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Page images on This Very Wiki are often made by combining several different pictures, either as multiple frames or a collage.
Sure it would be nice if every trope could be shown with a single canon picture (even if the single picture itself has multiple panels, such as a comic), but while it's actually pretty common, there are several times when we can't find a such picture. Therefore we find times when a trope is better illustrated by a Multi-Part Picture.
Some common reasons for using a Multi-Part Picture include:
- To show examples in several works: Many tropes are widespread, so sometimes it's a good way to show its popularity or range.
- To show several examples in a single work: Some tropes are about something with multiple elements (often in the same work), but it's not often these elements are shown in the same frame of the show, or not shown in a way that makes a good picture for this site. So we make pictures of the elements from several parts of the work.
- To show "before" and "after": Using more than one frame is effective, when a single image does not show both cause and effect, or the trope involves the passage of time.
- To compare or contrast elements: Many tropes involve a comparison between two things, but once again, shows don't always show them together in the same frame.
- To show a sequence of events: When a trope involves an action of some sort, it may have problems being shown in a still frame. Multi-panel comics are frequently the answer, and another option is to put together a sort of "comic strip" from pictures in other media.
Although Multi-Part Pictures can be a useful way to illustrate a trope, there are some caveats. A common problem is including frames that add almost nothing that the other frames already show. Such frames should be removed.* Ways you can tell include:
- If a sequence can be shown in X number of frames, then any that just show more of that sequence are extraneous. Any extra frame should show some extra information.
- Extra frames are bad when they show basically the same thing as other frames.
- If illustrating the trope is compromised when the frames are shrunken down. If six frames look good at 350 pixels wide each, but not so good at 150 pixels wide, then it might be best just to go with one to three frames at the larger size.
No Examples Please. This just describes the concept.