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Kevin: It's some kind of invisible barrier.
Invisible characters present a tricky challenge in visual media: If the character is invisible, how can the audience follow what he's doing? To overcome this, creators have invented various methods of visualizing invisibility:
- The invisible character is visible to the audience. No special effect required, just have the other actors pretend they can't see the invisible ones. Used often in live action, especially when the invisible characters are intangible as well (lots of ghosts are shown this way). Usually accompanied by some verbal cue ("They can't see us!"). It's common to cut to another character's POV to show he's seeing empty space.
- The invisible character is rendered as a vague distortion of the background. A.K.A. the Predator method. Whether or not the other characters can see the vague distortion varies from work to work. This is also used quite often as transitional state, as when something switches its invisibility on or off.
- The invisible character is partly transparent.
- The invisible character is shown as an outline. Especially common in comics and animation.
- The invisible character is completely invisible, even to the audience. Here, the only way to know what the character is doing is by indirect clues, such as the character leaving footprints, or walking through smoke or rain. If no such clues are given the exact position of the character is still often indicated by the camera remaining focused on them to the exclusion of everything else.
Visible to the Audience
- Most renditions, in text and on film, of A Christmas Carol.
- Ghost Dad
- Chevy Chase in Memoirs of an Invisible Man, particularly when he was the only character onscreen. Other scenes had him completely invisible when needed.
- When he's made invisible, it applies only to him and the clothes he's wearing at the time. He can don clothes to make himself visible, and quickly strips out of them in some instances when he needs to escape pursuers.
- He's invisible to everyone including himself. He can see through his eyelids; he can see through the back of his head. Consequently, he doesn't sleep well.
- Also, when he smokes you can see the outline of the smoke going down his trachea and entering his lungs. And when he drinks, you can see the juice going down his esophagus and enter his stomach. (Take his word for it: You do not want to see him eat.)
- Which, oddly enough, made this the movie most true to the original book.
- Black Mask 2: City of Masks: Except for some rare occasions when she entirely gets the drop on, or gives the slip to, her opponent, genetically-modified professional wrestler Chameleon's body is almost always either visible in outline, or as a variable transparent figure, or with some parts of her body being visible. It is clear from several scenes that she is at least somewhat-perceptible this way to other characters and not just to the audience. As she must be unclothed in order to be invisible, naturally this serves Chameleon's fanservice appeal.
- Heart and Souls, although Thomas Riley is the one person who can see the ghosts following him around, which makes him look insane to everyone else.
- Amazon Women on the Moon has an interesting sendup: Ed Begly as the "Invisible Man", so he says he is, who is perfectly visible to everyone around him; they just play along with his antics. To make it more "authentic", the IM rips off all his clothes in order to carry out his pranks (sticking darts in the dartboard, stealing beer, etc). He's genuinely surprised when the police finally arrest him.
Live Action TV
- Claude in Heroes is visible to the audience most of the time during his episodes, but when he's introduced at the beginning of an episode, the audience hears his voice and sees him pick up an object, rendering it invisible. Also, the audience has seen him fade in and out of visibility. This causes his fans to believe that after he ran out on Peter, he's in every scene—we just can't see him.
- Lampshaded by the writers: when asked if they were bringing Claude back, they replied "We already have. Didn't you see him?"
- Al, in the Quantum Leap TV series, as a temporal hologram, is visible only to Sam (and occasionally animals and small children).
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Fear, Itself", Xander turns invisible and unheard, playing on his fears of being ignored by his now college-going friends. Of course, the audience can see and hear him just fine.
- In "Gone" however Blinvibl!Buffy is invisible to the audience as well. Buffy has fun showing off via talking skulls and baseball eyes.
- In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Vanishing Point" Hoshi becomes invisible to the rest of the crew, but looks exactly the same to the audience, except when she looks in a mirror.
- Randall and Hopkirk Deceased: Marty is only visible (usually) to Jeff and the audience, and invisible to everyone else.
- Used a lot in William Shakespeare's plays, especially when the invisible character (e.g., Banquo's ghost) is only visible to one character.
- Probably just a stage technique in general— Blithe Spirit, for example.
- Hence also used for Oliver in Slings and Arrows.
- Shakespeare's original manuscripts have minimal stage directions, so when the ghost doesn't speak it's valid (if uncommon) to use the "Invisible to Audience" method below.
- Stagehands in traditional Japanese theatre often dress in a black outfit covering their entire body. The "invisible" part comes in when you consider that this is where the stereotypical image of a Ninja came from - ninja characters would wear the stagehand costume when hiding to signify that the audience was supposed to ignore them.
- Comedian-magician Mac King pokes fun at this trope with the "Mac King Cloak of Invisibility," a device that supposedly renders him completely invisible to whoever's on stage with him at the time as well as the audience. Said device is a bright yellow rain slicker that can practically be seen from orbit.
- In LARPing, it's a common rule that a player can signal that he's invisible by holding his forearms crossed. Of course, this works on the honor system - it's up to the other players to play fair and act as if they don't see the invisible one. Or, for that matter, not use the signal unless their character actually can turn invisible.
- El Goonish Shive deals with invisible characters by having them be completely visible to the audience, but wearing shirts that say "invisible."
- The illusionist Derren Brown once convinced someone that he was invisible. While he was standing in front of them. The audience gets to watch that confused someone.
Anime and Manga
- Ghost in the Shell's Thermoptic camouflage.
- Averted in the movie, and occasionally in the series. In the movie you can only see the disturbances that a cloaked character causes, like footprints, falling objects, etc. In the series you can see distortion sometimes, but not always — usually when the audience shares the perspective with the invisible character. There's always distortions for a few seconds when a character turns invisible, though.
- Latios and Latias in Pokémon Heroes
- Espio the Chameleon in Sonic X.
- The invisible car in Die Another Day. There's a (rather overlong) explanation of the spec-tech involved, and the distortion is very visible.
- At least when the car is moving, as presumably the cameras and computers have a hard time keeping up. When it's still, it's undetectable.
- The Shadow does this in the 1994 film, especially when he's throwing punches, but it's not true invisibility, merely "clouding men's minds".
- Predator: The cloaking device used by the predators. The distortion is also present in the Alien vs. Predator games and enemies may notice you moving in front of them.
Live Action TV
- The Shadows in Babylon 5 occasionally appear this way when they're not totally invisible.
- The Jem'Hadar from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
- In Champions Online, if a player has sufficient Intelligence or a Utility to aid his ability to detect Stealthed characters, they show up this way.
- The stealth tanks in the first Command and Conquer game, especially in the associated FMV. Years later, Renegade used a cheaper version of this effect (and added stealth troopers).
- Doom has spectres (and players using "partial invisibility") appear as a darkened silhouette.
- Dystopia's stealthers are rendered as a watery distortion while they're moving, but invisible while they're still. TAC scans show a snapshot of their IFF boxes, and the Sound Wave Triangulator shows spinning triangles for their footsteps and gunshots.
- In Oblivion, the "Chameleon" magic effect is a partial subversion: as Chameleon strength increases, the distortion effect gradually gives way to full invisibility, and 100% Chameleon makes you both completely invisible and untargetable by the AI.
- In Fallout 3, the Stealth Boy and Chinese Stealth Armor (from Operation: Anchorage) behave this way.
- In the Halo series, the Active camo can be perceived as a player shaped distortion similar to heat distortion if you are close enough.
- Jedi Academy has some high-ranking stormtroopers use this. The hilarious part is that they're usually still painfully visible, and the fact that they won't move or attack while cloaked means they'll just stand there and wait for you to impale them with a lightsaber.
- Same with the Shadow Troopers in Outcast, but not as easy to impale them with the saber if it wasn't for the fact they were wielding one themselves.
- In Kingdom Hearts, one Heartless called Stealth Sneak can turn invisible, having this effect.
- Knights of the Old Republic II does this for stealth mode.
- Infiltrators using their tactical cloak, and Geth Hunters in Mass Effect 2. Unusually, the glowing "eye" on the geth is still clearly visible, which substantially undermines the effectiveness of the camouflage. Their cloaks are better in Mass Effect 3, but still not perfect.
- The Metal Gear series, when a character is using stealth camo. The amount of distortion differs between NPC's and the player characters--a stealthed boss will be completely transparent aside from the distortion around the outline, while Snake or Raiden in stealth mode will also have a distinct green tint so you can at least see yourself. In Metal Gear Online, a sharp eye for these can help in stealth team battles.
- Perfect Dark has the Cloaking Device, which leaves a faint distortion when the user moves around.
- Enemy cloaked units in Starcraft have a slight distortion: it's very difficult to make out a Dark Templar who looks like a smoke trail. And even if you can see where he is, you can't shoot at him anyway. Once you know where the unit is though, you can move a detector there.
- However, note that the attacks of a cloaked unit remain perfectly visible, which is a bit of a giveaway to a human player. Said human player will probably drop a Psionic Storm, ComSat Sweep, or Ensnare on the offending units.
- The Ghost's attack is very hard to spot though, as it only gives off a small muzzle flash.
- However, note that the attacks of a cloaked unit remain perfectly visible, which is a bit of a giveaway to a human player. Said human player will probably drop a Psionic Storm, ComSat Sweep, or Ensnare on the offending units.
- Used in Star Trek Online for the "Stealth Module" ground skill. Only teammates can see the distortion, to enemies it's totally invisible. Accompanied with an Invisibility Flicker when attacking.
- Super Smash Bros Melee uses this, when the character uses a movement to guide the player to know where it is; otherwise the character is completely invisible.
- In Team Fortress 2, the cloaked Spy is visible as a distortion to his own team, but completely invisible (unless he's shot/bumped into) to the other team.
- Unless he's using the Cloak and Dagger. That works normally when charged or when standing still. If the charge runs out and he moves, the same visibility effect happens as when he is shot.
- At one point in Mountain of Faith, the kappa Nitori shows up in "Optical Camouflage". However, she's not really all that invisible; just translucent. The heroines point this out after they break the camo entirely.
- Jungle in We ♥ Katamari.
- In Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, there are "invisible" enemies that distort the image of whatever is behind them, and this distortion gets stronger at the edges, almost giving them an outline. Imagine a human-shaped glass figurine and you're pretty close. Only, light doesn't reflect off these guys, making them way harder to spot than glass.
- The Nanosuit cloaking device in Crysis works this way. Unlike in, say, Metal Gear Solid, this means that enemies who are at close range or have already been alerted to the player's presence will, in fact, be able to see (and shoot) you. Likewise, it is possible to see cloaked enemies as well, if you look carefully.
- The Gleipnir and Fenrir from Ace Combat X Skies of Deception have this.
- Thrust in Transformers Armada is seen as a mirage-esque distortion of the background when he's invisible.
- Wolverine and the X-Men: The Blackbird's cloaking device is, when active, a blue-white outline of the plane's entire shape that phases into visibility for a second, then vanishes, strobing like that.
- The Invisible Streaker in Totally Spies: "Evil Boyfriend". In this case, he is invisible to characters who aren't equipped with infra-red goggles.
- This is probably what a real-life Invisibility Cloak will look like in 5 or 10 years.
- This... hell yeah.
Anime and Manga
- In Keroro Gunsou, Keronian technology can make it so that specific people can see you while others can't. If you can see a cloaked Keronian, you see them as translucent images. The anime adds a rainbow glow to the outermost outlines, though it can get a little inconsistent with some items only having the rainbow glow.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S uses this method to portray Garyuu's and the Type IV Gadget Drone's invisibility, though attentive viewers may notice that the latter also used the Distortion method a few seconds before it made its presence known to the audience.
- Rogues using stealth in most D&D-based video games, including Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale.
- Bioshock: While you're standing still with the Natural Camouflage tonic equipped, your hands and guns are transparent.
- All characters with Flash Steps in the DS Bleach fighters are shown as turning transparent and dashing to the specified direction to the user of the said character, but disappearing entirely and appearing elsewhere to the opposing player. Does not apply to actual teleports, which a few characters possess.
- All stealth units in Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun (completely invisible to the enemy, of course).
- Ecco the Dolphin, in Defender of the Future, is see-through with stealth, but the enemies can't see him, even if he bumps into them.
- The Specters of Doom I and II are just Demons with the transparency turned up. On lower-end systems (I'm looking at you, 32X), they were closer to fuzzy background distortions.
- In The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion there are two kinds of invisibility: regular invisibility and chameleon. Regular invisibility uses the transparent effect, unless it's another character using it, in which case they go completely invisible. Chameleon also uses partial transparency, whether it's on your or another person. However, if you reach 100% chameleon, you are completely invisible, even to yourself. This is an infamous Game Breaker, since regular invisibility goes away when you attack, but chameleon doesn't.
- Eve Online ships with cloaking devices are semitransparent to the player controlling the ship and completely invisible to everyone else, including teammates.
- Your Player Character looks like this when under the Invisible Status Buff in Final Fantasy XI.
- A player's own cloaked units in Starcraft.
- And an enemy's cloaked units once they're within range of a unit with the Detector property, such as the Terran Missile Turret or the Protoss Observer.
- Mario using the Vanish cap in Super Mario 64.
- In Warcraft III, your own and allies' invisible units are partly transparent, but completely invisible to the enemy (unless they have invisibility-detecting), but you can still get them with splash damage. Then there's that unfortunate Invisibility Flicker...
- In World of Warcraft, stealthed rogues, druids, night elves, and pets are shown like this. Stealthed enemy characters are completely invisible unless they come too close, though.
- In Rise of the Kasai, Tati and Grizz become shadowy and transparent when they stay still and hug the wall. The player can still see them, but enemies will walk right by without noticing them, allowing them to kill them from positions the other playable characters can't.
- In City of Heroes allies who are cloaked will be invisible to the enemy but semi-transparent to you. Your character will also appear semi-transparent to indicate to you when cloaked.
- A few stealth powers, like Cloak of Darkness and Shadowfall, make you look more like a cloud of smoke to yourself and your allies.
- Espio the Chameleon in Sonic Heroes.
- The active camo in Halo: Reach. The user's transparency decreases when they move.
- The Gary Coleman Show, in which Gary is a child angel.
- Invisible spirits on Avatar: The Last Airbender are a transparent blue when they're in the physical world.
- The Hobbit used this technique when depicting Bilbo using the Ring.
- In Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui, when Vakama is seen after discovering his Kanohi Mask Power, he is completely invisible to the raging Makuta, however the viewer can see him quite clearly as a see-through, colorless figure.
- Characters in Final Fantasy VI who have had the Vanish spell cast on themselves are shown as a black outline; Vanished enemies fall under the "completely invisible" format.
- In the second Master of Orion, ships with a Phasing Cloak device equipped show up on the tactical screen as a transparent outline. You can scan a ship using their Phasing Cloak, but are unable to target it for weapons fire.
- Wing Commander
- In Wing Commander III, in the "fly-by" cutscenes, cloaked Excaliburs show up as wireframe outlines.
- In Wing Commander IV, thanks to special optics for the Dragon fighter you can visually track cloaked ships, which use the wireframe outline mentioned above to display them.
- Used in Temple Run. Interestingly, the monsters can still see you while you're invisible, but it does protect you against trees and pitfalls. One can only guess that the invisibility makes you intangible, and that the monsters are quite supernatural. (Well, they do have skulls for heads.)
- The Order of the Stick uses this method in a scene shown through the three fiends' HD TV screen, which has a "see invisible" setting. The rest of the time, it uses the "completely invisible" one below.
- Danny Phantom, when invisible, is still inked in blackline but is given an airbrushed glow effect and filled in with slight white. Also, his eyes are drawn normally even when he's invisible to make it easier for the viewer to spot him.
- Though averted with villains occasionally. They will be completely invisible to the audience if we aren't supposed to see them.
- From the same creator: In The Fairly Odd Parents episode "Timvisible", when Timmy wishes for invisibility, a magic pencil's eraser tip rubs out all of his colors, leaving only an outline that, for some reason, only the audience is able to see.
- Space Ghost: Jan and Jayce all were drawn in white outline.
- Komodo of The Secret Saturdays is drawn in white outline.
- Ditto for Wonder Woman's invisible jet.
- Spoofed in an episode of Rugrats. The group becomes childhood expies of a Fantastic Four expy. While it's implied that the adult in the cartoon they were watching becomes fully invisible, Lil, being a baby, does not understand the reason for the outline and becomes "Dotted Line Girl" who unfortunately can be seen because:
Angelica: Any idiot can see a dotted line!
- Harry Potter. The footprint method is used in the third movie when Harry wears the cloak outside while it's snowing.
- However in any shot where he's putting on or taking off the cloak, it falls into the category of distortion due to the use of the green-screen technique to make the cloak appear invisible.
- The video game version of Philosopher's Stone uses the Partly Transparent method. And although we can see Harry the whole time, they didn't bother to put a cloak on him — you know, the thing that's actually supposed to be making him invisible in the first place.
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy, with Frodo. The only way we could tell where he was in the last part was by his footprints.
- Bilbo was invisible to the audience while wearing the ring. However, when Frodo wore the ring, we saw a distorted version of reality with him in it.
- The monster in Forbidden Planet.
- The title character of Harvey is present only through his action on the environment, such as moving books.
- The demonic presence in Paranormal Activity makes itself visually known by moving the bedroom door and the planchette on a Ouija board, shifting the bedcovers, or dragging the female lead out of bed and down the stairs. Later on, they dust the hallway floor with flour, and it leaves white, bestial footprints. (It has other tricks as well.)
- The titular Petes Dragon can make himself totally invisible; the audience only sees his effects, like a petticoat being mischievously hooked on a nail.
- When we finally get to "see" Invisible Boy's power in Mystery Men, he vanishes completely from the scene, only showing the objects moved by him.
- Hollow Man — even his vomit was invisible. Plenty of tricks were used to still get a view of him though.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, on two separate occasions: the season 1 episode "Out of Mind, Out of Sight", and the season 6 episode "Gone".
- Most adaptations of H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man:
- The 2000 series — the camera would usually cut to Fawkes' POV to show what he was doing.
- In a case of Special Effects Failure, the original The Invisible Man film starring Claude Rains had him leave shoe-like prints in the snow, despite the fact that he wasn't supposed to be wearing any. Stagehands made the footprints by pulling cutouts from a floor/boards that had fake snow on top, and it's easier to cut out a shoe shape (since usually in a bare footprint the toes leave separate prints).
- Cloaked ships and characters in Star Trek and the Stargate Verse. Though early cloaked ships sometimes produced a distortion effect, which was actually a plot point.
- Clara of Sanctuary used the footprints method of tracking usually, using the outline when she was 'found' by turning on the sprinklers. Later uses enabled her to partly 'uncloak' some part of her body to alert the viewers where she was.
- Different from being transparent, other Player Characters in Final Fantasy XI under Invisible cannot be seen at all... although they can still be targeted, for some reason that doesn't seem to exist.
- Characters with the "invisible" status buff in Final Fantasy Tactics leaves only a shadow. You can still see where the unit is (though the AI might not) but that unit cannot be targeted.
- The third boss in The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass - you have to shoot it in the eye to make it visible again. Conveniently, the top screen shows the boss' first-person view of the fight.
- Using the Invisible ability in Soulcalibur IV renders your character invisible, even to you the player- all you can see is the effects when swinging a weapon. Of course, this is because it's usable in Special Versus, too, and human players aren't so easy to fool as the AI.
- The Illwrath ships in Star Control 2 have this as their special ability. However, since the "camera" is always aimed at the point directly between the two fighting ships, you can get a pretty good idea of where one is hiding.
- Some NPCs in World of Warcraft have an ability that makes them invisible. The only way to see them is to wait until they attack (when the spell breaks) or use a detect invisibility spell. Mages also learn an invisibility spell, that causes them to turn progressively transparent until they disappear completely (it last for a very limited time, though).
- If a ninja does this in Samurai Shodown, you may see flickers of him when he performs a manoeuvre. Less useful for Galford, since his dog Poppy always stays nearby.
- Annoying when the CPU does it in Mortal Kombat games that let it happen. Invisible Perfect Play AI, anyone?
- In Kickassia, Linkara remarks to interviewer Chris Larios that JewWario is extremely good at camouflage, and the camera pans to where the character is supposed to be standing. His disembodied voice is heard, and at one point someone bumps into him. Oddly, this ability is never used at any other point in the film.
- Kopaka in the Bionicle web-animations, when donning the Mask of Concealment. Only the footprints he leaves in the snow can be seen.
- Invisibo, from Freakazoid, was invisible except for the scepter he always carried. Freakazoid still had trouble finding him, mostly because he's, well, Freakazoid.
- Due to budget constraints, however, Invisibo appears for most of their first fight as a rod clearly dangling from a piece of rope. Yes, in a cartoon. Fortunately, due to how bad that looked, the producers let them have a higher budget about halfway through the fight.
- "The Invisible Monster" in Jonny Quest left burning... er... blob-prints where it "stepped" and blew up anything it touched, so there was a clear delineation of where it had been. How Dr. Quest and Race were able to make it visible by dropping paint balloons onto it is never explained.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Don't Even Blink", objects and people hit with the Invisinator are completely invisible to the audience, except when Perry and Doofenshmirtz are hit off-center and rendered only half-invisible—vertically.
- Some fans say this is due to the disbursal of the beam. it's highly concentrated when up close and spreads into less visible beams the farther it gets from the source.
- There's a Tom and Jerry cartoon, "Of Feline Bondage", where Jerry drinks an invisibility potion and becomes invisible, seen only by his shadow or when he held things. Of course, this episode may or may not have been thought up to save money on animating.
- Mirage in Transformers (G1). He turns invisible with an effect that looks like he's being surrounded with a laser cube, then the viewer only sees footsteps or items he's carrying.
- Ravage in Beast Wars was not only able to turn completely invisible, save for his laser blasts, he was also able to turn his entire ship and everyone on board invisible.
- Phantom Limb's arms and legs in The Venture Brothers are like this, which is occasionally Played for Laughs when other characters can't quite decipher his vague motions.
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Pranks a lot," Patrick and Spongebob paint themselves with invisible spray, making them completely invisible to the viewer. This does not interfere with the camera panning between them and zooming in dramatically on the characters' faces.
Multiple methods / Other
Anime and Manga
- Ea from Toumei Shoujo Ea (English title: "Invisible Girl Ea") takes all the methods, for the most part. She shifts between visibility and invisibility to the audience, except when her powers are malfunctioning, wherein she distorts like the predator or shows up as a translucent blue ghost.
- Similarly, Shizuka in Translucent uses several of the tricks. The story focuses on how Shizuka has contracted "Translucent Syndrome", a nonfatal, noncontagious disease that turns her mostly translucent on a monthly cycle. In the manga, this is shown via either sketching in the background lines behind her, showing her without any shading at all (or as a very pale gray), or showing her without any lines at all (merely using shading). People who get more serious versions of the disease can end up with "Fully Transparent Syndrome", which is traditional Invisibility stuff — which in the manga is shown by the "completely invisible, even to the audience" subtrope, with the exception that extreme positive emotions can cause a faint screentone outline to appear. The one character who has FTS in the series wears a hat, gloves and glasses to show people where her head and arms are.
- The title character of Kasumi can turn invisible whenever she holds her breath, and has been seen as all types (except Background Distortion), at some point.
- In a Post-time skip Filler episode of Fairy Tail, Lucy turns invisible after bathing in some potion which had gone off (having been unused for 7 years). For the most part, she is completely invisible, with the audience only being able to see the towel wrapped around her, and is occasionally Distorted Background (with very faint glow surrounding her). She is also at one point after being completely wiped from existence fully visible to the audience, but everything else is covered in a purple haze.
- Over the course of fifty years, Susan Richards from the Fantastic Four has had her powers portrayed in every method but the first. The original Silver Age comics used outlines; the movies used Predator-style distortion; and later comics, cartoons, and video games have alternated between partial transparency and total invisibility, Depending on the Artist.
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, invisible man Rodney Skinner is completely incapable of being seen in most instances. When he wants to be seen, he dons a trenchcoat and/or slathers greasepaint on his face. Done to great effect in the Mongolian blizzard scene, where he is visible only because of the snow landing on his head and shoulders.
- In Psychonauts, there's a red glow where Raz's eyes would be in order to show you where he is. This is supposed to represent his goggles, but in the real world, where he doesn't wear them, it looks a little strange.
- In The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past, when Link uses the Magic Cloak to turn invisible, he's completely so, but somehow still has a shadow under him.
- Princess Peach still casts a shadow in Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door, after she drinks the invisibility potion and (presumably) gets naked.
- Hector the Reflector, a Yoshi's Island DS boss enemy, is invisible, but fights in an arena with a mirror in which you can see the boss reflected. He also smashes the mirror more and more as the battle goes on.
- In Command and Conquer: Red Alert, cloaked units are shown as shadows to their general (copying the style of how submerged submarines are shown; indeed, there are normally no cloaking land units in the game barring bonus crates).
- In Donkey Kong 64, you can see your clothes and shadow when invisible. You can see most invisible enemies' shadows as well.
- King Boo in Super Mario 64 DS sometimes becomes kind of invisible in the boss battle; you can see him, however, via both his appearance in the mirror reflection and a shadow on the floor marking his location.
- The Pokémon Kecleon can turn invisible, but the red zigzag stripe around its body can be seen.
- In Quake, the Ring of Shadows turns you invisible except for your eyes. Observant players will be able to spot this, while monsters will ignore you, presumably thinking you're a benevolent spirit... until you attack them, then they know to attack the floating eyes!
- In Batman Beyond, when Terry is in stealth mode, we see only his shading.
- The shading method was also used once with Jade (using the Snake Talisman) in the Jackie Chan Adventures.
- Bugs Bunny subverts it in "Water, Water Every Hare" when he becomes invisible; the only giveaway besides flying items is the munched-up carrot that he eats.
- Dexter in the Dexters Laboratory episode "Surprise!" is shown as an outline when invisible. However, near the end, we see him from the viewpoint of a couple of kids and then he is completely invisible on-screen.
- In an episode of The Flintstones, Barney accidentally gets turned invisible. He puts on a green hat so Fred can see where Barney is standing at any given moment.
- In the episode "Mad Dogs and Aliens" of Kim Possible, Kim gets a stealth upgrade for her battle suit, which uses the distortion effect. However, it should be pointed out that when she actually sneaks into Drakken's lair she's completely invisible until she makes her appearance behind Doctor Drakken. It's zig-zagged between completely invisible and a distortion, depending on what's going on. Of course, it's stealth ability is only shown in one episode.