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Lazy Artist

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Many graphical tropes are simplifications, used to make the scene easier to draw. Books are always open in the middle, bite marks are smooth, and so on.
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Replace "lazy" with "low-budget," "time-limited," "unskilled," "prioritizing other things", and/or "working smarter, not harder" as appropriate.

A Sub-Trope of Limited Animation, specifically the sub-type that makes the format so infamous.

Prominent examples:

  • Big Ball of Violence - A fight scene is obscured by a large cloud of dust or smoke.
  • Battle of the Still Frames - Fight scenes are represented by freeze-frames instead of actual animation.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes - Characters in dark areas are drawn as a disembodied pair of eyeballs.
  • Cartoon Juggling - The act of juggling is drawn or animated in a way that is not accurate to real-life juggling, depicted in a much more crude and simpler fashion.
  • Cheated Angle - A part of a character's body is always drawn a certain way, even if it really shouldn't be from that angle.
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  • Cheeky Mouth - A character's mouth drifts from the center of their face to their cheek when viewed in profile.
  • Clip-Art Animation - Moving flat 2D images around instead of drawing new images for each frame.
  • Cut-and-Paste Comic - Copying and pasting a set amount of poses or shapes instead of redrawing the character every time.
  • Dull Surprise - Staring at an event that should elicit shock or surprise with an expression that screams "duh...?"
  • Faceless Masses - Drawing background characters as generic, featureless humanoid shapes.
  • Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue - Skimping on backgrounds when the focus is on the conversation.
  • Filming for Easy Dub - Drawing a character's mouth conveniently out of frame to avoid having to animate mouth movements.
  • Flashy Protagonists, Bland Extras - Everyone who isn't important has an extremely bland design.
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  • Four-Fingered Hands - They take less time to draw than five-fingered hands.
  • Furries Are Easier to Draw - It's easier to avoid the Uncanny Valley with a Funny Animal than with a human.
  • GIS Syndrome - Using generic stock photos (paid or not) as backgrounds or object instead of drawing them from scratch.
  • Going Through the Motions - For budget reasons, video game characters have a tendency to reuse the same poses over and over instead of having unique ones.
  • Hands in Pockets - Hands are hard to draw—so why do it? Just have them obscured by something else!
  • Invisible Anatomy - Characters without certain appendages are depicted manipulating their environment as if they did anyway.
    • Fingerless Hands - Hands are drawn without fingers, but still manage to perform acts as if they did.
    • Floating Limbs - A character's hands and feet are visible, but the limbs attaching them to their body are not.
  • Invisible Bowstring - Bows shooting arrows without a bowstring drawn on.
  • Irisless Eye Mask Of Mystery - Masks that make a character's irises and pupils disappear.
  • It's Always Spring - The setting is always depicted in what appears to be the season of spring, no matter what time of the year it is.
  • It's Always Sunny in Miami - The setting has clear skies and a bright sun, no matter what.
  • Leave the Camera Running - Dragging out pointless scenes or scenes with nothing happening to pad the runtime or not have to animate anything.
  • Limited Wardrobe - Characters usually wear the same outfits.
  • Long Pants - Separate clothing articles drawn as one whole garment.
  • Motionless Chin - A character talks but their chins don't animate.
  • Mouse Hole - A mouse hole depicted as a perfect semicircle in a wall.
  • Mouth Flaps - Characters speaking is animated with fewer frames than is accurate for the words they're saying.
  • No Knees - Legs appear to be depicted without knees.
  • No Mouth - A character has no visible mouth to save on animating mouth flaps.
  • The Noseless - A character has no nose.
  • Off-Model - When the animation/art is inconsistent in quality.
  • Only Six Faces - Multiple characters are designed with very similar faces.
  • Only One Female Mold - All female characters in a show seem to be based on one (usually voluptuous) template.
  • Painted-On Pants - Clothes drawn so skintight the character might as well be nude.
  • Perpetual Expression - Character is depicted with an unchanging expression, despite ostensibly emoting.
  • Rainbow Lite - Rainbows are depicted with fewer than the standard seven colors.
  • Recycled Animation - Reusing old animation, but with different characters/backgrounds.
  • Ring Around the Collar - A garment worn around the neck of a character to cover up the fact their heads are separate animated assets from their bodies.
  • Rotoscoping - Animation traced from depictions of real-life actors.
  • Rubber Hose Limbs - Limbs are animated as if made of rubber, even though the character is not actually made of rubber.
  • Shading/Colour Dissonance - Monochromatic works imply that the tint or shade something has is different from what colored versions depict.
  • Skintone Sclerae - The whites of a character's eyes are not actually white and just take the color of the character's skin.
  • Sparse List of Rules - A rulebook is shown to be complex and extensive, but only rules that apply to the plot are ever shown.
  • Speed Stripes - Simple lines drawn parallel to the direction of motion to indicate that something is moving fast.
  • Stock Femur Bone - All bones are depicted as a femur, regardless of which part of a skeleton the bone is from.
  • Stock Food Depictions - Various foods always look the same:
  • Stock Footage: Reusing previously-used or archival footage.
  • Synchro-Vox: Superimposing film of a character's mouth over a still image to avoid animating mouth flaps.
  • Synthetic Voice Actor - Voice acting generated by a computer.
  • Talking Heads - A work seems to consist of characters just talking to each other and little else.
  • Traced Artwork - Drawings traced from other sources such as photos, stock images and even other artists' drawings.
  • Tooth Strip - A character is shown with a white "strip" in their mouth, rather than individual teeth.
  • Unmoving Plaid - Plaid and other complex patterns are chroma-keyed into an animation and therefore don't move or even distort with whatever it's printed on.
  • Unreliable Illustrator - Whatever is being drawn doesn't match up with the text or dialogue it's accompanying.
  • Wheel o' Feet - A running character's feet are drawn as a series of circular lines.
  • Wraparound Background - A scrolling background simply repeats the same drawing over and over.
  • Your Size May Vary - Scale is inconsistent in the series, resulting in items or characters seemingly changing size throughout the story.

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