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  • This is one of my favorite Spider-Man scenes of all time.

  • I love the way the suit ripples in the wind, I love the crazy angles, I love the music.

  • And how Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man waits until the absolute last second before shooting a web.

  • It's the epitome of Spider-Man .

  • But, of course, we're not really seeing Andrew Garfield here.

  • This is a "digidouble", a fully digital version of the character.

  • In fact, this whole scene is digital.

  • Obviously, right?

  • A real person couldn't do this.

  • Digital doubles aren't just used for impossible action sequences, though.

  • Take these three clips of Spider-Man.

  • First is from the original Spider-Man from 2002.

  • Second is Spidey's first appearance in the MCU in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War".

  • Third is Spidey surrounded by drones in the Illusion sequence in 2019's "Far From Home".

  • Can you guess which on is filmed with an actor and which one is a digidouble?

  • Okay, it's kind of a trick question.

  • None of these are real people.

  • They're all digidoubles.

  • In fact, a ton of superheroes are just digital replacements, even in the most mundane scenes.

  • But, why?

  • Superhero movies and digidoubles have always paired well together.

  • And not just because of the stunts.

  • It's because of the costumes and the masks.

  • Now might be time to admit that I'm a little bit of a Spider-Man fan.

  • Anyway, replicating a fabric or metallic costume is way easier than replicating skin or a human face, which gives the effects artists a lot of leeway.

  • They can mix real and digital elements for maximum realism.

  • Like keeping a bit of an actor's face and replacing everything else digitally, like in this scene from "Spider-Man".

  • Or maybe they just replace everything from the neck down, like with Iron Man, and then they add a digidouble of War Machine next to him.

  • Or maybe they'll just replace everything from the ankle down to create toes worthy of a super soldier.

  • Okay, that one is a little less common, but more often than not, they'll cut from a real actor on film to a digital recreation without too much friction.

  • And, while some of these digital replacements are planned from the beginning, sometimes they're not.

  • Which is what happened with Spider-Man's first appearance in the MCU.

  • He was digidouble in every shot.

  • Both when he's swinging around Giantman's legs and when he's just standing there, talking.

  • That's because he almost wasn't in "Captain America: Civil War" due to lengthy negotiations between Sony and Marvel about how to share the web-slinger.

  • Tom Holland wasn't even cast until June of 2015, a month after filming began.

  • So, once he was confirmed, there was a huge rush to get him in the movie, as Holland explains on "Live with Kelly and Ryan":

  • The suits typically take 10 and 15 weeks to make, right, and they didn't have enough time to make one for me.

  • So, I was gonna wear my stunt double's one.

  • What he ended up wearing on set, which you can see in this behind-the-scenes footage, was not finalized by the costume department, which is where the digidouble comes in.

  • VFX artists changed his entire costume in post; none of the final version is real fabric.

  • And it's different from the suit worn on set, too.

  • You can see that the spider symbol on the chest is refined and the webbing across the body isn't raised like previous renditions of the suit.

  • It's stitched in and more subtle.

  • Holland did some motion capture for the scenesbut that was just the base of the digital double.

  • Animators had to clean it up and push it further with the new digital suit.

  • Animators like to, kind of, take things and they like to exaggerate movement.

  • And sometimes, it's what feels right, you know, not what is rightespecially for superheroes; you may want more exaggerated movement that a human cannot do.

  • Lon Molnar is the Co-president of the VFX company, Monsters Aliens Robots and Zombies.

  • They worked on full CG versions of Vision and Moonknight, as well as de-aging for the villains in "Spider-Man: No Way Home".

  • Hello, Peter.

  • Even when motion capture is involved, VFX artists still consider characters to be digidoubles.

  • In our sense, in our worldit is a digidouble still, because you're recreating everything digitally.

  • You're re-lighting the suit, you're re-composingyou're erasing the main performance; everything in the shot is taken over by us.

  • Costume issues come up all the time.

  • The timesuits from "Avengers: Endgame" weren't finalized until after everything was shot.

  • Neither was the integrated suit from "No Way Home".

  • That's all iterating, iterating; Marvel loves to iterate, and tweaks after the fact just make it look more superhero-ish, right?

  • And looking superhero-ish is another big reason for digidoubles.

  • As an animator myself, one of the things, traditionally, that you learn is how strong posing is really important; that silhouette.

  • In this scene from "Civil War" where Black Panther is also always a digidouble, you can see how, in the final version, the hands are moved out so that they don't blend into the body, and the body position is more upright.

  • Digidoubles are even used to make superheroes look more like comic-book superheroes, as the VFX team on the first Iron Man describe.

  • We try to get what we've been calling a "Marvel moment", which is, sort of, you know...

  •, where he's... he's really flying through the air; he's got his fist up...

  • They're trying to match maybe a comic book image, so the fans just...

  • Their heads explode and [say,]"That's that shot!"

  • And, you know, they want it to be perfect.

  • And with a full CG replacement, they can... they can... they can hit that.

  • Integrating digidoubles seamlessly can convince audiences that a regular human is super.

  • That means that these live-action films are often way more animated than we give them credit for.

  • According to the DVD extras on the film, 96% of all the shots making up "AvengersInfinity War" had some kind of VFX.

  • That's fairly common for Marvel.

  • All of their movies have thousands and thousands of VFX shots, and those often include digidoubles.

  • This gives filmmakers the space and flexibility to get things exactly how they want them.

  • With Marvel, they're making it a tool in the toolbox to allow them to get over some of these challenges because they know that VFX companies can make things look so real.

  • So, it's a great tool for them to have full confidence in.

This is one of my favorite Spider-Man scenes of all time.

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Why there's no one inside this Spider-Man suit

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    たらこ posted on 2022/05/28
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