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Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a particularly richly animated film with an amazing variety of animation styles used to reflect the different universes its multiple spider characters come from. Every frame looks like a outstanding example for comic book art, showing a dedication to animation excellence that most viewers will never notice (at least until they get a digital copy they can freeze frame).

Some commentators have mentioned that the creators also manipulated the animation speed (normally animations are shot with two successive frames identical, giving, effectively, 12 rather than 24 unique frames per second). Some, but not all, claim that the creators shot some of the more at 24 unique frames per second to create specific visual effects.

Is this claim true? Does the movie contain multiple frame rates? Which sections of the movie are modified from the normal 12 fps animations and what effect was this intended to create?

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From this interview with the 3 directors, Bob Persichetti said (emphasis mine):

For example, all our animation is on twos. In standard film, you shoot 24 frames per second. In old traditional hand-drawn animation, you would draw 12 drawings per second. Every other frame was repeated to give a certain crispness to the movement. If you wanted something to feel smoother, you’d put it on ones. The existing computer-animation process reads everything on ones. All the simulations, from hair to cloth to you name it, all those algorithms require an image on every single frame. What seems like it would be incredibly simple — “Let’s just drop every other frame out and animate this one on twos” — blows up the whole pipeline.

At a base level, we animated the whole movie on twos, which makes it feel crisper and almost crunchy, and really sharp. That was an attempt to get to a place that felt like comic-book panels, where you really have impact with an image, and it burns into your psyche. You’re like, “Wow, that’s the most powerful version of that image I could get."

We’re trying to chase that, so we started stripping, animating on twos.

So it seems they did the computer generated effects with a different frame rate to mimic traditional techniques and match the aesthetics they were looking for.

  • This sounds definitive but some commentators seem to think that some parts of the movie were animated on ones. Is it likely they misunderstood what the directors said because the animation was originally that way? – matt_black Jul 8 at 14:59
  • @matt_black I think the commentators are confused with the 12fps on hand drawn / 24fps on CGI difference – Luciano Jul 9 at 7:50
  • In this interview with the Effects supervisor and the head of character animation they report (and show) something more complex. Characters are usually animated on twos but against a background animated on ones. And, sometimes, the characters are not in sync. So there is some basis for the confusion in what has been reported. – matt_black Aug 9 at 18:07
  • Indeed. More proof that the movie does use multiple frame rates at some point during production. – Luciano Aug 12 at 9:57

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