Traditional animators sometimes draw things in basic shapes, to maintain proportions over time, and to focus on the overall pose, ignoring superfluous details.
3d isn’t immune from superfluous details either. Often, rigs controls can distract the animator from the actual pose. Even the character mesh itself can bring too much focus on small deformations.
To try yourself, download
and open CoinLeica.blend with Blender 2.5x
What do you guys do, to simplify the animation process?