Scenery porn is the emphasis on luscious backgrounds with great detail, lovely lighting or both. It means that the makers put in extra effort for something that might not have direct influence on the plot
. Of course, there are extra points to be earned when the scenery actually enhances the plot
in some sort of symbolic fashion.
In live-action movies, scenery porn is in effect when extra effort is put into emphasizing a beautiful surrounding, usually wide-open landscapes. Stage productions can have copious amounts of this trope with elaborate sets and backdrops. A main characteristic is that the scenery is almost treated as a character in its own right, either as a passive onlooker or with a more active role, depending on the setting of the show (if the scenery is literally
a character with a mind of its own, then it's a Genius Loci
). Awesome Music
makes it all the better..
, scenery porn manifests itself as long paragraphs that go into more detail about the setting than necessary, such as describing at length the mountains of the Swiss countryside, or name-dropping all the streets in Chicago as the character turns on them. It's the author's way of proving that he's from the area in question or did the research
, and while it's a great bonus for people who know the area, it can be seen as Filler
to just about everyone else. On the extreme end of this, some works are popular entirely because they are nothing but Scenery Porn.
Often used to show that The World Is Just Awesome
. Compare Shoot the Money
. This can be distracting in video games
when part of an Empty Room Psych
, though with the advent of higher and higher-powered consoles and computers, ever-increasing levels of scenery detail are now possible. Silent Scenery Panel
has a high chance being this. Scenery Gorn
is when Scenery Porn goes bad. Also compare Costume Porn
, Gun Porn
, and its Super Trope
, Awesome Art
. Not to be confused with when someone "knows" the scenery
Compare Real Place Background
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- Air New Zealand Safety Videos: If you've never heard of the Cook Islands before, you'll want to go there after seeing the white beaches and turquoise water in "Safety in Paradise".
- If there are two things that Cerebus is known for, the one that isn't soul-crushing misogyny are the intricate pen-and-ink backgrounds rendered by artist Gerhard. The trade paperback covers are even more impressive.
- The series Top 10 is a good example of this trope in comics. Every bloody panel is filled with incredible detail of the city of Neopolis, as well as no less than three visual Easter Eggs per page.
- Another independent comic book example, Luther Arkwright and its colored spinoff Heart Of Empire had a lot of thought put into the Steam Punk backgrounds, which were usually flooded with references to other issues, Victorian culture, science fiction or random statues of Luther (after he died).
- Sky Doll puts great effort in settings that will only be shown for few panels. It helps that one of the creators is an architect.
- Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet has far more interesting scenery than characters, at least so far.
- His Copper strips on the other hand have both.
- In Archie Comics' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures series, the Turtles' world tour arc is kicked off with some breathtaking artwork of the cliffs of Tibet.
- Archie Comics themselves were prone to this, especially if Bob Bolling was behind the desk. Just look.
- Roger Leloup of Yoko Tsuno fame loves drawing very complicated backgrounds of all kinds.
- Bryan Hitch. His Triskelion is a sight to behold.
- Moritat the main artist for the Elephantmen series has his work often compared to Blade Runner’s fantastic Cyber Punk sets.
- James Stokoe’s comics like Wonton Soup have heavily detailed backgrounds full of Easter Eggs.
- Brandon Graham's comics have weird and wonderful environments full of imaginative bizarreness and Funny Background Events.
- Geof Darrow, hands down. Though his work can also enter into Scenery Gorn due to squick, like when the main character in Hard Boiled wonders through the red light district.
- Moebius, who is a major influence on the four artists mentioned above, is quite the master of this trope, ranging from the Arcadian forests of The Adena cycle, the strange alien worlds of Arzarch and the futuristic metropolises of many of his sci-fi stories.
- Philippe Druillet takes this to insane heights with his multiple page spreads of epic, near-surreal landscapes.
- Now if only one could figure out what the stories meant...
- Jack Kirby liked to create so many distinct and strange fantastic machines and cities that Kirby Tech is practically a trope in and of itself.
- Dreamkeepers has absolutely AMAZING scenery, beyond what most would expect from a comic book.
- Even people criticizing Red Hood and the Outlaws have praised Kenneth Rocafort's art, especially the backgrounds.
- Issue 6 takes scenery, character, and costume design to a whole new level.
- Bryan Talbot is a master of this
- Luther Arkwright: Both The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its coloured sequel Heart of Empire had a lot of thought put into the Steam Punk backgrounds, which were usually flooded with references to other issues, Victorian culture, science fiction or random statues of Luther (after he died).
- The Tale Of One Bad Rat has gorgeous images of the Lake District of England, and had its genesis as a celebration of the landscape.
- Maikaze did a great job with the landscaping in their portrayal of Gensokyo.
- Gallifrey in the Wholock TARDISode "A Moment's Diversion". The mini episode utilizes the "virtual-reality-Gallifrey-in-the-TARDIS" trope that's not uncommon in Who fic... as one of the locations that Sherlock Holmes and Beth Lestrade happen upon while touring the TARDIS. Beth wonders how real the breathtaking landscape is, and Holmes decides that it's very real. How, though, is left unexplained.
- The Utena and MawaruPenguindrum crossover fanfic Seinen Kakumei Utena achieves this via the elaborate narration in various scenes.
- BIONICLE, especially in its early years, was very fond of showcasing grandiose sceneries, most of which have been meticulously designed by the Danish creative agency Advance. Perhaps most notable are the backgrounds in the Mata Nui Online Game I and II, where the player had to traverse an entire island, often clicking through dozens of screens to get from one location to the other.
- Demoscene productions. Just skim through them and there's a lot which make you say "wow".
- Go to the TerraGen website and look through the photo gallery.
- Colossal Cave (the original text-only Interactive Fiction game) has a long description for room 126, as given on the quotes page.
- Many videos on YouTube featuring serene music will accompany the music with gorgeous visuals that don't necessarily have anything to do with the song itself, either because there's no companion music video or simply because there are no performers to show; this happens with songs ranging from Pachelbel's Canon in D to more obscure electronic music.
- This livejournal community contains quite a lot of this.
- This trope is more or less the sole reason that Google Earth exists.
- Calvin and Hobbes sometimes does this when Calvin plays in the woods, or during the "Spaceman Spiff" strips. (Though arguably this served the plot in each instance to emphasize the natural world as a trope in Calvin's life — contrasting it with his television watching habits — or to emphasize the expanse of his imagination.) Incidentally, most of the alien desert scenery isn't made up — they're basically Bill Watterson's sketches of beautiful desert scenery in southern Utah.
- Pogo has some fantastic scenery.
- The Perishers, as drawn by Dennis Collins in its heyday, had highly detailed background art. While not exactly beautiful - the strip was set in a fairly mundane British suburb - it's still pretty impressive.
- Katawa Shoujo has some really gorgeous backgrounds, specially a certain country field in Hokkaido where Lilly and Hisao have their Love Confession.
- Elephants Dream. The sheer level of detail that was put into the machine is simply astounding.
- Most everything in the Colour My Series is drawn with great detail, even rooms or machines with little to no interactions.
- Reddit has a Subreddit named "Earth Porn" that is devoted entirely to real photographs of brilliant landscapes.  Related are the Subreddits City Porn, Space Porn, Village Porn, Water Porn, and Abandoned Porn — though that's more like Scenery Gorn.
- High-definition subscribers to Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Hawaii get a channel (#1000) titled "Scenic Hawaii," which runs a 6-hour loop of mostly high-definition panoramas and aerial shots of the Hawaiian Islands.
- Wikimedia's featured image category for Natural places and Panoramas.
- The Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza are still a striking sight today, but in ancient times they were even more so. The Sphinx was once brightly painted in bold colors (some traces are still present around the ear) and the Pyramids were originally covered in smooth white plates of limestone that were polished until they shined. In the bright desert sun they must have looked spectacular and would have been clearly visible for miles.
- This page shows some beautiful images.
- List of National Parks of the United States