The Tech of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Movies with Mikey


Rarely does a film come along that is equal
parts technological maelstrom and cultural touchstone in the same breath. Into the Spider-verse is a rare film with
a hell of lot of talent pouring out of every single frame. And every frame is a sentient piece of pop
art. This movie is a pop art nuclear explosion. It’s not often I am able to jump so freely
into the weeds, so please indulge me. But few movies offer what Spider-verse managed
to pull off so eloquently. This movie is a technological feat that blends
a boatload of disparate elements into a cohesive whole. This movie is a lot like Space Jam… I’m saying the film matters to me and I
want to talk, technically, about why this piece of art was more monumental than the
effusive praise it has already received. I can not believe something on this level
exists, so without further adieu, lets jump in the weeds, y’all! This was the ethos permeating the hallways
at Sony Pictures Animation while making this film. Anyone can put on the mask, we’re all in
this together. It’s primarily through the eyes of a comic
book come to life, weaved through street art and street culture. We need to start at the beginning here so
lets talk about animating- Traditionally, when drawing images in sequence for an animated film, you use what is commonly known by cool kids everywhere as drawing on the twos. Or threes, in some cases. Typically, films are shown at 24 frames a
second, while animation is drawn every other frame at twelve frames per second, or in some
cases at eight frames a second. Animation is imperfect. You could animate at 24, 30, or even 60 frames
a second, but it’s not manageable or practical to expect animators to draw that many frames. Into the Spider-verse is therefor animated
on the twos. You can see it when you go frame by frame
cuz the background will move in frames where the characters don’t. And we need to start with this basic point,
because they used this imperfection (in tandem with about a bunch of other things I’m about
to mention,) to create a film where any frame can be paused, and a pristine perfect frame
is right there. There is real human effort here to accentuate
poses and create a feeling and an emotion in every single frame. Animating on the twos allowed them to get
rid of motion blur as well, which we’re about to dive in on in a moment. But first, watch this: Dope. Dope. Dope. Dope. Dope. Dope. Dope. See? Every single frame. Everyone involved in this movie was pushing the animators from moment one. It’s directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman who pushed the animation team to invent new solutions to old problems. The film was written by Rothman and Phillip Lord. You’ll remember Phillip Lord’s name from
21 Jump Street, The Lego Movie, and numerous other projects that shouldn’t have been
the knockouts that they were, paired with one Christopher Miller. Miller was a producer on this film, among
a laundry list of powerful names in the film industry. Amy Pascal. Avi Arad. Brian Michael Bendis. It’s like Hollywood Christmas this movie. Just go to IMBD and click through all of these
people’s names. I wish I had more time to really go into the
weeds on them, but we’re here to talk about this behemoth of unsolvable problems they
created while making it. Let’s talk about Offset Printing. Offset Printing is a high-volume style of printing where the printer will make custom plates in Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, and Black
and then run pages through a series of rollers that will put out a printed page. It’s high volume because for it to valuable
monetarily, you have to print a lot. Like a lot, a lot. Spider-man, as an IP to date, has sold about
378 million copies. So there’s some volume there. The quirk of offset printing, is already in
the name: offset. It’s what we get nostalgic over. You get those lines blurring from where it
should be. The film uses this effect in place of two
types of blur: motion blur and depth of field. The artists making this film actively did
not want motion blur pulling us out of this thing. They were animating 3d models on the twos. In practice, the depth of field effect is
used to incredible degree in the car at the beginning when Miles is getting a ride to
school with his dad. As things move further away from the camera,
they begin to appear as imperfect offset printing. Or, in effect, as things move further from
the camera, they begin to appear like older and older comics. Depth of field is a printing error in this film. It is also used as motion blur, in effect,
to make things moving very quickly, have distinct images portraying their movement. So, even in still form, you get this illustrated
type of effect, you know, like a comic. When this effect is not enough, such as the
side shot of Miles running through traffic in the “What’s up Danger” scene: things become
shapes to illustrate the feeling of movement without confusing your eye. They came up with solutions on the fly for
motion blur. We’ll get to this more in a moment, when we
talk about all of the one-off artistry layered into this movie to create the astonishing
overall effect of watching it. I’m sure I’d usually put a joke here but
I really don’t even have the ti- This movie reminds me the most of Interstellar. Okay, so here’s me backing up that ridiculous
statement. Interstellar is a film where the special effects
programmers and actual theoretical physicists literally rewrote the 3D renderer because
they needed to make light not a linear thing. Traditionally, light goes, like straight and
stuff – that’s true in the renderers for both Mario 64 and A Bug’s Life—also everything
else. But the gravity of a black hole is so strong,
it can literally bend light. They adjusted the rules of physics in their
simulation with some bananas math and they were surprised by the results. So, what’s the lesson? I’m gonna connect that example now, though, with a bit more artistic methodology. Let’s talk about systemic solutions. Into the Spider-Verse wrote their own rules. On every front. It’s important to recognize how the things
I’ve already mentioned and the things I’m about to mention worked in tandem together. There’s really too much here but I’m going
to do my best. First, we need to understand the difference
between Benday Dots, named after the creator Benjamin Day, and Kirby Dots, of course named
after Jack Kirby. This movie has a serious dot thing. There’s like… there’s too many dots. Benday dots work in conjunction with hashed
lines to create this movie’s idea of lighting. I mean everyone and their dog noticed this,
obviously, but to rewrite a renderer so this affects shaders and reflections, and literally
the look of every single thing in the film. It’s bonkers to me that this works as well
as it does. To me this was the most beautiful thing in
a comic movie in a while, they went out of their way to pay homage to legendary comic
artist Jack Kirby by making the particle systems of the world composed of Kirby dots. It was kind of his thing. This movie is such a celebration of comics,
I don’t have enough words to praise it. This is literally his drawings come to life
in a way that no one ever had. And it doesn’t stop there. There is an incalculable amount of math going
on behind the scenes and some of the best graphical programming in the history of, like,
Earth—Ed Catmull would be so proud. I’m being hyperbolic here. But they did things that work together so well in concert it may as well be magic. And that’s where artistry comes in. Because they let the programmatical solutions
get them there, and the animators and artists started running with the football out the
back of the endzone and into the parking lot. And then the artists just started drawing
on top of it. Hell, one of the characters is entirely hand
drawn. It’s a wonderful celebration of art in the
21st century and the tools we currently have access to, and in some cases, invented entirely. Into the Spider-Verse is a historical piece
of art. This is a deal that actually cannot be described
with hyperbole because none is really fitting of it. The accomplishment is actually bigger than
it appears to be on the surface. I could make videos about this for the rest
of the year and I probably would still be merely scratching the surface of this ludicrously
unmatched accomplishment here. But in lieu of doing any of that… Let’s talk
about Miles Morales. The break into act 3 in this film is monumental,
so my act three is a curveball too, naturally. This is why all of that tech; all of that
art; all of that effort—this is why it mattered to people. After Miles gets too far inside his own head
and drops the ball a little, the other Spider-people tie him to a chair for his own safety. Not only does Spider-Man look him in the eye
and tell him he doesn’t have it—five spider-mans look him in the eye and tell him he doesn’t
have it. Like, I don’t think I could handle the anxiety
mushroom cloud of even a single Spider-Mans telling me I don’t have what it takes. Which is what makes Miles the perfect Spider-Man. Our hero feels like an underdog again. Same story, entirely different texture and
emotional journey. But he was chosen. Great power, great responsibility and all
of that. Peter Parker in this reality- died. The responsibility is on Miles. And then Miles breaks himself out. He sits there for a moment and he’s like,
No hang on. No, we are the same. I am Spider-Man. The film up this point, sets up this narrative
of the leap of faith, the moment you become a hero is the moment you say: it’s me. I’m scared. And the world does not treat me fairly. (do you see the subtext?) Once he realizes it has to be him, Miles is
like: And then my favorite shot in film history
happens. Miles ascends to be Spider-man by leaping
into a freefall. Outside of being a stunning visual triumph
that no superhero movie has even come close to accomplishing, it’s a moment of maximal
impact. The idea of the Leap of Faith—a phrase the film uses multiple times—originated from Kierkegaard. A god (cough superhero) cannot be explained
by science alone, you have to believe in—well, if you’re a superhero, you need to have
faith in yourself, obviously. Spider-Man by way of Danish Philosophy. Miles doesn’t just save his friends. Miles doesn’t just save the city. Miles doesn’t just save the world. Miles doesn’t just save the universe. Miles saves the multi-verse because he can
believe in himself. There’s so much here. The cleverness with which this movie handles
an audience’s understandable apprehension about origin stories is a stroke of actual
genius. There’s too much clever and wildly entertaining
stuff in this film it’s actually embarrassing that I didn’t even take a breath so far
to discuss Nicholas Cage saying things like Or John Mulhany playing a traditionally 2D
animated superpig named Spider-Ham. But lots of people have already talked about
all that stuff. I thought it was important to do two things
in this episode: 1) talk about why this movie was possibly a bigger deal than you thought
it was and hopefully incentivize you to devour every single thing you can read about it and
2) why it mattered to people. If you’re going to put this much effort
into a piece of art, it better mean something pretty special to at least part of the audience. Anyone can be Spider-Man. Race, gender, corporeal reality—we don’t
judge. Here’s a thought. Gwen Stacy as a character got the rawest deal
in comics. Gwen, the auspicious student of science dies
because the writer writing her decided that Spider-Man was more interesting with MJ. Could have just written her out by sending
her off to a college or somethin’ but ya know. That’s one way too. Not anymore, now she’s Spider-Man too. And that look, though! Anyone can put on the mask, it’s who you
are that counts. What’s up, Danger? Hello David McIntyre, Brosephene, A wooden
leg… singular. Unlike Ken Burns who has five wooden legs. Hello. This is the credits of my show that no one
ever watches and the algorithm punishes me greatly for having but I love all these people!
Ernest Baum and the Vita Activa. Good yogurt and handheld entertainment in
one. Ummmm, hey sorry my… sorry I’m so scattered
right now. I had to kind of like make this episode in
sort of the holes in time I had where I wasn’t doing a lot of other stuff I’m sure you will
find out about later but *sighs* I’m spread a little thin right now. The Descripti, that’s a cool name. I was really looking forward to making this
episode, it was a lot of fun. I got to dive into the dumb dumb weeds on
one of my favorite movies of probably the last decade. Animated, probably for all time. But anyway I tried to dig a lot of very shallow
holes cuz um, it probably feels like I’m moving at a million miles an hour and Didn’t necessarily
wanna walk every idea through to it’s logical completion, because then this episode would
be 54 minutes long. Which everyone immediately types “That’s fine!”
[laughs]..it’s not fine for me, I’m spread thin enough as it is. What a week, y’all. And it’s monday, I’m lookin forward to another
week of Brian Graham’s Graham Cracker Emporium. Wonderful company, family owned. The Graham business is kickin’. Hey, follow me on Twitter @Mikeyface I’m okay. Sometimes. Benedict the Mad is good all the time. Hello Grepo, Steven Hillman, Chris Hinojosa,
Pat Rothfuss, John McGarity, Brad Leclerc, Vitamin G, Merlin Brittenham coming this fall
on the BBC starring uh, Anthony Stewart Head is playing Merlin Brittenham in this version. I forgot who was writi- was it the Dowton
Abbey guy? Yeah it is. Okay. Ethan Fant, Benjamin A Straub. My brain no longer works, I am so sorry. I am recording these credits like, sitting
in a chair and sweating. What a week! WALRUS. Comming this week to ABC. What a week, walrus. AND MAP. Sure. See you next episode!

100 thoughts on “The Tech of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Movies with Mikey

  1. "My favourite shot in film history"

    Yessss Mikey. God this is a good video, glad you tackled this (even if I'd love another 2 hours of you covering it). ITSV is riding up with Blade Runner and GitS (1995) for me. First time I came out of the theatre a changed fucking person, the second and third… I think I grow each time I watch it. I'm impressed, in Cinemas, on my TV, every time it just gets BETTER. Ugh. I should be working but goddamn if I'll miss a chance to rant about the best animated film of all time.

  2. I AM A COMMENT!🔥🔰-ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ-🗡💜! oh yer, you were a video game guy. i under appreciated this, and i loved it. can you double love?

  3. Sorry if its already been mentioned, I’m pretty new to the channel, but does anyone have the name of his intro song?

  4. I started to annoy people with my praise for this piece of art that is Into the Spier-Verse. I am so happy you made this video and i would watch many more parts. Thank you.

  5. So, I'm mostly just posting this here because it's the most recent Movies with Mikey video. But, I wanted to let you know that you have at least one more fan. Your videos are incredible and help me view films in a more critical light. They propose important questions about our purpose on this Earth and how we view, interpret, and internalize art, and I feel blessed every time I watch one of your videos because I KNOW I am going to learn something more about my beliefs, and how what art I enjoy either challenges me or makes known to myself what is important to me.
    Keep doing you, Mikey. What you do is amazing, and you've got a fan until, like, ever.

  6. I'm 100% with you on the scene of Miles ascending while falling towards NYC. Truly a Breathtaking shot.

    Interestingly, my second favorite? The scene in Aquaman when they jump in the ocean with the flare and all the creatures are closing in on them. I got similar chills.

  7. You know if you ever find something else in this you can tell us everything with no problem. But take care of yourself first

  8. I know what he said makes sense but i don't know if its his delivery or the way he talks, he sounds like he doesn't know what he is talking about and he is saying random stuff that kinda sound important but isn't ultimately. Well i maybe wrong but its just a theory, a game theory. Thanks for reading.
    #Gametheory 😆😆😆

  9. Heyyyyy. If you’ve seen The Leftovers could you do an episode on that please. I’m just assuming you have because you used a piece of music from the show in your episode for serenity I think. Anyways thank you that would be awesome

  10. In a way, you kind of buried the lead Mikey….. This movie is visually stunning to be absolutely sure, but it's also one of the funniest things I've seen in a very long time!

  11. Commenting for great justice

    You and these videos were the best part of my 2018 and help make my 2019 whole.

  12. I watched this movie and was just so over-the-top blown away it was overwhelming. I knew it was technically amazing, I loved the story, I loved the visual art, I loved so many things but on first watching it was just overwhelming and difficult to process because there was just so much to love… the next day, I gathered my wife and 2 middle-school aged children (who rarely want to do anything together and in particular can never decide what to watch together short of most of the MCU and a few other things), and forced them to come see it with me again and while they all caused a fuss to get them there, EVERYONE wanted to make sure that we were buying the blu-ray as soon as it came out. until I saw this video I didn't even understand that the shaders were all dot driven ( I just saw it and thought "wow, this looks like a comic book!) or that the depth of field was offset printing error (WHICH IS FANTASTIC!) until I watched this video. Honestly, I don't mean to stifle your creativity at all, but if you're willing I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this film – because you're right, there's really a ton to talk about here. every frame is a crazy-bananas master class on how to do 2d, 3d, still, and motion animation, and I very much enjoy your film analyses.

  13. The most rewatchable channel on YouTube. Every single video hits it out of the park. Plus, the best intro in modern media, is there anything you can’t do?

  14. Damn dude! That was straight up frick'n amazing Mikey! You do justice where normally it does not prevail, and for that, we all thank you!

  15. I didn't like it as much as I should've. It looked like I shoulda had 3D glasses on, & the animation felt…schizophrenic, it almost hurt to watch. It was a good story, but visually painful.

  16. Death of Gwen Stacy was important. It showed the world that comics could be a mature medium. Before that, people just expected that the love interest would never die in a comic. You gotta give it more cred.

  17. I find it funny that Mikey says this movie reminds him the most of Interstellar. Because before I watched this movie (and it became my new favourite movie), Interstellar was my favourite movie

  18. Solution is simple. A ten part series of a dissection of this Mikey. At top speed. At this ridiculous sense of insight you bah-ring every flipping moment —- so if you can get on that we’d greatly appreciate it

  19. Does the video feel like it's too short for anyone else? I bet even Mikey could've easily done 45 minutes without problem. This movie is just so… uniquely ingenious. It just shouldn't have worked.

    I'm curious what it would be like if you did this entire movie without the "on the twos" animation in favor for a smoother animation… Would it be better or worse? Would it still hold up the same at all? How important were the visual mechanics?

    Questions without answers, I suppose. Can't really know without seeing it. I just hope this style isn't beat to death in half assed DC movies now…

  20. Wow I finally watched the movie so that I can see this video. So awesome but it's no surprise here ¯_(ツ)_/¯
    Ps: Hilarious credits btw

  21. This is my 11th time watching this video, I will watch this fucking channel for all it's worth. You're glorious.

  22. Sooo i got scared, at 6:55 with my volume turned up i head my name michael but the dude is saying blackhole in the video he uses

  23. My eyes started to water, because it was information overload. There were so many elements fighting for my attention, but in a good way. It is a very impressive accomplishment that was actually given wide release, as opposed to ‘Waking Life’, Richard Linklater’s first animated feature. When I saw his next animated feature ‘A Scanner Darkly’, I fell in love with the animation of the scanner suit. This is like that x9000.

  24. I so very greatly appreciate how Mikey uses music in this one. Offset – Clout for Offset Printing and Fat Joe – All The Way Up for Ascension were brilliant.

  25. I just saw this Film on Netflix last night and came to this the next day. I didn't watch this until I had seen the film itself. Best Spiderman film, hands down.

  26. The annoying thing is that this movie wasn't nearly as big a box-office hit as the other big superhero films of the past couple of years. My daughter tried persuading kids at her school to see it, and it was a difficult sell: people today will go see a live-action Spider-Man movie (with animated effects), they'll go see an animated superhero movie if it's Pixar, but tell them to go see an animated Spider-Man movie and it seems like that still has a stigma of being TV kid stuff or a token release of a direct-to-video niche product. Tell them it's one of the best superhero movies EVER, and one of the best animated films ever, and they won't believe you.

    In any event, it made more than enough money to get sequels.

  27. Also: shoutout to whoever convinced Sony to let them publicly release the script while the movie WAS STILL IN THEATERS!

  28. I loved every part of this, but you glossing over Miles' dad's words of encouragement to his son finally being the push he needed is almost criminal. Jeff Davis showed Miles his faith in him, and through that, Miles could take the aforementioned leap of faith.

  29. Late with the comment (and the view), but I only saw Spider-Verse recently, so was holding back on watching this.

    Anyhoo… Best. Movies. with. Mikey. Ever.

  30. Enough about how spider man is a visual masterpiece, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT YOUR EDITS!!! I am completely blown away every episode that you make, my brain goes into a quick panic when I remember that these videos were literally edited by you….because my brain is no big brain…you are BIG BRAIN!!! I love you and I love that you love your fans. I love the quote, "if it aint broke, break it" I love that when the intro comes on I feel like something magical is about to happen. I can tell that you relate to spider man so much as a visual creator making his own rules and finding new ways to show what he's made of. Thanks for giving me so much joy at 1 am :)))))

  31. Askin as a non-American, which prestigious awards could Mikey theoretically win with his show and who can I send elephant poop to because he hasn´t yet?

  32. God dammit, what i wouldn't give for a solid hour or two of you talking about this movie! Absolutely loved Into the Spider-Verse, and loved this video, as well.

  33. It's ironic that MJ is most widely associated with Spiderman when she's the most boring character Peter has ever had a crush on. (This is coming from a guy who has a soft-spot for redheads btw)

  34. Finally got around to watching it with the release on Netflix. I get it now. This is so well written, so done right/on fleak/to a T. I dare say it's better then the MCU Spiderman, as much as I love Tom Holland in his role. Thanks for inviting me to watch this.

  35. I cannot watch this enough nor hit that thumbs up button enough… I want to go to internet cafes and libraries and friend's laptops just to smash that damned thumb… Mikey you need to be plugged into your computer and let your brain freewheel these things all day….

  36. Phenomenal as this video is (and it is), I'm gonna need you to pronounce "hyperbole" correctly, my dude.

  37. Ok I like how they try to make the movie look like comic books by having some colors not filling in the full body correctly, but it just made me think I need 3D glasses.

  38. Whenever one of your vids dives in deep without the intro I fear that you forgot to add it….

    But then the screen goes black the funky music starts and the diamonds rain down, GLORY BE TO OLYMPUS.

  39. THANK YOU!! I have yet to hear a reviewer fully articulate why this film is one of the greatest in all of cinema! Also I watch your credits Mikey 😉

  40. I’m always sad when this video ends, I want like a two hour video, mike you have changed the way I think about movies and film and I want to go into either props/set design or writing/directing. Thank you for getting me through a rough time in my life, ur the best!

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