How “Spider-Verse” forced animation to evolve

Cool new video from Vox about how back in 2017 Sony Pictures/Imageworks offered up an alternative route to the now classic photorealistic Pixar-style animation. Prior to the release of “Spider-Verse”, mainstream studios were hesitant to diverge from the super successful Pixar-style and go with more stylized animations.

After Toy Story, almost all animation studios wanted to follow in Pixar’s successful footsteps, straight down to their style. Many studios sought out “The Pixar Look”: extremely high quality, physically based, and in some cases almost photorealistic.

It’s an appealing approach that remains popular at the box office — but animated movies started looking kind of homogeneous. And while studios and independent artists tested out more stylized approaches in short films, no studio would commit to a feature-length animated movie that looked so different.

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

Now, we’re beginning to see more and more movies with stylized animations like The Mitchells vs. the Machines. Prior to 2017 however, there were already exceptions to Pixar aesthetic dominance. Some of these exceptions, I would argue, are better and more magical than most Pixar, Disney, or Sony movies. For example, the wonderful 2015 Irish film Song of the Sea. There’s a great piece in Den of the Geek about how Song of the Sea‘s Director Tomm Moore and his Irish production studio Cartoon Saloon created the film.

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

Here’s a trailer for Song of the Sea below for reference.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 35,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — Challenges in trade between China and U.S. highlighted by forced labor bill

Wearables — Zip it, zip it good

Electronics — When to opt for alkaline batteries

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Retrofitting old computers, Pinguin and much more! #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — BBQ Smoker, Emoji Telegraph, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 9/21/2022 Featuring Adafruit ENS160 MOX Gas Sensor – Sciosense CCS811 Upgrade – STEMMA QT / Qwiic

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.


Leave a comment

Adafruit has a "be excellent to each other" comment policy. Help us keep the community here positive and helpful. Stick to the topic, be respectful of makers of all ages and skill levels. Be kind, and don't spam - Thank you!

Prove you are human by reading this resistor:

0Ω+/- 5%

0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

5
5
10

Prove you are human by reading this resistor:


Click/tap drag the number in the circle of each slider on the left to the matching color band on the resistor.

Can't view resistor colors? Don't worry! Just type your comment and hit submit without moving the sliders. Our moderators will review and approve in a jiffy.

Click Here for a new resistor image.

New to electronics? Click here to learn how to read resistor values.

Or learn to read resistors by playing Mho's Resistance!