Kotonoha no Niwa - animation background vs photos of the same places - by CoMix Wave Studio.
it’s no secret that CoMix Wave Studio do their backgrounds by referencing photos extremely closely. I remember seeing a step-by-step how-to in their “5 Centimeters per second” book. so this time they released some photos for us to look at as well :).
I must confess, however, that I was sorely disappointed when I realized that these were not actually drawn, the first time I saw that step-by-step. Not that it’s wrong, since using your own photos is always okay, but it’s just that when you think that it’s all drawn with maybe just the normal amount of references, enough to piece together something new, and then you realize they pretty much painted over the photo, it can be a little disappointing.