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No Flow in CGI

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"Mammals are a lot more difficult to animate than dinosaurs... and the reason is they got lots of floppy stuff. They got wobbly skin, they got floppy hair, they got eyebrows, they got whiskers, they got floppy ears, they got tongues that hang out. There's all sorts of stuff on an animal that moves, and the problem is that, in the computer, you don't get any of that for free. If something moves, you have to move it."
Framestore animator Mike Milne, on the making of Walking with Beasts

In old or low-end CGI, the characters will never wear loose garments, have long hair or include anything that might flow or rustle in wind or when moving.

This is because accurately simulating flowing hair and fabric requires two extremely computationally expensive things: a very high polygon count that can translate into smoothly curved surfaces and individual strands of hair, and computational fluid dynamics to accurately simulate the material's motion as well as the air itself. As a result, early CGI software and hardware limitations for smaller animation studios made anything other than clunky, uncanny valley-inspiring graphics impossible. Even when technical limits and costs are slowly being pushed back, it's still hard and costly to simulate nowadays, especially in video games, where maintaining 60 FPS means there's only 16 milliseconds to calculate all that.

To circumvent these limitations, authors and graphic artists had to make a few concessions and stylistic choices. Such as:

  • Girls and women would have short hair and wear skintight gear. When they did have long hair, it would be done up in buns or heavily "moussed", becoming an immobile block.
  • Films, TV episodes, or entire series would take place in settings whose inhabitants naturally lacked loose garments and billowing hair. For example, being plastic toys, computer programs, vegetables, robots that turn into animals, or ants.
  • All loose fabrics will be inert, either by being drawn taut or by never having a breeze/character move them. This can lead to things like, say, never showing a character sitting in bed with the covers up, and if they do get out of bed, then simply cutting away while they move the covers.

Averting this trope has long been a Holy Grail for CGI animators, which can lead to trouble. A lot of instances of flowing hair or gowns end up flowing too much, taking attention from anything else in the scene, like Dr. Ross' hair in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, or Nariko's in Heavenly Sword. When flowing is done right, it either is unambiguously the centerpiece of the scene, or doesn't call attention to itself but rather reinforces a viewer's immersion. This trope is why A Space Marine Is You is still so extremely prevalent: It's easier to model and animate a bald guy (or better yet, always helmeted) wearing an armored spacesuit than it is trying to create an Elegant Gothic Lolita from Harajuku. Just imagine the processing power required to handle the delicate and intricate clothes that flow in a Dramatic Wind... or when running and fighting.

In the modern day, however, aversions of this trope have become increasingly common to the point of ubiquity — film animators have spent decades perfecting the ability to render hair and cloth physics, and even low budget animation has improved in this aspect, with many off-the-shelf programs including physics engines in their toolkits. The place you're most likely to see straight examples in the present day is in video games. While video game graphics rapidly improve with each generation, hair and cloth are still aspects that are difficult to realistically render in real time. Most game engines have rudimentary solutions in place, and some come closer than others, but on the whole, they still can't quite reach the level of detail seen in pre-rendered animation.

To be fair, in real life a lot of people's hair doesn't move much, unless they're in strong wind or fully submerged. But Reality Is Unrealistic and less cool, and besides, how else would the CGI animators show off their skills and technology (and their budget; flowing in CGI can get expensive)?

For another approach to averting this trope, see Jiggle Physics.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Digimon:
    • In Digimon Tamers, Renamon was the only one of the three leads whose evolution Stock Footage was composed of traditional cel animation at every stage. Not coincidentally, Renamon is also the only one of the three who has lots of thick fluffy fur in one stage, billowy robes in another stage, and luxurious long hair in the final stage. Meanwhile, Guilmon and Terriermon have smooth fur and much more robotic higher stages, lending them well to CGI (though Dukemon/Gallantmon's cape does look alright, for the three seconds it's around).
    • Digimon X-Evolution: Though they did give Omegamon and Dukemon their signature badass capes, they're awkwardly animated to a fairly visible extent. Similarly, DORUmon's fur.
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Averted. The initial 80s series indulged in long fabrics and hair, like Mendoza's cape and Zia's hair. When the series returned years later in CGI, rather than cut them to save costs, the production kept the cape and hair accurate to the original anime. That said, their animation is still pretty basic... just like the cel-animated original.

    Films — Animation 
  • This doesn't just apply to CGI, but to traditional animation too. Before the days of CGI, elaborate flowing objects tended to be avoided for ease of animation, since every frame had to be hand-drawn.
    • This is why Belle's hair was usually in a ponytail in Beauty and the Beast (though her dress twirls during the song "Beauty and the Beast"), and why Kiki's hair is shorter in Kiki's Delivery Service than the book that inspired it.
    • The flying carpet in Aladdin was considered a technical breakthrough, being a traditionally-animated character with CGI used to overlay a flexible and detailed surface pattern, which would otherwise be time-consuming and difficult to hand-animate. In the direct-to-video sequels and the TV series, the carpet's elaborate design was downgraded so it could be drawn without CGI. Compare the carpet as seen in the feature with the direct-to-video/television version.
  • In 2001's Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, 40% of the CGI effects were to make Aki's hair flow (and she definitely had a tendency to shake it around to let you know). Just about every other character has short hair at most.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children has Sephiroth's hair and Red XIII's fur. While the former got more screen time as a key character, it was still stated to be very costly. Red XIII/Nanaki on the other hand got very little. Word of God also says that Cait Sith showed up riding Red XIII instead of his giant Moogle Doll thing because rendering that big thing (which was already established to be fur-covered as well) would have taken too much time out of other, more important parts of the movie. See the video game section below for more. In a similar vein, Tifa has long hair that goes to just above her knees in the original game. In the film, it's shortened to elbow length to make it easier to animate.
  • The Incredibles:
    • Violet's hair took a lot of work to animate properly. In fact, Pixar animators had to cut a scene showing the family hiding in the ocean because of how much effort it would take to animate her hair underwater.
    • The creators also expressed their exasperation in the commentary for the scene where Elastigirl and the kids fall into the ocean. Not only does it involve water and the aforementioned Violet's long hair, combining those two creates long, underwater hair, which behaves rather differently from dry hair.
    • Practically all characters have hair that is affected by wind, water and movement. Violet's is the most noticeable, but Dash's hair is definitely not static when he runs at high speed. Dash's hair was actually the most difficult hair in the film; it had a general shape that it needed to keep, but it also needed to react to stimulus like his vast speed properly, without stretching — much. It took over a year of work to get his hair right.
    • Despite the attempts to avert this, Helen's hair when they first land in the water after the plane gets blown up plays this trope straight.
    • The hair technology was made so that its movement was simulated and animators didn't have to position it themselves, which is great for normal shots, but then there are times when the director wants it to move a specific way for dramatic effect (like how Mr. Incredible's hair falls when he thinks his family's been killed) and the simulation team start talking about "a half-second of force 5 gale wind in Mars gravity..."
    • In the director's commentary on the DVD, they say that a relatively understated scene early in the movie caused lots of headaches for the animators. Mr. Incredible is examining his old costume and notices a rip from his fight with the robot (which prompts him to get a new costume, and it's that same rip that tips off his wife that he's being a superhero again). Apparently, it is very, very hard to animate someone sticking a hand through a hole in cloth.
      Do we have to do this? How about Bob just looks down at the shirt and tells us that it's torn?
    • Another simple scene was processor-intensive: when the costume is chucked in the garbage can at Edna's and slowly slides in from the edge; it was incredibly difficult to simulate.
    • Speaking of Edna, this trope is the Doylist reason for her "no capes" rule, although the reason she gives most certainly makes sense.
    • Because of this, a large chunk of the movie's Hilarious Outtakes is simply hair failing to do things it should be doing.
  • One of the reasons Pixar stuck to making movies about plastic toys and bugs in the early days was because it avoided problems like this. Observe the difference in how dogs are modeled in Toy Story (static, plastic-looking) compared to Toy Story 2 (appropriately fuzzy). And even the characters that were supposed to look like plastic in the first Toy Story film had noticeably limited facial animation compared to the next two films.
  • In Luxo Jr., it was mentioned in the commentary that the cord bouncing up and down was the hardest thing to animate in the entire short. John Lasseter had to animate each jump by hand, and in his own words, " was painful."
  • When Pixar produced Monsters, Inc., they'd developed software models that could make Sully's fur look fluffy, stiff, or windswept where necessary. However, a bit of toilet paper stuck to Mike's foot took the longest time to get right. Even the fur came with a price; to fully render Sully's 2.3 million individual hairs, it took the software 11-12 hours per frame. That means that every second that Sully is on screen took up to twelve days to render.
  • Most human women that appear in early Pixar films wear pants or some other form of tight clothing. Bo Peep, who's one of the few exceptions to this rule, instead wears a very rigid cage skirt. A rare exception to this rule is a female patient in the dentist's waiting room near the end of Finding Nemo whom Nemo and the tank gang briefly mistake for Darla.
  • Brave seems hell-bent on defying this trope. What's also noticeable is that the heroine has long, curly hair, which is animated realistically (rather than being a block with lines in it). Curly hair is very difficult to animate as not only does it sway, it bounces, unlike straight hair.
  • Barbie as Rapunzel's braid looks okay, but when she wears her hair loose, it looks like it's made of rubber. Semi-justifiable because, not only was the film released two years before Pixar perfected hair, but when Disney did their telling of the story, it took years and years to perfect the technology for all that hair.
    • Barbie movies are very guilty of this. On the covers and the doll-lines, Barbie is always portrayed with long, wavy hair. In the movies themselves, her character's hair is almost always short, in a ponytail or a Prim and Proper Bun. Then again, the fanbase tends to prefer the more individual hairstyles Barbie has in the movies themselves, so it's probably more a problem about the cover artists being lazy.
  • While Cars is a perfect example of the practical applications of this trope — it's much easier to render shiny cars than natural human skin and hair — it's actually a spectacular aversion on the whole, with shots of flowing waterfalls and riverways in Radiator Springs, and the tearaways near the beginning of the movie producing various realistic flames, which are especially impressive to anyone who knows how difficult realistic particle animation is.
  • Tangled:
    • Tangled avoided this trope well enough to attract scientific attention. Averting this trope is the reason why this movie was the second most expensive film ever made at the time it was released. They did very well with the hair, clothes, and water... but the fire not so much.
    • This was partially why they abandoned the original art style. The film was originally supposed to look like a watercolor painting using the technique that was later used for shorts such as Paperman. However, it proved to be way too expensive and difficult, so it was changed to a more typical art style. Even today, the hardware is still in its early stages and it is hard to make use of outside of shorts.
  • In the commentary for Over the Hedge, they mention that the animators complained that there was a lot of hugging in the movie. Not because it was sappy, but because it was really hard to animate fur in a hug.
  • You can see the technology improving in the Shrek movies. In the first movie, it took them a lot of effort to make Fiona's hair sway, and Shrek is bald. The second movie used a new engine for handling hair, and they lampshade it by having a shot where Prince Charming takes of his helmet to show his incredibly smooth and wavy hair. Shrek 3 added the ability to model longer flowing hair, and they used that to render the different hair styles of the princesses. In Shrek Forever After, there is a scene where Fiona appears as a warrior and you see her long curly hair swaying in the wind. Here's a video that shows the evolution of Fiona's hair. One of the outtakes for the first movie showcased an animation error where Donkey's fur looked less like a donkey's and more like an absurdly-fluffy bunny.
  • Frozen:
    • In Frozen, their main flow-related challenge was rendering heavy cloths such as velvet and wool in such a way that they still billow and swirl with appropriate grace. Elsa's glorious dress of ice flows quite well, especially with the giant trailing translucent snowflake cape behind her. Both Elsa and Anna wear their hair in braids, which also required some new programs on the part of the animators — namely, making braids that were clearly composed of three interwoven strands, instead of braids that are just lengthened, tactile blocks of hair (like Fiona or Astrid.) However, one short scene proved to be nearly impossible to animate: during the song "Let It Go," where Elsa takes down her hair and pulls her braid over her shoulder. The only way they could do the scene without having the model break was to cheat and have the braid phase through Elsa's arm instead of over it. The animators did a good job of making it barely noticeable, and those that did notice seemed to agree it was Worth It.
    • In Olaf's Frozen Adventure, the Happy Holidays Dresses Elsa and Anna wear have more natural movement than the previous installments. This applies even to the fur on Elsa's white fox collar.
  • Even though the characters are mostly mechanical cyborgs based on plastic toys, the first three Direct to Video BIONICLE movies opted to dress up the Turaga with tribal robes that had floppy ribbons on the front. Turaga Dume and Lhikan from the second film play this trope straight though, as their robes are simpler and metallic looking. Roodaka in the third movie was given mechanical-looking braids with several individual strands that hung down to her shoulder-line. Again, this is not a feature seen on the toy, which instead had short, solid "pigtails". They also turned her originally short robo-ponytail into a large, metal-plated bendy "flap", but at least kept it as a single piece. The fourth movie had none of this, and gave its characters unmoving, metal loincloths... even on those characters whose toy designs already had their groin covered up.
  • Laika seems to make a point of averting this trope just for the hell of it, despite the fact that they operate primarily in stop motion, which is, if anything, even harder to animate realistic flow than in CGI. The animators seem to love incorporate lots of heavily mobile flowing elements like flowing hair or moving fur and feathers. Their movies tend to look good as a result.
  • Similarly to Laika, the two animated films that Wes Anderson has directed (Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs) have both averted this trope to hell and back. Both take place in a World of Funny Animals which are covered in densely matted, realistically flowing hair, and that's not to mention all the other particle effects that help the movies achieve an almost photorealistic look.
  • Averted with a vengeance in Turning Red:
    • Not only does every single character's hair flow with every movement they make, the hair is shown being affected by windnote , other characters' touchesnote , other characters' hairnote  and fabricsnote . Pixar seems to have gone out of their way to show off how much they've come in averting this trope with this film. They do everything the trope description says not to do and yet none of it feels unnatural.
    • Mei's panda form takes this to another level of complexity as her fur is animated to match her emotional state in addition to all of the above.
    • The climax cranks this up to 11 with seven dynamically interacting characters each with highly detailed full body fur in the foreground at the same time.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This is invoked in TRON: Legacy, which is appropriate since it takes place inside a computer. Everyone has short hair, there's barely any loose fabric, and no real wind except when moving (and in most of those times they wear helmets or are inside vehicles).
  • In Inception wardrobe made sure that Ariadne had her hair up for the level in the hotel. As she floats in zero gravity for that level, it would have been a nightmare for the SFX crew to animate her actor Elliot Page's hair if it had been down.
  • In Gravity, Sandra Bullock has short hair because she spends almost the entire movie in zero gravity.
  • A scene in Arrival averts it presumably just for the hell of it. Amy Adams enters a zero gravity situation with her hair tied up, only for it to come undone and spend the scene billowing around as it would in actual zero gravity.
  • VFX Studio Scanline was established to avert this trope by its staff's own admission, with their in-house proprietary simulation program Flowline.
  • Spawn (1997): Unlike in the comics, where Spawn almost always has his giant iconic cape on, the film saves it for only a few short scenes, each only a few seconds long, because it was computer-generated, and having a giant billowing cape for long periods was simply infeasible for 90s CGI. Which is probably a good thing, since the fact the cape is digital is incredibly obvious.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The animators loved working on Walking with Dinosaurs because the animals they had to create were either scaly or had only short fuzz — however, they did get slammed quite a bit by the paleontologist community for not feathering their raptors (something now known for certain).note  The only feathered CGI animal is Iberomesornis, which never appears in closeup. When fuzzy mammals needed to appear, hand puppets and even a live coati were used. Then came the sequel, Walking with Beasts, about prehistoric mammals, and they didn't laugh anymore. In the end, they settled for using guide hairs, single strands of hair whose animation the computer copied over and over until the entire animal got fully covered by it. This way, they only had to animate fewer hairs. The results may not be super realistic, but it at least spared them from crashing their systems.
  • In The Future Is Wild, some hairy mammals are featured early on, but they quickly go extinct in the later segments, resulting in the world being populated by computer-friendlier creatures with smooth skin such as fish, insects, or cephalopods.
  • Dinosaur Planet: At one point, two feathery raptors are adrift at sea. This is one of the only scenes in the whole series that portrays the animals with puppets instead of CGI, probably because it was far too difficult to depict the shaggy dinosaurs as being wet and matted with computer effects on their budget. This is very noticeable when the shots change between the puppet and the CG model, as the difference between the textures is night and day.
  • In Prehistoric Park, the dinosaur Mei long was long thought to have been scaly, whereas the real animal had feathers. It actually has feathers in the show, albeit sculpted tightly onto its body rather than moving freely, which ultimately renders the feathers nearly invisible.

    Video Games 
  • Naturally, since it was the advent of fully-rendered and usable 3D graphics, the Nintendo 64/PlayStation/Sega Saturn era of gaming fell victim to this. Although the Nintendo 64 had the strongest potential graphical power, its utilization of cartridges instead of CD-ROMs among other things actually made it less able to render things realistically, so the PlayStation was the system that showed off this trope the most (most Sega Saturn games were 2.5D).
  • The PS1 (as well as the Sega Dreamcast game Resident Evil – Code: Veronica) Resident Evil games fell victim to this, save for the first game, whose cutscenes were made of live-action footage instead. The only thing that ever flowed in the early games was Claire Redfield's ponytail.
  • In the 2D games of the Street Fighter series, Chun Li wears her long hair up in Odango buns, Cammy's hair is braided into 2 easily animated plaits, Karin's hair is sectioned into 6 tubular ringlets, and Sakura has short, boyish hair — all are easy to animate. Rose provides an exception, and her long hair flows seamlessly out behind her in a wave-like motion. However, when the games went 3D for the Street Fighter IV series, Rose's render was criticized by fans for having a zig-zag of rigid, plastic-looking hair that incorporated none of the movement of her 2D sprite.
  • Similarly, Kim Kaphwan's 3D model from The King of Fighters XIV was criticized for failing to replicate the smooth, flowing fabric animation of his pants from the older 2D installments. Thankfully, this was corrected in The King of Fighters XV.
  • Hardly anyone in the Grand Theft Auto franchise has anything other than short hair. All of the protagonists, from Claude to Luis have either short or buzzed haircuts and even though Carl Johnson can get his hair cut in various ways, you never get anything that would sway in the wind.
  • A particularly glaring example would be Ezio's cape from Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. When Ezio walking around or even jogging, his cape has a pretty realistic flow, but when he's running or on horseback, the cape becomes stiff as a damned board.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Even though there is little flow, there are ways to fake it, at least in the PlayStation/Nintendo 64/Sega Saturn era. If something was supposed to flow, like a dress, the designers would at least have it warp a little to show some animation, like Zelda's dresses in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Ganondorf's cape also animates quite well during the fight against him, although it clips through his defeat animation.
    • Hyrule Warriors gives Link a long blue Scarf of Asskicking, the only purpose of which seems to be waving and fluttering all over the place with full cloth physics.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has very impressive cloth simulation (for 2003) for clothing and hair and manages to avoid this trope for the most part. Sometimes, however, some flaws with the physics engine crop up, including a small flaw with how long, thin strings are handled. The trope is played straight with Medli, who has a long ponytail that is seemingly not affected by the wind, even though her hair moves when she is walking or running.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons: Scourge of Worlds, a CGI choose-your-path DVD adventure, which used the iconic 3rd Edition D&D characters, all the characters used were fairly straight interpretations of their original artwork, with the exception of Mialee, the elf wizard. The reason is that her original design had a huge mop of hair that extended to her knees. The CGI version had a small knot that extended off the back of her head.
  • EverQuest II averts this if an option is enabled — however, like the rest of the engine, this is not efficient and requires high-end hardware to enable unless you want your framerate to drop through the floor. With the option disabled, clothing just kind of wraps around the body.
  • Very common with mods for The Sims 2. Though creators of mods have improved tremendously since the old days, it's not uncommon for it to appear that the sims are using industrial strength hairspray and way too much starch in their laundry. Also, a lot of custom content creators try to fix this and end up with the hair having a gap under the neck, skirts with black areas under them, and even feet bending at the ankle (usually with high heels that are higher than what is usual in the game).
  • According to developers, some of the character design changes in Castlevania: Judgment were made due to this trope. One often-cited example is Shanoa's short hair and church hood, which was much less well received than her long flowing hair from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.
  • Castlevania
    • In the original Castlevania: Rondo of Blood (which uses sprite-based graphics outside a few Limited Animation cutscenes), Maria Renard wears a dress and her hair down. In the 2.5D remake in Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, her Ayami Kojima redesign features pants and a ponytail, presumably because of this trope.
    • And in the original Rondo, Richter is wearing a long trenchcoat with a flowing bandanna, and his appearance in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night shows him with back-length hair and an even longer coat. In DXC he looks like a reject for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as a result of this cost-cutting.
    • The reason we never get a 3D Alucard based on Ayami Kojima's design is because it would be really, really hard to make a 3D animation as magnificent as his Castlevania: Symphony of the Night sprite. His running animation started with about 15 frames, as he lunged into his run. Then looped another 15 for the running itself, complete with his long hair flowing and his cape flapping. The Super Smash Bros. Ultimate model of him makes a good attempt at least.
  • Tomb Raider
    • Lara's trademark ponytail in the original Tomb Raider was absent outside FMVs due to technical limitations. From Tomb Raider II onward, however, her ponytail was present and had its very own physics engine, making it blow in wind (at different degrees depending on her surroundings!), collide with Lara's body and even float on the surface of water. Nowadays the physics are a bit dodgy due to the different engine — one could play a Drinking Game and take a sip every time Lara's hair goes straight through her neck.
    • Tomb Raider (2013), however, goes out of its way to avert this. On seventh-gen consoles and low graphics settings on PCs, Lara's hair moves fairly realistically, although it's wrapped in a tight ponytail. High-end PCs have an option called TressFX, which seems to render almost every single hair on Lara's head as it flutters about in the the cost of about half your video memory. And since TressFX is an AMD program routine, it doesn't run well with nVidia graphics cards. It's standard in the Definitive Edition remake. Rise of the Tomb Raider continues to uses the impressive hair physics on current-gen consoles and PC, to the point that Lara's hair actually moves a bit too much to be realistic.
  • Primal did something similar with Jen's distinctive pigtails, as well as with one or two other characters, most of whom suffered from the 'hair through the neck' problem.
  • Metal Gear:
    • This happened to Solid Snake in the original Metal Gear Solid for PSX, whose design includes a long, flowing bandanna. It slowed the engine down so much, though, that the ends were eventually cut off. In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the bandanna tails follow his motions almost perfectly and even flutter noisily when he opens a door to the storm on the deck outside, and was exaggerated by the tails on the Infinity Bandanna being as long as Snake is tall, giving an impression a little like a ninja scarf. The Video Game Remake The Twin Snakes implemented the bandana as originally intended.
    • Snake's skintight outfit might be an example of this trope. The original plan was to put him in combat fatigues, but they didn't have the technology at the time to realistically move them in the wind of the storm Snake's part of the game was set in. It worked out well enough, though, because it led to a "Stupid, sexy Snake" situation.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty also averts this with Raiden's hair, though it doesn't seem to have much weight so it looks a bit unrealistic.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Snake's clothes react convincingly well to wind etc.
    • Thanks to the new FOX Engine, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain this trope is averted, as can be seen in the opening to Ground Zeroes with Skullface's rain coat and Snake's new scarf-laden outfit, complete with trailing belt that follows him like a tail.
  • The PS3 version of MLB: The Show 07 demonstrates why this trope exists. The game tries to model wind effects on flags and player jerseys, but it only contributes to an Unintentional Uncanny Valley feeling.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a second Toad (officially known as "Blue Toad") was used as the fourth playable character instead of Princess Peach in order to avoid programming the physics for her dress, as well as to have every character play the same way. This carries over to New Super Mario Bros. U (which, ironically, replaced him in its Nintendo Switch update with Toadette, who can transform into a facsimile of Peach).
    • Averted in Super Mario 3D World, where Princess Peach is playable, as is Rosalina.
    • Peach is playable in the mobile runner game Super Mario Run, which is stylized after the New Super Mario Bros series. Her dress however doesn't move as much as it does in Super Mario 3D World.
    • The Mario series' relationship with this trope predates three-dimensional graphics: Mario's trademark cap was added because the developers didn't want to have to animate hair. The mustaches were also a result of not wanting to animate a face.
    • This was also played straight with the original version of Bowser, who was actually depicted without hair in that game. However, he did have hair in the SNES remake.
  • Starting in Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Super Smash Bros. series has a few features that blow in the wind (Link's cap, the Fire Emblem characters' capes, the princesses' skirts, etc.). It's obvious that they didn't put much effort into this, though — the capes frequently clip, and Peach and Zelda's hair act as single cohesive units. Notably, you can remove these objects in Debug Mode — including the skirts.
  • In City of Heroes, only one character, Ghost Widow, has flowing hair. The developers stated this would be a huge performance bottleneck if they extended it to everyone else. Even still, her hair is a bit too elastic for its own good. Also played straight with every piece of clothing or equipment (most noticeably in the robes), besides the capes. The capes, which are the source of Ghost Widow's hair physics, work nicely, since they flow and move rather nicely, but the elasticity is still there. Especially noticeable when using travel powers, since any quick movement makes the cape double in size temporarily. Champions Online uses basically the same physics, too.
    • The developers had actually left capes out of City of Heroes when it was initially released, citing this problem. They decided no capes were better than really poorly done capes, and decided to wait until they could work out decent cape physics to implement them.
    • This brings in a unique, player-enforced version of this trope. During certain missions involving large groups of players, enemies and most importantly particle effects, attending players were often asked to have their characters dress in as simple costumes as possible. This lessened the demand on lower-end computers during the more graphically demanding portions. With capes being as processor intensive as they were, players would often be kicked outright if spotted wearing one.
  • Mortal Kombat
    • Made painfully clear in Mortal Kombat 4 with Sonya's frozen ponytail. Later games, made for more powerful systems, managed to avert this: almost everyone has some part of their hair or clothes that flaps freely (in fact, Goro and Kintaro have front flaps added to their Loin Cloths in later games for probably this exact reason). They do occasionally clip inside the character models, though.
    • Inverted with Shang Tsung: Much like he did in the first game, he was originally intended to have long flowing hair in Mortal Kombat 3, which used live-action motion captured actors for the character sprites, but it apparently caused problems, so he had a ponytail instead. In Deadly Alliance, his first appearance in 3D rendering, he had...long flowing hair. Admittedly, this was at the point where technology could accommodate for this, since he wasn't in 4.
  • Inverted with H-Game developer Illusion, since it devotes a lot (and with good reason) of its developing efforts on giving compelling animation to the games' girls, especially to their hair. To the point that it's jarring when its compared to the flat-boxed environments.
  • Guild Wars plays this straight with most of the outfits for the player characters, with the exception of the capes that signal the player's guild which have realistic cloth simulation animation. The longer female styles and accessories in later campaigns (see Dervishes and Ritualists) do move, with the exception of that one high-ponytail look used by Necromancers and Rangers. But the Dervish skirts can be cone-like and a particular (across-the-board) curled, bouncy ponytail has hilarious effects when dancing.
  • Squall's fur collar in Final Fantasy VIII was added expressly to challenge the animators by keeping them from following the trope.
  • Hair in the original Mass Effect trilogy has all of the bob and flow of a concrete sculpture. This is hilariously evident with Miranda in Mass Effect 2 and 3; unlike the military-haired characters of the rest of the game, Miranda has long, flowing, shoulder-length hair, but it's as stiff as a brick. It does kind of move, but only around the shoulders. Like so many other things, the third game's Citadel DLC pokes fun at this; Garrus complains about how long it takes Miranda to do her hair in the morning. This trope is also in effect with the "tears" characters would cry, which range from a pool below their eyes to two slicks running down their cheeks. No animations in between — it's quite a surprise to see someone suddenly look like they've been crying for ten minutes. It's especially jarring next to all the genuinely good graphics the game features, including stunning backgrounds. Mass Effect: Andromeda finally averts this trope for the first time in the series.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins suffers from this in typical BioWare fashion, made worse by the possibility to give long beards to the characters. They are all the same length and attached to a hard point a bit above the solar plexus of the model. This leads to a lot of clipping, with the tips plunging into heavy armour, or the beard stretching elastically between chin and torso whenever a character turns their head during dialogue.
    • In Dragon Age II BioWare started to address this by having hair move subtlety during conversation, cutscenes or when just running about (although compare the Arishok's long hair in the trailer to the game). The beards remain as stiff as ever though.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition goes back to square one again, most likely due to the engine shift. All the available hairstyles for the inquisitor remain frozen in place, even the longer ones. The exception is Morrigan and Sera, whose bangs move slightly during conversations.
  • In Half-Life 2, Alyx's hair is very short and Dr. Mossman's is pulled into a tight bun.
  • By Left 4 Dead, Valve was comfortable giving Zoey a ponytail and bangs. Although they did a pretty good job animating the Boomer's large bodies...
    • During the development of Left 4 Dead 2, the Spitter was going to be in a nightgown, but the idea got scrapped due to the difficulty of rendering a free flowing dress. Similarly, the survivors were going to have straps and other similar accessories to show how they can carry their weapons, but it was also cut out.
  • And now several of the unlockable items in Team Fortress 2 also have jigglebones — which essentially allow them to simulate the inertia produced by the movements of whichever character is carrying or wearing them. Which seems to have hit a wall and bounced back. The Christmas tree hat and the rubber ball they created for an anniversary patch in 2010 (which appears in BLU's spawn when the server is in "party mode") both wobble and spaz out even when they are sitting perfectly still with no physics being applied to them.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3 (which both run on the Gambryo engine), hair is kept above the neck short, even for female characters, to avert this trope. The PC versions allow for mods, and longer hair — but the hair doesn't move at all. When the player drops into a crouch for sneaking, the hair clips through the character's body.
    • Despite beds and sleeping both being gameplay mechanics, you will never see a character actually get into a bed. They simply lie on top of the covers—when the bed has covers to lie on, anyway, which they often don't.
    • Skyrim has a problem with flowing clothes. This is most noticable on the Nightingale Armor, where the cape seems to be anchored at the hip, causing it to unnaturally bend with the PC's body movements rather than actual flow. Similarly any dress or robe in the game will cling onto the legs of the wearer as they walk, rather than realistically wave. When switching to 3rd person displays this trope is entirely in effect for most of your character's gear, especially any cloaks, which sit motionlessly upon your back even while moving.
    • For Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC, physics-enabled cloaks were added... but only used on a single (major) NPC. You'll never obtain one of them, as a player. Even if you do get your hands on it through modding, it's prone to glitching out without (sometimes even with) the correct settings in the game's configuration files.
    • This is evident in Fallout: New Vegas, due to the Badass Longcoat of the Rangers being the game's Iconic Outfit: it never blows or billows the way you'd expect a coat to do, even in a Mojave sandstorm, and it also seems to be glued to the legs based on how it moves when the wearer walks.
    • Fallout 4, which runs on an updated version of the Gamebryo engine, averts this with clothing and hair physics on all characters, including the Player Character.
  • Second Life partially avoids this with animated hair and skirts available as purchased items. It still has clipping issues, but it does look okay most of the time. The default avatar hair ("slider hair") does not flow at all, nor does default avatar skirts. Also, most hair is created with either toruses, which are easy to bend into locks, or sculpties, which are user-defined shapes. Neither of these support the "Flexible Path" option. Hair in Second Life thus ranges from very well-done hair that doesn't flow, to somewhat crappy-looking hair that flows properly.
  • Final Fantasy XIII averts this. Even Sazh, the most heavily-dressed character in the party and sporting a tight afro, has elements of his clothes and hair that blow in the breeze. This is because most of the many years it took to make the game were spent making the graphics engine deliver as realistic graphics as possible, at all times, without slowing down. It certainly shows.
  • In World of Warcraft, capes do flow, but not particularly well. It's especially obvious when the character has a tail, like the Tauren and the Draenei do. Then the cape sways in perfect sync with the tail, but doesn't fall properly at the end of the tail. They also don't wrap around or cover the body, but fall straight down the back like a towel tied around the neck. Capes also clip horribly while riding a raptor mount.

    Hair also deserves a mention, as aside from one or two pony-tails per race and gender, none of the hair in the game moves much regardless of length or style. The reason is, of course, that the capes and hairstyles aren't using any sort of physics, they're simply running through animations like the rest of the character model. The cape is attached to the characters at a fixed length and distance, more like a shell rather than flowing as in City of Heroes.
    • However, the Pandaren which are now playable avert this. While compared to other games they're still rather static, looking at the capes or hair on a Pandaren compared to any other race is quite impressive for such an old engine.
    • The new models avert these problems to some degree. Long hairstyles still don't quite look realistic, but they seem greased rather than gelled: which at least makes sense given the Medieval-Fantasy setting. Cape animation has improved considerably, and characters often have other animated pieces as well. also, they fixed some of the clipping issues (not all though). For example capes now jiggle in response to vertical movement: such as a female night elf's idle bounce.
  • American McGee's Alice is a bit weird. Alice's hair is stiff as a board and can be seen cutting through her neck if you can twist her head right. Her apron ties, on the other hand, flap fairly convincingly whenever she runs or stands in a breeze. The sequel, Alice: Madness Returns, averts this trope by giving Alice's hair pretty complex animation.
  • In Rock Band, there are no guitar straps in the animations because of this. The guitars still act like the straps are there, just invisible. The mo-cap people wore guitar straps and nobody bothered to adjust the models for it. Also, at least one of the potential hair models for female rockers will give them pigtails made of concrete.
  • Played straight in Tales of Symphonia. Particularly jarring with Colette, whose elbow-length hair was rigid as a board.
  • In the Saints Row series, there is a wide variety of long hairstyles to choose from, ranging from corn rows to dreads to ponytails to straight, elbow-length hair. Every single one of these styles is as rigid and stiff as a plank of wood. It's particularly noticeable in a cutscene in the second game, where your character is thrown around during a fight with a rival gang leader — his/her hair sticks perfectly to him/her the whole time, no matter how long it is. Averted in the third game and onwards, where hair (and a limited selection of clothing) bounces and flops around along with the character.
  • In Alan Wake, Alan's shirts and tweed jacket behave very much like shirts and a tweed jacket — the hood bobs around, coattails and lapels flow in the wind, and the tweed pattern bends realistically.
  • According to the folks at Double Fine, the original main character of Psychonauts, D'artanan, had a big, flowy hat that was "too awesome to animate".
  • BioWare's Neverwinter Nights is oddly selective about which items have "flow." Hair and loose sleeves, for example, will deform a bit while moving, but robes will remain stock still.
  • In God of War III, Hercules' loincloth sometimes clips through his legs, exposing his buttocks. On the other hand, Kratos' skirt generally flows pretty well.
  • Flower averts, despite not depicting any humans. Grass, flowers, petals in the breeze, and other objects all blow realistically in the player-controlled wind.
  • Most of the characters in Dead Space have short or no hair, except Kendra, whose long hair moves more like a piece of stiff fabric.
  • Dead or Alive:
    • Assuming you can tear your eyes from the physics-insulting boobs, you may notice the terribly animated hair.
    • In Dimensions they use a different engine for handling long hair that stops it from clipping through the girl's shoulder every time she moves. Long, flowy dresses will still flow strangely at times, though.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep had to remove the capes from the Keyblade armor seen in the teaser movies at the end of Kingdom Hearts II for the actual game because of the programing difficulty and lag involved in simulating proper cape movement in the multiplayer. Even when the characters reappeared in later games on more powerful systems, they still don't have their capes; it seems this trope retconned them out. The closest thing yet is the Lingering Will's cape spontaneously appearing at the end of a remastered Birth by Sleep.
  • Mega Man X: Zero in 3D-appearances, especially in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where his hair acts as just a big bunch of yellow... something instead of, you know, hair.
  • In Eternal Sonata, characters like Polka wear beautiful, bulky layered dresses which remain static and unmoving in all weather, and the characters run around with their arms at a perpetual 45-degree angle to avoid having to interact with the fabric.
  • Mostly straight in [PROTOTYPE]. Models are pretty static to the point where even chest-length hair appears stuck into place of female character models, making it look like rubber. Even the flow of Alex's jacket is scripted to animate only during certain actions.
  • The cancelled Gotham by Gaslight video game had some surprisingly great cape physics.
  • Dynasty Warriors and by extension Samurai Warriors had this in spades for most of their games (although it's improving with each iteration) where any character with a cape or long hair would have those parts of the character model freeze in a static horizontal position when moving forward, as noted however they are getting better with this.
  • This is the reason Spawn's cape was turned into an axe and his chains are missing in his appearance in Soul Calibur 2. Seong Mina's dress in one of her alternate costumes also tends to act ridiculously whenever she is knocked into the air.
  • Watch_Dogs averts this. Just look at Aiden's coat! They even managed to realistically make him put his hands in his pockets, something most animators would kill themselves trying to do.
  • Final Fantasy IX has a cloth example in Princess Garnet's white dress, most memorably seen in the game's opening and closing FMVs. In the FMVs, the dress's motion flow is pretty natural, but in-game, the dress literally doesn't move. After speaking to the rest of the party at the beginning of Disc 3, Garnet steps backward and turns, and the dress stays the exact same shape. In fact, it doesn't seem like any part of her body or her clothes move at ALL in that dress, at least not below the waist.
  • From the PlayStation 2 era and onwards, Square Enix have been pretty good at averting this trope, at least in terms of what's capable with their game engines. Their games feature character with long hair, or flowing robes that aren't simply inert lumps of polygons. In Final Fantasy X, Tetsuya Nomura made a point to challenge the visual programmers with Lulu's dress. It works out in real-time, but in pre-rendered scenes the camera would avoid looking at her from the waist down, or have her not present at all.
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time averts this not on the characters themselves, but on the various tapestries, banners and curtains that you can run into and brush aside.
  • Prince of Persia (2008) averts this when it comes to clothes; it is set in a windy desert, but everyone's clothes act realistically, like Elika's blouse shifting slightly but still clinging to her body. The Corruption and character hair, however, both play it straight.
  • Lampshaded in Zork: Grand Inquisitor, where a Pamphlet Shelf book on a troll-like species appearing in the game comments that they are usually hairy, but "the rarer Broigmoidus C.Graphicus... is most often hairless".
  • Averted in Nocturne (1999). Real-time cloth physics were applied liberally to various things such as curtains and articles of clothing, and (more or less) reacted to being walked through and blown by the wind.
  • Senran Kagura has very stiff hair animation, but notably for having such a bouncy cast, also applies to this to the girls' chests, eschewing Jiggle Physics in favor of canned animations based on what else the model is doing. In a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, this (and the Puni Plush art style) actually makes it look less ridiculous than, say, Dead or Alive.
  • In the opening movie to Tekken 2, Nina Williams has a spot which seems to expressly show Namco can avert this trope... At least in FMVs. Later games avert this by having in-engine clothing physics (of note being Jin Kazama's hoodie from 4 onwards that will fall off his head if he does something that knocks it off, like rolling backwards off the ground).
  • Destiny seems dead set on averting this. Notably Hunters and Warlocks are given capes and coats respectively that flap around as they move. A good example is a Hunter on a Sparrow, as the cloak will billow in the breeze as the Hunter zooms around everywhere.
  • Pokémon:
    • Several of the trainer classes in Pokémon X and Y are shown with curly or wavy hair in their artwork, however their overworld models show them with straight hair.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon is a bit better at this than its previous generation, but even then it keeps curls to a minimum.
  • Despite the Victorian inspired setting and the expectation that Every Proper Lady Should Curtsy none of the women in Dishonored wear dresses or skirts and keep their hair short or pinned up.
  • Any of the long hairstyles in The Movies notably don't gel with particular animations such as sharp head turns. They remain rigid while the rest of the head moves. None of the long styles ever go longer than the middle of the back presumably for this reason. This shows up in some of the outfits with long skirts and dresses - especially when the models are riding horses.
  • Batman: Arkham Origins gave Shiva, who normally has flowing hair that reaches almost to her waist, a short bob cut. She's had similar cuts in the comics, however.
  • Any video game based on Spawn tends to hide his iconic cape unless it's in a cutscene. His chains are also absent most of the time due to this trope. However, thanks to the advancements in technology, his guest appearance in Mortal Kombat 11 gives him the full package of powers during gameplay, cape and chains included.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has hair of all kinds and there's several hairstyles that are long and flowing. Robes, skirts, and poofy sleeves are also common. However, the physics in the game are very basic; shoulder length hair and some skirts or robes do move with the player's movement and can even flutter in the wind, but it's very basic movement. Hair that goes past the shoulders don't move at all and a lot of long sleeves don't flow either, which makes them look like someone put too much starch in the wash. Clipping is also extremely common with armor that has a big collar if there's long hair involved and skirts and robes can cause your feet to clip through as you run.
  • Batman: Vengeance: Batman's cape zigzags this. It moves independently of Batman himself so that it can act realistically when he's running, climbing, or grappling. The downside of this is that it flaps around wildly whenever he's standing still, and it looks about as realistic as the cloth capes on the old Kenner action figures.
  • In the Kirby series, most of Meta Knight's 3D appearances avoided this by constantly depicting him with his wings and never with his cape, unless it's wrapped around him. The Super Smash Bros. series are the only games where he's constantly shown with his cape.
  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: According to producer Kensuke Tanabe, the developers decided to take advantage of the Wii U's power by averting this, despite highly increased development time. The E3 2013 reveal of the game saw Satoru Iwata making a special point of calling attention to DK's new fur physics.
  • Splatoon averts this, with Inklings' and Octolings' tentacle hair bobbing and bouncing around with every step they take (most impressive with the default pigtails on the girl). Clothing is rather tight and stiff when worn, but special attention is given to the animation of your character's shirt crumpling to the ground after you're splatted.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses tends to animate large clumps of hair as a single mass, moving more like a cape than hair. It's particularly noticeable with Ferdinand's post-timeskip model, as his hair in the back moves as a single mass instead of individual pieces and has a tendency to float instead of resting in place. This is especially noticeable if he reclasses to a class with a more revealing outfit and/or moves his head enough, which can result in some rather odd views.
  • The Borderlands series has played this straight for a majority of its history. Characters are either bald, short-haired, constantly wearing some form of headgear, or never take off their face-concealing helmets. This also extends to their wardrobe, where their outfits tend to lack anything that might realistically move about. The third game finally averted it completely where numerous things dangle and move independantly of what they're attached to. Notable examples include the long jacket that FL4K wears and Amara's ponytail.
  • This is presumably the reason why all hairstyles in Animal Crossing are either short or tied-up, and why all dresses only go down to the knees (and even then, they're stiff as if they've been starched). It's finally averted in New Horizons, which features longer dresses and hairstyles that sway and bounce appropriately. Also, some items react with semi-realistic physics near each other, such as clothing on the drying rack swaying when near a fan.

    Visual Novels 
  • According to the official blog, Princess Rayfa in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice always sheds her cape before performing the Dance of Devotion to prevent her body from clipping through it.
  • Amazingly averted with all the animated scenes in Melody. The developers did a really good job of making even the girls’ hair flow during sex scenes.

    Web Animation 
  • The Doctor Who webcast Dreamland falls squarely into this trope.
  • Played with in the animated shorts based on The Legend of Zelda: The Light of Courage. Link and Zelda's hair and clothes are completely stiff, but Ganon's robe flows way too much, at one point even falling halfway off when he moves too fast. (This was actually a mistake, but they decided to Throw It In because it was funny.)
  • Two Best Friends Play: Pat comments on this trope in several videogame playthroughs. It's hard to realistically animate a character underneath bedcovers, so Pat draws attention to all the cutscenes with characters sleeping on top of the covers (or without any covers at all). On the rare occasion that a game does shows someone sleeping under the covers, Pat will point out how unrealistic the covers look. While watching the Optional Sexual Encounter in Heavy Rain, Pat quips, "They have sex behind the bed so they don't have to get underneath the covers."
  • Varies in MikuMikuDance videos, depending on the model and who the maker is. Generally, long hair and free-flowing clothing such as skirts, coats, and scarves are handled decently as far as basic motion goes. However, medium or short hair has virtually no life whatsoever. Also, clothing doesn't exactly fold. It bends and/or clips instead.
  • RWBY: Characters have limited movement of the hair, something that is very noticeable for long hair. Although it will billow freely enough, it does so as a block, sometimes making even long hair seem like a solid clump rather than freeflowing strands of hair. Although the CGI improves with every volume, and changes engine completely between Volumes 3 and 4, hair continues to flow as a block rather than as loose strands.
  • Averted to a seriously impressive degree with the various CGI interdimensional animal creatures of Satellite City, all the more impressive because the animation is primarily done by one guy working alone. The vast majority of the characters, with only a few exceptions, are seriously fluffy demon-creatures who all have either a thick coating of fur, long human-like hair, some form of flowing human clothing, or all of the above. They can even be seen breathing subtly, and getting visibly soaked through in places when there's a light rain. There's still not a whole lot of movement in the fur, but it's well-justified since they spend most of their time inside where there's no wind.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Not CGI, but Katara's "hair loopies" were opted over overly-long hair because they were easier to animate.
    • Similarly, in the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra early artwork for Kya showed that she was supposed to have dreadlocks. In the final product she just has straight hair because it was easier to animate.
  • One of the trope's first widespread sights was in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures. Whenever the characters entered the virtual Questworld, they would wear form-fitting armor instead of clothes, and due to the animation techniques, hair would look like a sculpted helmet, flow be damned.
  • Various shows by Mainframe Entertainment had to use this trope:
    • ReBoot is set in a computer, so everyone wears skintight clothes. It wasn't until later seasons that female characters even had long hair.
    • Shadow Raiders is set in space, with aliens made of rock, magma, who are insects, reptiles or robots. So no-one even has hair, nor wear billowy clothes. Only the reptiles of Bone have moving membranes/ridges on their backs, which do move along with them. A few rare scenes features static fabrics in the throne room of planet Fire.
    • Beast Wars loves this trope. The big advantage to having a show with a cast composed of robots is that you do away with the issue of clothes and hair right from the get go. Of course the character models look like they're just composed of geometric shapes; they're all robots! Problems arise when you look at the animal alt-modes and the real-life animals they run across, fur and feathers might as well be sculpted on for all they move.
    • Despite the technology only being a couple of years more advanced than for its forerunner, Beast Machines gave Blackarachnia a big clump of black hair in her robot mode. Thankfully, due to the way her forehead was designed, the animators didn't have to bother with the front. Then, there's also Nightscream's infamous floppy hair-streak. Essentially, although they are for the most part animated to look floppy, they look more like weird bits of flesh coming out of their head, as they never separate into strands.
    • All female characters in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series have their hair either in ponytails or cut short, including MJ, who rarely has short hair in the comics. Peter Parker was also supposed to wear baggier clothes to hide his super-strong musculature but he wears moderately tight clothing in the final product.
  • VeggieTales characters were designed as vegetables because they were basically spheres with a few extra features. Easy to animate. At least that's how it began. While the later character designs are largely the same, the subtle details have changed quite a bit. Larry now looks more like an actual cucumber, with bumps and color striations. The animation has gotten more sophisticated, but why would the animators want to do something more complex when what we have now works so well? Giving Bob and Larry hands at this point would make about as much sense as putting a drop-tile ceiling on the Sistine Chapel.

    Clothes or costumes that the Veggies wear, however — notably shirts — tend to stick rigidly to their bodies, because this simplifies the animator's job tremendously. Occasionally this results in strange-looking object behaviors — like the paper bag that Larry wears over his head in the counter-top bookend scenes for "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella," which sounds like a paper bag but moves like a rubber artist's eraser.
  • The CGI animation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was initially unfortunately notorious for this. A common criticism was that the characters' hair looked like it was chiseled out of wood. Especially visible on Obi-Wan, whose beard is so rigid it behaves like an extension of his jaw. Aside from having unmoving hair, many of the Jedi wore armored cloaks in the first seasons so the animators didn't have to animate the flowing robes of the live-action theatrical films. As The Clone Wars progressed, new models for the main characters were introduced that replaced the rigid armor with flexible robes. By the third season, the animation of The Clone Wars looked better than it did back in its pilot film, with rustling clothes and waving hair aplenty.
  • Usually played straight in Code Lyoko, especially in season 1. And a rare justified case, because they are actually in a virtual space, so the CGI, with or without flow, is what the characters actually see. The Lyoko Avatars have all blocky hair (including Yumi's, which is in a tight bun) and clingy clothes. By season 2, the animators try adding a little flow, like with the occasional Dramatic Wind, or Ulrich's hair ribbon flapping behind him when he's riding the Overbike. By season 4, Yumi has loose hair that certainly flow with her various acrobatics, though the clothes are even more skintight.
  • Dreamworks Animation:
    • Very egregious in movie-to-series adaptations like Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and The Penguins of Madagascar, where the painstaking detail in each fur and feather for the animal characters in the movies is noticeably absent, replaced by smooth bodies and static clumps, like Alex's mane when he briefly appeared as a spirit guide to an amnesiac Skipper in one episode. For Kung Fu Panda, individual hairs are placed in, but they are so spaced apart or few between that it becomes very noticeable when using close-up shots.
    • However, Dreamworks does manage to avert this in the show Dragons: Riders of Berk. The quality still isn't the same as the film, but it still manages to work. Hair and clothes retain their texture and aren't all stiff, though some of the fur clothing pieces have either had the fur shortened or removed.
    • And played again in Monsters vs. Aliens, where Susan/Ginormica's hair is very smooth, static and tied in a ponytail.
  • Averted in some instances, yet played straight in others, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012). The Turtles' bandannas are often seen flapping around in the breeze during combat. However, Shredder never wears his cape during battle, though this is justified as they can be a liability in battle.
  • Monster Buster Club follows the CGI standard of characters having blocks for hair and tight clothes. However, it also subverts somewhat the trope with the hair not being static but waving along with movements (especially the bangs, locks or tips).
  • Very obvious on the humans in Transformers: Prime; their hair hardly moves at all, giving the impression that they're wearing way too much hair gel.
  • Donkey Kong Country altered King K. Rool's long cape from the games into a comedically short one that goes just past his shoulders. Besides that, Dixie's ponytail was shortened, Candy's shoulder-length hair was changed to an updo, and all of the Kritters' tails were removed.
  • This is made less obvious in Miles from Tomorrowland; despite the space setting that makes shorter, stiffer fabric and hair feel more natural, materials on these characters do move lightly from time to time.
  • Star Wars Rebels has it both ways. The characters have sections of hair that move with the wind and action, but the rest is solid even when it shouldn't be. They avoid loose clothing, such as having the Tusken Raiders wrapped more tightly in their robes, but it sometimes moves lightly anyway. Averted completely with Darth Vader's cape, which eats up a considerable amount of the clothing budget every episode it's in (to the point where the showrunners wanted to include Orson Krennic but couldn't on account of his iconic cape). The hard plastic armor that the clones and stormtroopers are famed for are also too flexible, making it too obvious that they were simply painted onto the very flexible human model underneath, rather than being made of its composite parts.
  • Since Flash animating wavy hair is difficult, in SpacePOP Rhea's hair is thinner and shorter than in the illustrations and Athena's hair is always tied into a bun instead of loose. Luna's long hair is separately animated from the rest of her.
  • The Italian cartoon Leonardo features an heavy example of this trope. Season 1 was hand-drawn and featured characters with long, flowing hair and clothing, while Season 2 was done in CGI and features the same characters with tied up hair and more fitting clothing (not to mention that the character designs barely resemble the old ones).
  • In Ready Jet Go!, most of the characters wear pants, and most of the females' hair only reaches their shoulders because animating flowing skirts/hair would be difficult on this show's seemingly low-budget in the earlier episodes. Lillian wears a dress, but it's very still. Mindy's pigtails are an exception, as they're often seen moving and bouncing with the slightest movements of her head, especially in the later episodes (starting with "Solar System Bake-Off"), which all have a higher budget, so all the characters have a better flow.