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Lazy Animation

In animation there are a number of techniques used to save time and effort and consequently money. When used properly, all of these techniques should result in a decrease in the amount of work necessary to create animation, without negatively affecting the animation itself.

This is particularly important in the Japanese animation industry, where a typical half hour TV episode has half the budget as the same half hour TV episode would have in the North American animation industry.

For example, during long dialogue scenes the characters may be drawn in such a way as to hide the mouth, thus making it unnecessary to animate lip flaps. Instead of animating full motion, objects may simply have their movements 'abstracted' by sliding the cel across the screen. Dramatic scenes, especially when involving crowds, may be represented using still 'snapshots' (often watercolored) of critical moments, which even gives them a greater dramatic tone. Some cels, and even entire scenes, may be re-used later in the episode or series; this is especially true of transformation sequences.

Such shortcuts allow to save on the number of cels but this is usually combined with more detail put into each of those cels, which makes the drop in cel count less noticeable. However, when these techniques are used excessively, the animation quality is significantly deteriorated. Looping and panning are two of the most common techniques used to simplify animation, and are the most noticeable contributors to lazy animation.

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