The Stunning Animation of Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse

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Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-wUKu_V2Lk

Sony’s Spider-Verse is a groundbreaking film best known for its clashing and comic-like art and animation. So, What inspired this type of art and how was it adapted to the movie?

The Inspiration

The inspiration for the art and smaller details in the film came from older Spider-Man comics and Jack Kirby’s ‘Kirby Krackle’. A lot of other comic techniques that were used in the movie were onomatopoeia. These are words that express the sound they refer to (for example, “boom,” “crash”), and these were drawn on the comic book panels. Near the beginning of the movie, we see these words on the screen during Peter Parker’s monologue. In older comics, there is an error where the colored ink is slightly misprinted. Instead of blurring or smudging the background, so it is not in focus, the animators used this misprint style instead.

The CGI

Along with the comic-like art of the movie, the CGI and animation are also very essential. Spider-Verse is a CGI movie with line-work to give it a certain style. The animators developed an approach where they would have the computer learning program make a line where it thinks it should go on the CGI model, and the programmer would correct it when it was wrong.  This slowly taught the computer program to make those outlines correctly. One way the outlines are necessary is for facial expression. Normally, with a CGI face, you would have to wrinkle the model. But in this case, the animators just had to make a stroke where a wrinkle would be. 

The movement of the animation is also a bit complicated. There are different frame rates for different speeds, styles, and certain movements in the film. Having one picture on screen for two frames per second gives the movement a nice, crisp feel, while the background moves at normal speed. Animating ‘on twos’ also gave other movements a certain feel, such as clumsy, for example. While animating on ones made the movement faster and more skilled.

Spider-Verse is a beloved story and was a new and challenging project for animators. 

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