmosis Jones. Drix was a cel-shaded CGI character to highlight the fact that he's not an organic cell like the other characters, but a manufactured medicine. The animators directly refer to him as the world's equivalent of RoboCop.
Television — Live Action
Doctor Who's VFX for much of the second half of the new Series 7 (a.k.a. Season 33), unfortunately, including the title sequence.
Also the early CGI from the last few seasons of the original series (especially Seasons 24-26)... Except it was considered very good for its time, so there's not much reason to blame them. It's even likely you'll still be amazed by them today once you consider the fact that it's a product of the late '80s. Back when CGI was still reltively in its childhood.
Changeling transformations in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine are pretty clearly the result of ultra-modern CGI...for their time. Since that time was quite a few years ago now, it's very obvious.
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 Videos were pre-rendered ahead of time. Some of the most prevalent examples were:
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: Silver Star Story 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 Silver Star Story, 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.
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 1992 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.
Although most cel-shaded video game aim to emulate the look of animated cartoons, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker actually emphasizes the 3D aspect of cel-shading by removing the black outlines found in other cel-shaded games and by using more realistic effects such as heat distortion and softer lighting gradients. The result is what many call one of the best-looking games ever, making this example one of the rare times that Conspicuous CG is actually a good thing.
Dr. Neurosis' room in Brain Dead 13. Everything, except him, Lance and Fritz, is in CG.
Mostly averted in Ōkami, a game designed to look like Japanese paintings. In both movement and still imagery, the game looks like an actual painting, but pixelation in some of the textures can be seen if one looks closer.
Inverted in the Terminals of Halo 4 and Halo: Anniversary. Objects that have a model in the game have a model in those cutscenes, but everything is 2-D Flash animated. It's really noticeable, thus, that Jul 'Mdama is free to pace around the room while his bridge crew repetitively tilts up and down.
Putt-Putt Enters the Race uses a CG racetrack. It's not horribly jarring for the most part, but the crowd drops very far into the Uncanny Valley, particularly because of their highly cartoony eyes that don't work well in 3D in the slightest.
SPY Fox in Hold the Mustard uses CG for the main vehicle used in the game. In still images it blends in pretty well, since it's cell-shaded. In motion, though, it moves so smoothly without changing appearance that it's pretty blatant it's just a 3D model.
Backyard Sports used CG model characters beginning with Backyard Baseball 2001 during the aerial views. Unfortunately, they forgot to make the crowds CG too, not to mention the kids become hand-drawn again in the closeups, such as with batting or doing penalty kicks.
Averted to the highest degree in Guilty Gear Xrd. Despite having 3D models instead of 2D sprites, Arc System Works went to great lengths to make them look like traditional 2D sprite work, to the point of using limited frames of animation without any noticeable tweening. Off course, the effect is so good that it the game just about plays the trope straight with the backgrounds, which can look somewhat conspicuously 3D compared to the characters.
Shadowrun Returns: Characters and effects are rendered in 3D animation "on-the-fly" as opposed to pre-rendered sprites such as Fallout. The backgrounds are standard 2D artwork. The advantage here is there is no need to store animation frames for all the possible weapon/armour/implant combos in all the required actions and poses. It also allows implants to be represented easily by re-texturing parts of the character.
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.
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.
The later seasons (8 and up) of Red vs. Blue occasionally fall victim to this trope. Animation is used for scenes that aren't possible with the limitations of the Halo game engine. While it typically blends very smoothly, with the animation closely matching Halo 3's style, there are a few points where it's just... off. Obviously any time something is done on-screen that can't be done in-game, the CG is noticeable, but a few scenes are even more noticeable. One particularly noticeable one is the very first CG scene, when Wash is run over by the Warthog. Another is the climatic battle at the end of season 10, where due to the enormous number of Texbots in the background, the shots simply look wrong in comparison to the machinima segments.
Such problems were resolved (more or less) in seasons 9 and 10 by having the prequel segments be entirely CG, removing the need to match game lighting and models. And some turned out pretty fantastic, too, like the space battle and the crashing ship in season 10—a lot of people have compared them to real videogame cutscenes!
The Dreamworks animated mini-series Invasion: America did this often, including 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
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.
The 3d camera movement effects make it especially noticeable.
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."
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 Un-Cancelled, all vehicles use CG rather than traditional animation.
"Out to Launch", the first "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)
"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 is 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. 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.
CG has 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 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.
Young Justice sometimes does this with vehicles. However, like the Korra example above, it's usually done well enough that it isn't particularly jarring.
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.
One of the most jarring CGI vehicles was the Spy Smasher's plane in a black and white Cold Open flashback meant to be reminiscent of a 1940s adventure serial.
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.
In a lot of the later episodes, even the background shots of the suburbs and the town are very clearly 3D.
All inner body shots in "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" are 3D.
The most recent alliteration of the opening (as of "Let Go, Let Gov") has the characters (still rendered in their flat, construction paper style) in a fully photoreal, cardboard-looking environment. Which is both impressive and jarring at the same time.
Class Of The Titans began using CGI in its second series to animate cars in a transition sequence. It shows... badly.
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.
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.
In Goblin King for instance, a 2D Scooby and Shaggy fly in a completely CG background.
The intro to Aloha, where the CGI dolphins swimming amongst hand-drawn fish look almost painful.
Pops up every now and again in some Henry and June shorts on KaBlam!!.
In Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, the 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.
"Sandy, SpongeBob, and the Worm" - the scene where Spongebob and Sandy are running from the worm uses very obvious CG on the coral/trees.
"Atlantis SquarePantis": the inside of the bus that takes the gang to Atlantis is rendered in CG.
"House Fancy": the House Fancy TV show opening is done in CG.
"The Monster Who Came to Bikini Bottom": the scene where the monster smashes people's houses uses obvious 3D models of SpongeBob's pineapple and Patrick's rock.
"Mooncation": the moon landscape is rendered entirely in CG.
An odd example appears in Beast Wars. In each season, characters like Optimus, Megatron and Cheetor change alongside the technology. While other characters like Rhinox, Inferno, Waspinator and Blackarachnia (until her upgrade) did not. Making their jagged shapes and low-resolution textures look out of place to the others.
Beast Machines utilized a different, much more simplified design style. Which made all the Flashbacks to Beast Wars and the occasionally reappearing old designs stand out. They actually re-textured the main cast's beast modes for the pilot episode, so while their buildup looked outdated, their textures matched the new style.
Transformers Prime has a bizarre inversion in the episode "Rebellion", where in a couple scenes, Alpha Trion is depicted as a hand-painted image while Prime himself is his usual CG model.
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 uses CGI for vehicles and Bio-Vipers. The rogue Bio Viper in "The Anomaly" is a REALLY nasty example of this trope in action. As is the Coyote.
In Chloe's Closet, although Chloe's room and certain scenes are normal, a lot of the environments when Chloe and her friends are imagining are CGI. Using normal 3D shading instead of the style the characters use, which is closer to cel-shaded.
Cartoon Network commercials used to have the characters superimposed on CGI scenery. And it works rather nicely!
The Amazing World of Gumball played this for laughs in one episode, when Gumball was watching a DVD called "How to Ratatwang Your Panda", which had awful CGI and comically obvious animation errors.
The rest of the show itself also qualifies, especially considering its intended nature.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic surprisingly uses CGI to animate the Timberwolves in the episode "Spike At Your Service". While there may be an off-chance that this was used intentionally to make them look strange, it's nonetheless quite jarring since one, when they last appeared in "Family Appreciation Day", they were Flash-animated like everything else, and two, the animators had already proven they could pull off convincing 3D effects without CGI before.
The hallway Applejack and Rainbow Dash run through in "Castle Mane-ia”.
The protagonists of Ratz use flying machines that leave twin trails of CGI smoke.
Chowder uses a lot of Medium Blending, mostly Stop Motion and puppets, so the one time it uses CG is jarring - and was meant to be. The baby minotaur in "The Deadly Maze" is considered terrifying in-universe.