"Gaze upon Richie's shirt. The plaid never changes its direction or angle. It's always the same plaid. Look into it, everyone, and you stare into the infinite abyss. There is no beginning, no end, just... THE PLAID!"A subtrope of Cheated Angle. Oftentimes in cartoons if a character is wearing clothes with a complex pattern, such as plaid or tartan, the pattern on the clothing will retain the same orientation regardless of the positioning of the character. It's as if the clothing the character is wearing isn't so much patterned as it is a cloth-based wormhole to a similarly patterned universe, or that the character's clothing has had a static pattern overlaid on it through Chroma Key techniques. This phenomenon is known as Unmoving Plaid (or for those who like jargon, perspective incorrect texturing). This trope, like the Wheel o' Feet, Four-Fingered Hands and others, sometimes spawns from the Lazy Artist or a lack of budget. Patterned clothes are hard to animate correctly and take longer to do, so animators just don't bother animating the pattern. However, with the advent of more advanced digital animation tools to do such gruntwork, this trope may start falling by the wayside. As a style, it is sometimes intentionally emphasized for lavishly animated content in order to create visuals that come across as distinctive, bizarre or subtly unnerving. It can also be deliberately used (typically with a star or galaxy pattern) to invoke an otherworldly or supernatural appearance. The effect is also sometimes seen in comic strips, with the pattern remaining the same orientation from panel to panel (and usually straight vertical and horizontal, regardless of the orientation of the fabric of which it supposedly is a part). Often this is because comics (especially manga) use tone paper to fill in the plaid article, which makes it rather difficult to show the proper orientation of the pattern. Most artists just don't bother. Nothing to do with Plaid Cymru. See also Limited Animation.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Manga in general does this a lot. Like with polka dots or plaid, in a close-up scene with a character wearing polka dots, they look normally-sized, where if it's more spaced out from view, the polka dots remain the exact same size, looking rather giant relative to the clothing article. This is usually because the pattern is done with a screentone transfer so it can be done quickly and easily (a common task for a mangaka's assistants).
- Gankutsuou is an extreme example that can only be described as an "acquired taste art style" - just about any detailed pattern or texture is screened in, including the characters' hair, creating an effect that's almost like an animated collage.
- Mononoke uses this effect in a way similar to Gankutsuou, although not quite to such extremes; in this case it's particularly used to evoke an unnerving, supernatural air.
- Hell Girl's "kimono of exacting damnation" does the same thing as the two above anime titles. The pattern itself is animated, but still has incorrect perspective.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei uses this constantly, mostly with Nozomu's various clothes.
- Bakemonogatari, by the same studio, also uses this technique for patterned clothing. It's stylistic choice (one of Akiyuki Shinbo's trademarks) rather than pure laziness, given how much they've embraced digital animation.
- Principal Ench's suits in Crayon Shin-chan.
- In an episode of Ouran High School Host Club, Tamaki wears an extremely elaborate designed tea kimono. The design - while not plaid - is static, which is made painfully (and probably deliberately) evident when he does a slow motion backward face fault.
- This happens in the ninth Bleach opening.
- The school uniforms in Shugo Chara! consist almost entirely of plaid◊, which makes this trope pretty glaring. But it could be even worse: Here at least, each part is oriented differently.
- The yellow robe worn by Tobi in most of the last episode of the New Fist of the North Star OAV series.
- All over the place in Hidamari Sketch.
- Hiro's pink plaid pants from the Soul Eater anime, as well as manga character Tezca Tlipoca's plaid bear mask. Otherwise averted by Maka's plaid skirt and striped pajamas in the anime.
- In Soul Eater Not!, Shaula Gorgon's hair is colored in with an elaborate pattern in this manner.
- Paradise Kiss's anime uses this to animate the more elaborate dresses made by the characters, though the regular clothing is animated normally
- Kiyohiko Azuma, the artist of Yotsuba&!, sometimes averts this by, for example, painstakingly drawing realistic plaid on Fuuka's pajamas, but other times embodies it by simply screen-toning the plaid on Yotsuba's pajamas or the pattern on Jumbo's Hawaiian shirts.
- In Ranma ˝, Ryouga Hibiki's headband demonstrates this. In the manga, some hexagonal patterns over clothing are not only unmoving, but also unchanging in size, meaning the pattern look as big on a zoomed-out character than in close-ups.
- Used in the Monster manga.
- In Seitokai Yakuindomo, the female characters wear plaid skirts and the pattern is either angled in an odd way during a still-shot, or doesn't move when the character does. With the ED "Aoi Haru", it is more obvious.
- The Death Note manga took some very noticeable shortcuts when depicting plaid or striped clothes.
- Used in chapter 17 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid for Vivio's and Agito's skirts.
- In Area no Kishi, the skirts for the girls' school uniform suffers from this. It's especially noticeable when the focus is on the potential love interest, Six.
- MM! The ending has this in their skirts and ties same color plaid, but the ties are angled. Watching them jump and turn around is very odd since the plaid only moves vertically.
- Averted in A Bride's Story. Not only does the author draw the patterns on their everything (dresses, fabrics, etc.), she draws it slightly differently between different panels depending on the angle you're supposed to be looking at, even on the same page.
- Persona 4: The Animation has this for school uniforms and Naoto's plaid pants. The school uniforms are probably this way because there are upwards of 15 students in a shot at times, and drawing all that houndstooth would be fun.
- Also appears in Persona 4 Golden: The Animation, with Nanako's spotted dress in the last episode.
- The Chihayafuru opening sequence.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it example with Sayaka's bunny bedspread in episode 6.
- Ojamajo Doremi has this during the second ending for the Dokkan! season, using floral patterns for the girls and other patterns for the boys that appear.
- Shows up in the manga version of Axis Powers Hetalia and some of the artwork, although it's averted in the anime.
- For truly unsettling effect, the Anti-Spiral's entire body in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann uses grayscale patterns and designs that constantly cut from one to the next. It really lets you know that this guy has abilities beyond your comprehension.
- In Bokurano, Chizuru "Chizu" Honda wears a dress with a plaid pattern in the manga. It's a solid red color in the anime.
- Two-star uniforms in Kill la Kill have red bits with yellow lines moving across them in this fashion. It's eventually revealed that Ryuko and Nui's hearts are the same way, since they're Life Fiber Half-Human Hybrids.
- Mekakucity Actors: Done with snake scales◊ of all things (although, one could argue that it is effective, given that the snakes are intangible and magical). Also used with the scales on Azami and Queen!Mary's cheeks. Notably, when stills of Queen!Mary◊ are shown in Episode 8, the scales are drawn much more realistically.
- Again, as expected from Studio Shaft: the Gourmet Girl Graffiti anime has several patterns, especially those on the characters' outfits.
- Averted in the Dancing Theme ending sequence of the Kiss x Sis TV series, where Ako and Riko's plaid skirts are rendered with 3DCG.
- 3-gatsu no Lion is guilty of this on occasion in the manga, usually through the girls' clothes. This is much more noticeable in the anime adaptation, of course, with the sisters in motion.
- Daily Life with Monster Girl: Whenever Miia's scale pattern is drawn, it's usually like this. Mero usually escapes, but some official artwork draws her scales as a simple hex grid.
- Scott McCloud's Author Avatar character in his Understanding Comics series.
- Checkerboard Nightmare.
- Roger Mellie, and sometimes other characters, in the British adult comic Viz can usually be seen sporting an Unmoving Horizontally-lined jacket.
- Any character with a plaid or vertically-lined shirt in the early years of Modesty Blaise (when the otherwise excellent Jim Holdaway was the artist).
- In Calvin and Hobbes, whenever Calvin's mother wore plaid, it acted like this.
- The Jocks and the Geordies, a comic strip that ran in The Dandy from 1975 until the early 1990s, had the eponymous Jocks wear unmoving plaid hats and clothes◊.
- Many Disney characters show this trope, most notably Sleuth, as seen here◊.
- The main character of the title crew of the German comic magazine Yps: A checkered kangaroo◊.
- This is the way the teacher's shirt works in Grand Avenue.
- Amy Rose's plaid skirt often features this, regardless of the flow of fabric in Sonic the Comic.
- The Phantom had an unmoving plaid trenchcoat as part of his civilian guise, until the fifties or therearounds, when the drawing style got more realistic.
- Tintin's overcoat in the very early newspaper strips.
- Zits' main character Jeremy's purple plaid shirt.
- The Calculus, representative of the Machine, in Swamp Thing wears a pinstripe suit like this, to emphasise its desire for order and that its appearance is not exactly "real".
- The Gotham Academy school uniform has unmoving plaid skirts and ties. The size of the pattern is also very noticeably larger than it would be in real life, which emphasises the effect. And if two girls are standing with their skirts overlapping, the pattern is continuous.
- The "star or galaxy pattern" version is typical of the appearance of Eternity in Marvel Comics. He's the Anthropomorphic Personification of Time, and his body appears as if it were a window into a field of stars, planets and galaxies. His "brother" Oblivion, the personification of non-existence, has a cloak that plays this trope straight - it has a crosshatch pattern that doesn't usually seem to change in relation to his movement or stance, though this varies Depending on the Artist. The other two "siblings" avert the trope: Death's robe doesn't have a pattern, and the stylized field lines on Infinity's body and cloak do seem to respond to her stance and movement.
- The Queen of Nevers, a character in the Slott/Allred run of Silver Surfer who is Eternity's opposite number in many ways, has a subtle version of this going on. Her body is also textured with an unmoving starfield, but hers is a palette-reversed one where dark stars and nebulae float in a field of white.
- The webbing pattern on Spider-Man's iconic costume isn't supposed to do this, but countless times over the decades, artists have gotten jammed up by deadlines or badly-chosen layouts and produced this effect. It's almost always unintentional.
- In His Wife Is a Hen, this effect is used for the black spots on all the skins.
Films — Animation
- Dumbo: The Pink Elephants during this part of the "Pink Elephants on Parade" song.
- The Thief and the Cobbler: Pretty much any scene with tiled floors. This is due to the style being based on ancient Persian miniature paintings, which did not have correct perspective. Averted whenever the animators decided to rotate the scene around. This actually caused some problems with the scene where a messenger rides across a courtyard, with a panning camera.
- Unintentionally invoked with the Kikanalo in BIONICLE 2: Legends of Metru Nui. Where there are points where the character models and textures are clearly not synchronizing with one another.
Films — Live-Action
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit: It's a little harder to detect than most of the examples, but Jessica Rabbit's sparkling cocktail dress is an unmoving Shiny.
- Ture Sventon the detective, whenever he's not in disguise.
- In the animated credits for the 2015 series of Have I Got News for You, Nicola Sturgeon (the leader of the Scottish National Party) is wearing this.
- Crops up occasionally among users of programs such as Photoshop, who decide to use background patterns with colors only in certain areas of their images (clothing being a common example).
- Has been used deliberately, and to nice effect, in at least one Demoscene production.
- Easy to pull off when making animations in POVRay to the degree that newer users will often do it by accident. Simply have the scene code for an object apply the transformations to it before applying the texture.
- Averted with 3d modelling programs like 3DS MAX, Poser and DAZ Studio, since textures are directly mapped on to 3D meshes. Can still be done in 3D programs by using specific texturing techniques, such as Projection Textures. These are intended for use on scenery or on static objects in scenes with static cameras in order to streamline the texturing process by eliminating the need to unwrap simple meshes. New users may try to "cheat" and use it on an animated object thereby creating by accident the unmoving plaid.
- Stan the Salesman from the Monkey Island games, pictured above, incorporates an Unmoving Plaid jacket in his outfit, deliberately, up to and including the series' 3D installments, as seen here◊. And yes, it's even uglier in motion.
- Inverting this trope's usual purpose, applying this pattern to a 3D character was actually difficult. They did it solely because that's apparently just how Stan looks.
- In Tales of Monkey Island, his jacket maintains this trait. It looks a LOT better◊ than it did in Escape, and for the first time in the history of the series, it's actually a plot point/part of a puzzle solution (Guybrush needs a collection of objects that represent extremes of each of the senses. The eye-watering plaid of Stan's jacket is sight). Seeing it in motion is kinda hypnotic...
- It was initially a limitation of the computer hardware (and, presumably, the patience of the animator) in The Secret of Monkey Island. Later games appeared on computers that COULD handle moving plaid, but kept the look as an homage to the original, since it was so iconic of Stan that it simply didn't look like Stan if it moved around.
- Gaia in E.V.O.: Search for Eden also deliberately uses this effect, but with her hair; it's colored with a cloud pattern that scrolls on its own, giving her hair the appearance of shimmering clouds.
- Touhou has some examples:
- It does a similar trick to EVO with Utsuho Reiuji's cape; the inside of it has a deep space pattern that, like Gaia's hair and Stan's suit, scrolls independently of Utsuho's own movement, giving the illusion that her cape is a portal to deep space.
- Also done with Miko's Badass Cape in Hopeless Masquerade, except this time on the outside.
- And also the inside of Sumireko's cape in Urban Legend in Limbo.
- The exact same thing is done for the underside of Count Bleck's cape in Super Paper Mario.
- League of Legends: Kassadin's Void Blade doesn't have a standard texture to it, instead it appears to be a hole into some oddly-patterned realm.
- ALL "void"-themed spells make use of this effect, since they're meant to look like rifts in space.
- Brax the shopkeep in Dungeons of Dredmor wears a full body suit of unmoving checkerboard, made all the more obvious by the fact that he perpetually jogs in place.
- The complex colors of pants in The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 3 stay still when Fancy Pants Man moves. Since this game is a 2-D platformer, Brad Borne would not appreciate animating each of the 30 frames per second of this game for dozens of colors of pants.
- Though not seen in-game, during the FMV intro for Metal Saga, the camouflage pattern on the main character's vest does this, though one must be looking to see it. Here is said intro. You can most easily see the effect at 1:27 and 1:33.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic uses this effect for its holograms. The blue transparent "this is a hologram" overlay has scan lines that always run horizontally across the screen.
- Bravely Second uses this as decoration for Ba'al iii: Apparati and v: Urchin. It's intended to show how otherworldly they are.
- DC Universe Online has clothing with this effect with a star pattern, though it's a stylistic choice meant to show you're otherworldly.
- Torkoal uses this in the Pokémon Generation 6 games. With smoke billowing from its shell, the effect is rendered ingame as a shifting blob of space with a roiling smoke texture imposed on top.
- Persona 5: The plaid pattern on the male high school uniforms remain fixed no matter how much their wearers move around in the opening animation.
- The second form of Death utilizes this in Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow. Inside his robe, which is thrown open after taking his health low, appears to be a rift to a red, glowing dimension of crackling energy.
- Destiny has the The Taken King expansion, which utilizes this for the newly introduced enemies "The Taken", by showing an unmoving starfield as the texture fill on their environmental residue and in portions of their bodies.
- Shadow Mario from Super Mario Galaxy does this on stars.
- Torg's flannel shirts in Sluggy Freelance.
- Narbonic: "My flannel! Source of all my power!"
- In one Venus Envy storyline, Zoe wears a dress with an unmoving leaf pattern.
- Zebra Girl: After his ascension as a wizard, Jack the Plaid's "totem" acquires a plaid pattern, as indicated on his jacket and most of his spells, creating the impression of a literal gateway to a plaid dimension.
- The (aptly named) Plaidbeard from Rusty and Co..
- Kay's sweater from this Misfile strip. The fandom reacted with horror.
- The Flash animation "Tiny Plaid Ninjas" takes this to extremes.
- Some characters in Squid Row have worn shirts with unmoving pattern fills.
- In most strips of Ears for Elves with some kind of pattern, this trope is apparent due to how the shading works. Particularly noticeable on some of the costumes from the Chapter 2 title page.
- Katie's shirt in The Wotch is like this, as seen here.
- Appears in Scandinavia and the World with the only thing remotely resembling texture: national flags. Perfectly intentional according to Word of God.
"Technically the flag on Brother France should be mirrored because we see him from the back, but no doubt people wouldn't notice and keep asking me why it was the wrong way."
- Cross Time Cafe:
- In the Fan Webcomic Cobweb and Stripes, the stripes of Betelgeuse's costume are almost always perfectly vertical, or at least always straight, whatever the pose he's in. This gives him a somewhat otherworldy look, which — considering the character — is of course entirely voluntary.
- Felix the Cat's Magic Bag of Tricks has polka dot patterns on it that usually don't wrap around the bags form and just face the viewer in a two dimensional way. Don Oriolo claims the polka dot pattern of the bag was based on some wallpaper his dad had and often used to glue to the cels of the bag of tricks.
- Averted in Rocko's Modern Life, specifically with Rocko's complicated triangle shirt. The creator has playfully mentioned in interviews that it must have drove the animation team nuts.
- The chalk speckles in ChalkZone have this effect.
- The plaid coat worn by Tommy from "The Off-Beats" on Kablam. This jacket is what initially inspired the trope's name.
- The cartoon did that with several other materials, too. September disguises himself as "the President", complete with wig with unmoving hair texture.
- Crocadoo has Rufus Hardacre's distinctive polka-dotted shirt, as well as most other clothing from the series.
- The characters on Chowder have unmoving patterns superimposed over their clothing (or in Shnitzel's case, his entire body), but here it's a deliberate stylistic choice.
- Same with Wunschpunsch. All the fuzzy animal fur and fabric were textured that way.
- Wes Weasley from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog wears a suit like this. However, unlike most other examples, the pattern was drawn manually, so the effect doesn't quite hold up.
- Avoiding this was the reason that neither Zatanna nor Black Canary wore fishnets with their costumes in Justice League Unlimited.
- Delta State really liked using this for Phillip. It was also done intentionally for the Rifters while in the Delta State: Their cloaks contained unmoving galaxies.
- Along the same lines, the Thing in the animated Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes had his bulky body drawn traditionally while the animators used computers to generate a hexagonal grid pattern over his skin to indicate his rocky hide.
- Josie and the Pussycats often wore dresses with this property.
- Irritatingly noticeable in the Animated Adaptation of Where's Waldo/Wally.
- At least one Looney Tunes short featured Bugs Bunny tangling with a Game Show Host in a plaid jacket.
- Also used for visual gags like "plaid paint", which often has the same pattern in the can, on the brush, and on the wall.
- The animated adaptation of the Berenstain Bears avoided this by simply removing the patterns. Papa's plaid and Mama's and Sister's Polka Dots are all taken out in favour of solid colours.
- Dad's trousers from Cow and Chicken were like this, except in striped green trousers.
- A couple of early computer-animated (no, not that kind of computer-animated; imagine an MS-Paint drawing come to life) spots by ArtistMike on Sesame Street used this.
- The Mr. Bean cartoon used this on many objects, including bedsheets.
- Used in Watch My Chops.
- Yakkity Yak took this trope to the extreme with Dr. Crazy Hair's hair.
- Used often in The Ren & Stimpy Show with That Guy's plaid jacket (at least on the episodes that were produced using digital ink-and-paint.)
- The Cheshire Cat in Care Bears In Wonderland constantly changes patterns, and all of them are this.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the Ursa Major's pelt is an Unmoving Star Field. While Princess Celestia's mane also flows, the colors on her mane don't flow the same way. And on one occasion, the colours on Rainbow Dash's tail continue to curve smoothly even where the end of the tail is ruffled into a zigzag.
- In "Twilight's Kingdom, Part 2", when Tirek drains Discord's magic, the bolt has this appearance. Of course, since it is pure chaos, it does fit thematically.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, Eddy's brother's shirt does this. So does Jimmy and Plank's outfits in the school picture episode.
- The tiles on Ed's kitchen floor are like this also.
- Angus Dagnabbit (and later his ghost) in Mad Jack the Pirate wore unmoving plaid kilts.
- Occasionally seen in Silly Symphonies shorts which involve objects with a checked pattern, although "Funny Little Bunnies" also used plaid at one point.
- Battletech featured a wide variety of Battlemechs, many of which featured various camouflage patterns which would shift continuously whenever the 'mechs moved around.
- Sheep in the Big City used this from time to time in its second season, most notably with General Specific's cousin General Lee Outrageous and his ridiculously flashy uniform.
- Shade, the Changing Man's coat in this animated short, although not usually in the original comics. Of course, the idea that Shade's coat might be a cloth-based wormhole to a patterned universe actually fits the character perfectly.
- In the Avengers, Assemble! episode "Molecule Kid", when the Kid causes huge cliffs to erupt out of the ground, the texture of the rock is unmoving as it rises from the sidewalk.
- in Class of 3000, Lil' D's camouflage print shirt did this.
- Penn Zero, the title character of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero has a case of this with his hair. A quirk of the show's texture-emphasizing art style.
- In the reboot of Wacky Races Brick Crashman wears a jacket that does this.
- Sometimes invoked on the camouflage of ships; patterns are painted onto the hull which mix with the waves of the ocean, not hiding the ship, per se, but rather breaking up its lines to make it harder to identify.
- Certain skin conditions can hop from an arm to the chest without following the curvature of the body, giving the appearance that the rash was spray painted on. Most common (though still rare) with the bullseye rash characteristic of Lyme's Disease.
- If one wears distinctly pure green or blue clothes, the unmoving plaid can be achieved via chroma keying.
- This is a big technical problem for military modellers trying to paint a representation of check or tartan on model figures. Good representations of tartan are a mark of the most skilled figure painters, and very few can manage it adequately. Most normally gifted model artists dread, avoid or bodge as best they can, if confronted with the multiplicity of folds and drapes on Scottish military garments.