Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard of the amazing new animated film by Sony and Marvel; Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse. The movie has received rave reviews, sitting at a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has been one of the number one movies in America for weeks!
The film was an amazing blend of CG and hand-drawn animation with the aim of imitating the art of comic book illustrations. The animation team even tried to replicate color offsets, printing errors in comic books that can make a panel look like it’s slightly out of focus. The animation team rethought what an animated film could look like, and created brand new techniques across multiple programs to achieve the results seen in the film. In a regular animated film, it would take an artist about a week to animate four seconds of film. For Spider-Verse, it took each artist one week to animate one second. The movie took over three years to animate and was a work of love for many involved in it. It goes to show you how true inspiration can make a studio go beyond its usual comfort zone. The quality of animation seen in this film is multiple levels above anything else we have seen from Sony Animated Studios.
The animation team was literally inventing new strategies and pipelines they’ve never tried while animating the film with hard deadline ahead of them. To create a raw, less perfect look, the team decided not to use motion blur and numerous inbetweener frames, an effect in computer animation that blurs frames to imitate an image captured from a rapidly moving camera. The animation for Into the Spider-Verse was done on twos (12 frames per second instead of 24). It’s a rare creative choice in CGI and is more often seen in Anime and older US based animation.
Our Animation students were quite excited to experience this film on the big screen, so we organized a field trip for them to do just that! Wednesday students went to the Showplace Icon on Roosevelt St to ENTER THE SPIDER-VERSE! It was a fun and educational experience for the students. Into the Spider-Verse is not only an amazing landmark in animation, but also for superhero films. It stars Miles Morales, a 15 year old boy living in Brooklyn who is black, and gains the mantle of Spider-Man after the unfortunate death of Peter Parker. He encounters Spider-Gwen, a female version of Spider-Man, and many other versions of the hero across multiple universes.
The movie really shows its young viewers that anyone can wear the mask and be a hero!
Our students were able to break down the animated processes used in the film in an in class critique the next day, and were so excited and pumped about the film a day later that the soundtrack was on repeat in class all day. As the future of Animation it has inspired our students to reach new heights and we can't wait to see where they take this inspiration!
- Until next time. Stay creative, Chicago!