Created By: MikuruFan on July 10, 2013 Last Edited By: MikuruFan on May 27, 2015

Photographic Background

A drawn work uses real world photography in their backgrounds.

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Trope
Taken from an existing page with no examples.


For a lot of artists, the amount of detail on characters is seemingly proportional to the amount of detail in the background. Assuming your artist loves his detail, but actually has to get the book out before the end of the month, some will actually use filters on actual photographs or prepared backgrounds. But these don't always mesh well, creating the paper equivalent of Conspicuous CG.

Occasionally that's replaced with abstract, quilt-like patterns, for artists who want to draw some kind of background so you don't feel as if you're reading a lightbulb but without messy points of perspective.

Naturally this comes off as a little less glaring if your story takes place at the actual real-life location used.

See also GIS Syndrome and Medium Blending. Roger Rabbit Effect occurs when the drawn and real world elements of the setting interact.


Examples

Visual Novels
  • Tsukihime used stock photos (with lots of Photoshop filters applied to most of them but still) for its backgrounds, while both the characters and the special CGI events were hand-drawn.

Webcomics
  • One story arc in Two Lumps was a retelling of the Thanksgiving story with 1600's Eben and Snooch added in. The backgrounds for most of the arc was photographs of historical paintings.

Western Animation
  • The Amazing World of Gumball uses photographs as backgrounds, with designed elements added here and there to help mesh them with the characters.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog could be the codifier for this, considering that one of the major points of the production was the use of photorealistic backgrounds throughout; John R. Dilworth said it was because he wanted to avoid the usual cartoony white clouds that look like cotton balls in a perpetual blue sky, he wanted the show to be grounded in realism, and have the settings look as if the viewers themselves were actually there with the characters.
  • Dot and the Kangaroo uses actual nature footage of Australia with the animated characters laid on top.
  • The Looney Tunes short "Porky's Pooch" uses photographic backgrounds.
  • Some of the fantasy sequences on Muppet Babies.
  • Sit Down, Shut Up used photographic still backgrounds for the entire thing.
  • In Twice Upon a Time, the world of Din is depicted in black-and-white live-action, so when the characters go there, they are filmed against black-and-white photos.
  • The Liverpool scenes on Yellow Submarine use high-contrast photographic prints as backgrounds.

Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • Courage The Cowardly Dog could be the codifier for this, considering that one of the major points of the production was the use of photorealistic backgrounds throughout; John R. Dilworth said it was because he wanted to avoid the usual cartoony white clouds that look like cotton balls in a perpetual blue sky, he wanted the show to be grounded in realism, and have the settings look as if the viewers themselves were actually there with the characters.
  • July 10, 2013
    Duncan
    This would be a subtrope of Medium Blending.

    Dot And The Kangaroo uses actual nature footage of Australia with the animated characters laid on top.

    Although this and the Courage example may be similar to the Roger Rabbit Effect, I think they differ in that they don't really interact with the backgrounds other than being there...
  • July 10, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Sit Down Shut Up used photographic still backgrounds for the entire thing.
  • July 10, 2013
    Koveras
    • Tsukihime used stock photos (with lots of Photoshop filters applied to most of them but still) for its backgrounds, while both the characters and the special CGI events were hand-drawn.
  • July 10, 2013
    Antigone3
    One story arc in Two Lumps was a retelling of the Thanksgiving story with 1600's Eben and Snooch added in. The backgrounds for most of the arc was photographs of historical paintings.
  • July 10, 2013
    TonyG
    I don't think Courage is a codifier. For one thing, the backgrounds are not fully photorealistic, they're drawings with photographic textures. For another, it's hardly the first major production to use them.
    • The Amazing World Of Gumball uses photographs as backgrounds, with designed elements added here and there to help mesh them with the characters.
    • Some of the fantasy sequences on Muppet Babies.
    • The Liverpool scenes on Yellow Submarine use high-contrast photographic prints as backgrounds.
    • The Looney Tunes short "Porky's Pooch" uses photographic backgrounds.
    • In Twice Upon A Time, the world of Din is depicted in black-and-white live-action, so when the characters go there, they are filmed against black-and-white photos.
  • Many of those examples of more medium blending, I'm not sure, but I don't think that's what this YKKTW is implying.
  • July 10, 2013
    MikuruFan
    Found some examples in the related tool.

  • July 11, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    I thought we had a Mixed Media entry, but apparently it is not so. Carry on, then.
  • July 11, 2013
    MikuruFan
    Added the examples to the main draft. Some more examples with context would be nice. Links to examples work too, but please remember that a link by itself is not an example.
  • July 23, 2013
    jung_muny
    should this trope be merged with GIS Syndrome, since it doesn't refer strictly to the conspicuity of using photographic assets in an invented work? each of these examples would fall under that trope.
  • July 23, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the DC Comics Elseworlds tale Worlds Funnest Mr. Myxsptlik [sp] and Bat-Mite fight each other across the various elseworlds and (once & future) DC Multiverse. At one point they land in Earth Prime, the "real world," which is represented by an arial photograph of New York. They're both scared by this dimension and quickly leave.
  • July 24, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Anime and Manga
    • Masaki Segawa used photographs for the background of Basilisk, on top of which he superimposed the hand-drawn characters. This technique isn't always evident but it shows especially in big panoramic shots of nature.
  • May 27, 2015
    autobite
    Visual Novels
    • Katawa Shoujo uses photographs for the backgrounds and drawn illustrations for the characters. The photos have filters applied to them to give them a painted look and help the characters stand out against them.
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