How “Spider-Verse” Forced Animation To Evolve “Adafruit Industries – Makers, Hackers, Artists, Designers and Engineers!”


Cool new video from Vox about how, in 2017, Sony Pictures/Imageworks offered an alternative route to the now classic Pixar-style photorealistic animation. Prior to the release of “Spider-Verse”, mainstream studios were reluctant to deviate from the highly successful Pixar style and opt for more stylized animations.

After Toy Story, almost all animation studios wanted to follow in the footsteps of Pixar’s success, even in their style. Many studios sought “The Pixar Look”: extremely high quality, physics-based and, in some cases, almost photorealistic.

It’s an appealing approach that remains popular at the box office, but animated films have started to look rather seamless. And while studios and independent artists were testing more stylized approaches in shorts, no studio would commit to an animated feature so different.

That is, until Sony Pictures/Imageworks tackled Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Instead of striving for the look everyone was looking for, the team wanted to create something visually new. They did it with a “non-photorealistic rendering”.

Now we’re starting to see more and more movies with stylized animations like The Mitchells vs. the Machines. Before 2017, however, there were already exceptions to Pixar’s aesthetic dominance. Some of these exceptions, I would say, are better and more magical than most Pixar, Disney, or Sony movies. For example, the marvelous Irish film of 2015 song of the sea. There’s a great article in Den of the Geek on how song of the seaDirector Tomm Moore and his Irish production studio Cartoon Saloon created the film.

Beginning with line drawings on paper and watercolor backgrounds, Song Of The Sea’s animation is further embellished with computer graphics – an approach that, where appropriate, makes the film look even more like a painting. moving. While in the past animators were largely limited to painting each frame on transparent cels and layering them on a hand-painted background, Moore’s animating team had no limit on the number of layers they could put in each image or the kinds of details they could put in them.
“Traditional animation – I love the look of it, and I try to keep it because I think it has a timelessness to it, but it was limited to the technology of the time,” Moore explains. “You can only have so many cels before they start to cancel out and get really dark. It had to look like flat colors on a painted background. Whereas now we’re able to use almost any technique – we can animate a charcoal line.

Here is a trailer for song of the sea below for reference.

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