BEHIND THE SCENES: How the ‘Spider-Verse’ Animators Created That Trippy Look
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the animation surprises of the season: both a box office hit and a critical favourite that has been collecting awards, even winning best picture from the Utah Film Critics Association.
One reason is the fresh animation style that sets it apart from the year’s other releases. Spider-Verse celebrates its print origins with bold graphics and mainstays of comic-book style, including thought balloons, printed words and wavy lines to indicate a tingling Spidey Sense. A.O. Scott, in his review for The Times, wrote that “the characters feel liberated by animation, and the audience will, too.”
Many recent American animated features look homogenised. More powerful computers and sophisticated software have made it possible to produce intricately detailed backgrounds and characters: You can see every leaf on every tree and every stitch in a sweater. But characters of all shapes and sizes seem to have very similar walks and runs and expressions.
Many of those conventions are built into the systems that produce computer-generated imagery. “In C.G.I. films, many things you see onscreen are the result of the desire to automate the process: simulations for hair, cloth, wind, rain, etc.,” Persichetti explained. The decision to forgo tradition “was incredibly daunting — but also incredibly freeing.”
Image credit: Sony Pictures Releasing