"I wish the art was good throughout the whole series, not just in the final episode." "These days, anime has good art in the first and last episodes, never in the middle." "That's not something you can just fix for DVD release."
Animation is expensive. Really
expensive. An average 22-minute episode of an anime costs around $123,000, and American shows tend to be about $300,000. note
When a production company decides that the important episodes (i.e. pilots
, and finales
) of a show get priority, other episodes (like filler
) will, to conserve production costs, be drawn with only the bare minimum of framework that they absolutely must
Long running shows suffering from budget issues
will start resorting to thinly veiled camera tricks
. The movement and even design of characters will start to slip, especially if the show is bothering to animate heavy action scenes. When they are animated, fight scenes will become Fight Unscenes
The prevalence of computer-inked animation in recent years merely assures that colors
stay consistent. Off model refers to the character model (on a model sheet), which is what the animators are supposed
to base their drawings on. Another important step is animation checking, which may be skimped on when time or money is short.
Fans are typically not pleased, and it is very common for companies to announce they're fixing up things for the inevitable DVD release
However, Tropes Are Tools
; Cartoonist John Kricfalusi
has repeatedly stated that "staying on model is only for wimps and communists", or more subtly, if you don't break the character's model to emphasize some emotions, it'd be just as good done live action. The result of staying true to off-model animation is fantastic
, in Kricfalusi's case. Walt Disney Animation Australia
, Carbunkle Cartoons
are also examples. However, their use of it is Depending on the Artist
taken Up to Eleven
, rather than accidental off model.
See also Uncanny Valley
. Contrast Animation Bump
, where the animation is suddenly much better
made than usual. Compare Special Effect Failure
, a similar trope, but with live action (and with animation that mixes more than one form of it). For animation studios that screw up constantly and unintentionally, see AKOM
, Studio DEEN
, Dong Woo Animation
, Studio Shaft
, Tokyo Kids
, Wang Film Productions
and Toei Animationnote
. For a studio whose supporters and critics often argue about whether their animation is this, see Kennedy Cartoons
If a show has constant instances of Off Model, then list notable examples of it. In addition, try to avoid typing Zero Context Examples
Below are examples in text form. For visual examples, you can visit a blog dedicated to them
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- Many of the creatures in Walking With Dinosaurs and its kin go through some drastic changes in appearance when the shot switches from a CGI animal to a puppet or an animatronic, or vice versa. The ones that stand out the most are the Postosuchus with its rubbery head; the freakish closeups of a Leaellynasaura puppet whose jaw slipped to the side; the Smilodon who seemingly can't open/close their mouth; and the Megaloceros that, upon dying, looks like it instantly became some huge stuffed animal toy. Then, there's that insect that goes from being a CGI ant to a live cricket.
- Pure CGI goofs include: The 3 year-old indricothere calf that still uses its newborn animation model, even though an other, same-aged indricothere already looked like an adult; and (though this could be intentional) the Allosaurus at the end of Walking with Monsters who is at first represented by the allosaur model from the 2001 TV adaptation of The Lost World (okay...), but then suddenly becomes a true Walking with...-brand Allosaurus (phew, that's better). As for various other off-model moments, freeze-framing reveals the animals tend to get heavily distorted during particularly fast movements.
- The entire body of Toa Vakama on the cover image◊ of the BIONICLE movie adaptation novel, Legends of Metru Nui, is seriously disfigured, and the head is especially misshapen. Surprisingly, the two characters in the background are both perfectly on-model. As a comparison, here's◊ how he is meant to look, as seen on the movie's poster.
- Also most of the Piraka on the cover of Dark Destiny, as it's a group image of their prototype toys, not the finalized versions.
Live Action TV
- Reunion movies often suffer this as set designers struggle to recreate exactly decades old sets whose forms are burned into viewers' memories through decades of reruns.
- In-Universe Example: During the "Into the Comics" serial of Ghostwriter, the gang is able to identify that the comic they are to analyze for contest clues is, in fact, a fake by noticing differences in the art-style from the previous installments.
- An odd example not involving artwork or animation: in the Doctor Who serial The Power of the Daleks, the Dalek army is represented by Louis Marx toy Daleks. The problem was that Marx's Daleks were a subtly wrong shape◊, which became more obvious when intercut with the three real Daleks.
- In the S5 episode "The Time of Angels," watch carefully when Eleven catches River Song: the Russell T. Davies-era TARDIS makes a brief cameo!
- In season three of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Titanus was reintroduced. Though as there was no footage of the character in the series footage was being taken from (Ninja Sentai Kakuranger), Saban used the toys of him, the Ninjazords and Shogunzords whenever featured. Unfortunately, they never took into consideration that the Shogunzord used by the White Ranger in the original was repainted pink for America.note
- Not even Game Shows are immune to this trope. During the 1996/1997 season, Wheel of Fortune updated their trademark wheel. Needless to say, it didn't go over so well. The main issue was that for a month afterwards, the second Bankrupt Wedge looked different. Some other instances included the absence of the Million-Dollar Wedge during a May 2011 episode. Prize Wedges in the wrong slots. Missing or wrong Category Names and even the wheel itself being dislodged on occasion.
- Second Life avatars are off model quite often, mostly at the start of the loading process or when a new avatar not in the cache is rendered. Avatars tend to have gray or blurred textures during the loading process, making faces on the avatar look hideously deformed. If a person's avatar has primitives worn (polygons basically), the shape of the said primitives will be disfigured, making the avatar look deformed until it fully loads.