Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was such a mind blowing achievement that even the Academy couldn't overlook it. Receiving an Academy Award for Best Animated Picture, Spider-Verse offered not just one of the best cinematic stories of 2018, it also offered visuals that have never before been seen in animation. Four Japanese animators were recently interviewed for the Japanese Publication, CG World, about their experience working on the movie, giving us an inside view of what the process itself was.
Yuko Ikeda, the one female animator of the four, had this to say with regards to her experience and advice she ascertained from her time animating:
"In order to create animation that people from around the world can easily understand and enjoy, you have to study not just technique but the cultural background so that you can create convincing expressions and movements."
Animator Takuro Togo stated that his experience as an anime veteran allowed him to transfer his style to that of Into The Spider-Verse. While his skills were certainly put to the test with the animation, the Western style did make for a few changes in terms of what he was allowed to do specifically. In Japan, animators are typically allowed to create their own "layouts" for the animation that they are working on, whereas on Spider-Verse, the layouts were already made for him to use. Togo also noted that a short scene that was under one second of length would typically take three weeks (!) of work to put together. Togo was most notable prior to Into The Spider-Verse with animes Show By Rock!! and Knights of Sidonia.
Animators Ryo Wakasugi and Kentaro Komiya also added that character designs sheets weren't typically given to the animators working on Spider-Verse, but rather, they were given the edict to "do what looks cool". Regardless of how long the animation would take, the animators also noted that the environment was very relaxed. However, each day their work was reviewed, as opposed to the usual weekly review, making each day seem like its own deadline.
"Everyone was playing around in one sense. The fact that everyone went about their playing really seriously was a good thing. It made us all more motivated."
If you haven't had the chance to see Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse for yourself, its currently available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and VOD. Here's a description of the movie itself: "Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask."
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