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Narrator: "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse"
is no ordinary animated movie.
It's no ordinary Spider-Man movie either.
It packs multiple characters from
different universes into a seamless story,
and it features an innovative, eye-grabbing animation style.
It's that dedication to the animation,
a style we have never really seen before,
that puts "Spider-Verse" in a category all its own.
Let's start with a few jaw-dropping
numbers about the production.
The film had 177 animators on staff at one point.
More than twice the typical animated film.
To put that in perspective, the original
"Toy Story" had just 27 animators.
It took one week to animate just one second of footage.
It usually takes a week for four seconds.
It actually took them one year
to get just 10 seconds they were happy with.
Peter B. Parker: Very cool.
Narrator: And the total shot count on "Spider-Verse"
is two to three times higher than other animated films.
Each year, animated films seem
to look more and more like real life.
For "Spider-Verse," instead of making the animation
photo-realistic, the creators wanted the movie
to stand out on its own as something new for viewers
just as they were being introduced to
a new Spider-Man in Miles Morales,
while at the same time sticking as much as they could
to traditional print comic book style.
As Head of Character Animation Josh Beveridge put it,
"Don't emulate reality, and don't make it a cartoon."
To accomplish this, they used a number
of different techniques that make
"Spider-Verse" a groundbreaking film.
One of the most noticeable differences involves frame rate.
Animated films are typically 24 frames per second,
and creating a different image for each frame
is known as animating on ones.
"Spider-Verse" broke the mold and animated
much of the movie on twos as well,
meaning they kept some of the images on screen
for two frames, which makes the animation feel,
as the producers describe it, "crunchy."
Each character's pose lasts longer
and is much more pronounced.
Like here, when Prowler is chasing Miles through the alley.
You can see examples of animating on twos
in some of the original Disney films.
The "Spider-Verse" animators alternated between
on twos and on ones depending on the nature of the scene.
They could make Miles seem fast or skilled in some shots,
on ones, and struggle in others, on twos.
Sometimes he would be on twos
while other characters were on ones.
When they're swinging through the forest,
Miles is on twos because he's clumsy
while Peter B. Parker is on ones because he's more skilled.
This subtly helped illustrate how Miles was slowly
becoming more comfortable with his powers.
Each character's detailed animation style
helped to bring out his or her personality.
Another major technique was how
they chose not to use motion blur,
a CGI trick which most new films use
to soften a movement and make it seem more real.
Instead, they used an old-school technique called a smear.
This was used a lot in early cartoons
to create the sense of motion.
If you look at a single frame,
you'll notice things like multiple limbs
to create the illusion of movement.
Here, Gwen is playing the drums,
and you can see multiple hands and drum sticks.
And here, when Miles has his cape ripped off his back.
Miles Morales: I think it's cool.
Peter B Parker: Spider-Man doesn't wear a cape.
Narrator: You can see multiple arms in some frames.
Here's an example of one of the first cartoons
to use motion smearing, the 1942 short
called "The Dover Boys at Pimento University."
So those are some of the things they borrowed
from older animated films, but there's
plenty of new innovations too.
Some things they borrowed from comic books,
but we've never seen them in a movie.
Basically, the entire movie is a comic book that moves.
Co-director Phil Lord said, "If you freeze
any part of the movie at any time,
it will look like an illustration
with hand-drawn touches and all."
There are even moments in the film
when hand-drawn still images pop up in the shots
to replace the computer animation.
Like this shot, when Miles is running
through the streets of New York and he leaps off a taxi.
And they layered 2D ink lines on top of the 3D art
to give the characters more of a hand-drawn look.
If you look at a comic book, you may have noticed
a common error where the ink is misprinted.
The filmmakers decided to use this misprint style
in the film to create a depth of field
instead of blurring the background.
When something is in focus, the colors
align and are crisper.
They used a technique called half-toning,
which uses dots to create colors and gradients.
Shadows were created with hatching, or crisscrossed lines.
Legendary Marvel artist Jack Kirby
was known for his abstract dots, or "Kirby Krackle,"
which create the illusion of energy.
The film references and uses the effect multiple times,
when the portal opens and when Miles is spray-painting.
There are action lines to show movement,
and they used comics' signature onomatopoeia,
or words on the image, to frequently
represent sounds and motion.
Comic panels made out of webbing
show montages and background action.
'Cause there are six different spider-people,
they could also play with multiple
animation styles in one film.
They actually studied manga, Japanese comics,
when designing the surface of the robot Spidey.
Both Peni and Spider-pig have exaggerated anime
and cartoonish movements that stand out
compared to Miles' world.
CG supervisor Michael Lasker says Spider-Man Noir
was the most stylized character,
and was an extra challenge since he was
drawn in only black and white
but required detailed textures and shading.
Spider-Man Noir: Hey, fellas.
Miles Morales: Is he in black and white?
Peter B. Parker: Where's that wind coming from?
We're in a basement.
Narrator: Animator Nick Kondo tweeted that
this one scene involving all of the spider-people
was the most technically challenging for him,
taking two months to get right.
What each spider-person had in common
was that they were always kept low to the ground,
forming acute angles with their limbs.
The attention to detail is everywhere.
Backgrounds like New York City's streets
were studied closely to get them as accurate as possible.
And if you look closely, you can find
multiple Stan Lees inserted in certain frames.
All of these techniques combined to make a movie
that has stood out among not just
the animated films of 2018, but perhaps of all time.
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How 'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse' Was Animated | Movies Insider

188 Folder Collection
Chih-Yun Cheng published on April 7, 2019
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