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How Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse became the best Spider-man animated movie

The 2018 movie: Spider-man - Into the Spider-verse was the best of the Spider-man franchise to date. Celebrating the beauty of diversity via the power of a comicbook visual style animation, the film instantly won over its audience and became critically acclaimed.

The 2018 Spider-man animated movie was created with a ground-breaking animation approach

With Spider-man: Into The Spider-Verse, the animators had an unprecedented opportunity to “break the mold” in the medium. The animated movie helps them transcend into another whole new territory, where they pushed the envelope for CG animation.

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse tastefully employed 2D/3D combination

The 2018 Spider-man animated movie stands out from other Spider-man films thanks to its unique approach to animation. The animation technique gave a 2D appearance to a 3D characters and environments.

Surprisingly, this unusual effect comes as a happy accident to the animators. Taking inspiration from the illustration style of the original comicbooks, the animators infused into the CG models a hand-drawn look instead of the generic realistic one. Along with this, they also created color offset between blue and red to create a unique style to the camera depth of field. This has perfectly combined 2D and 3D in one single piece of animation.

spiderman animated movie - Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse tastefully employed 2D/3D combination
The Spiderman animated movie with unique animation (Source: Sony Pictures Animation)

Speaking on the animation technique, Danny Dimian, the movie’s VFX supervisor, noted that “The ‘3-D’ effect you’re talking about: Sometimes it looks red and blue, but that’s more of an allusion to the colors of Spider-Man’s costume.” He also claimed that rather than employing 3-D, this is more of a focus-based effect. In combination with the Spider-Sense concept, the team wanted to emulate a camera-racking focus.

Another factor is that they did not use motion blur in the typical sense, instead Spider-verse's animators added hand-drawn smear frames in between the quick motions, as in the traditional animation technique. This is a classic approach in 2D animation, both to accommodate for the lack of realistic motion blur in hand-drawn frames, as well as an artistic choice to make the movements more fun to look at.

Dimian also commented “The whole movie is grounded with what we call stepped animation. [...] We didn’t use motion blur, either. We were trying to find the right spirit, in the way that all animated productions go through a period of free-form exploration. We were going through styles and ideas looking for something that felt right, and found that the traditional rendering techniques just weren’t working for us.”

Take a deeper look at the Spiderman movie’s animation at: How 'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse' Was Animated | Movies Insider

Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse used the stepping technique in animation

The animation frame rate is one of the most noticeable artistic decisions in the picture. The American filmmaking duo, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, risked investing in unrealistic character animation at a time when the entertainment business has become oversaturated with photo-realism, no matter how far they have plunge into the uncanny valley (The Lion King (2019) is an example).

More specifically, animated films are often rendered at 24 frames per second, and this movie is no exception. The artists did something pretty fascinating with the character animation, typically decreasing it to 12 frames per second (animating on 2's). This method is most commonly used in 2D animation or stop motion. The team could provide a 2D vibe to a 3D animation movie by animating the characters this way.

spiderman animated movie - Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse used the stepping technique in animation
A moment in the 2018 Spider-man animated movie (Source: Pinterest)

The secret power behind the 2018 Spider-man animated movie: Inclusivity

In "Into the Spider-Verse," a mixed-race, middle-class adolescent takes control of the famous comicbook brand. Rather than using tokenism to create one-dimensional characters, the film presented a true-to-life Afro-Latino child. As with other Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse characters, Miles Morales was animated with such attention to detail that other non-white kids can relate to him.

This was inspired by the Marvel comics about the character with the same name. As the team had the prospect of making the first Spider-man animated movie about Miles, Lord and Miller thought that this would be a chance to do something new, particularly to make Spiderman more relatable to a more diverse audience out there.

spiderman animated movie - The secret power behind the 2018 Spider-man animated movie: Inclusivity
Miles Morales in the 2018 Spiderman animated movie (Source: Variety)

The Spider-man animated movie reaches deep into its lore to include Spider-folks of different genders and races from other dimensions. Throughout the film, we see various versions of Spider-Man, including a Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), a depressed, out-of-shape middle-aged Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), an anime-style biomechanic spider suit controlled by Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn), a black and white noir style Spider-man (Nicolas Cage), and Peter Porker, an anthropomorphic Spider-Ham (John Mulaney).

spiderman animated movie - The secret power behind the 2018 Spider-man animated movie: Inclusivity
Diversity in Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse characters (Source: Pinterest)

Through the Spider-man animated movie characters, the audience can understand a key message: There are no boundaries or requirements for anybody who wants to be a hero, and the world will not be saved by the typical single heroic and powerful straight white male. Or as Chris Miller mentioned, “The idea that it was democratic — that you did not have to be a rich billionaire or an alien from outer space to be a hero, that it could be anybody — was built in from day one.”

Considering the context, this was a perfect ingredient for a successful movie formula: In 2018, a year that has already given us racially diverse blockbusters, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" provides another home-run for underrepresented groups in our culture. Overall, the movie was a wonderful sign of the times, contributing to a step towards equal representation and inclusion.

Conclusion

Thanks to its unique animation and presentation of people of different ethnicities, Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse has left deep impressions in people’s hearts as well as the Spider-man movies catalog.

DeeDee Animation Studio has also created animated projects that combine 2D and 3D animation. Our work is the fruit of hard work and innovation. To find out more about our movies, please read at Animation.


References:

Vulture.com, How Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Changed the Animation Game

Cgspectrum.com, Animation Secrets of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse



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