I just wrapped up working on Sony's new animated Spiderman movie, Spiderman, Into the Spider-verse, which will be in theaters this December. For months, while I was on Hotel Transylvania 3, and then later on Smallfoot, I'd been seeing all these really cool shots on co-workers' monitors that they were working on from the Spiderman movie. After wrapping on Smallfoot, I was really excited when I heard I'd be rolling on to Into the Spider-verse after for the final few months to help finish it up. It was great to get to work on a few shots myself. I've been lighting animated feature films for about 15 years now, and this is definitely the coolest thing I've ever gotten to work on.
While there have been many Spiderman movies produced by Sony, what makes one unique is it's their first 3d animated Spiderman movie. And while there have been many 3d animated movies, what makes this one so unique is the style.
Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse was made using the same basic methods that other 3d animated films are made with: everything was modeled, animated and lit using 3d software. But the directors didn't want it to look like a regular 3d animated cg film. Instead, it was designed to emulate the flatter, more simplistic visual style of a comic book. Special techniques and methods were developed to achieve this, and while I'm not going to give away any specifics on how all this was done (I'm sure there will be plenty of videos/articles in the future detailing some aspects of the production techniques used), I did want to acknowledge how cool the end result is.
Just to see how successful this all was, I went through the last trailer on Youtube and took some screen grabs. It almost doesn't matter what frame you stop on, it always looks like it could have been pulled from the pages of a comic book. I grabbed a few of the frames and mocked them up in a comic book layout to make the point. It really looks like it could have been pulled from one of today's graphic novels. (I, of course, added the text boxes and bubbles for effect...)
Below are some more screen grabs...
A lot of work and care went into creating this style, and when you freeze on a frame you can really see how much it all paid off. Looking at some of these stills, it's hard to believe they're still frames from a CG movie, and not hand rendered drawings or paintings.
Almost any frame in this film can stand alone as a work of art by itself. Seeing it moving and brought to life on the big screen is going to be amazing. If you haven't seen the trailer yet, you should check it out. Here's the link to the trailer I pulled the screen grabs from: