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. EFILM Senior Colorist Natasha Leonnet provided the color finish for the film, working closely with Production Designer Justin K. Thompson, VFX Supervisor Danny Dimian, and Art Director Dean Gordon to help underscore story points through color and provide a distinct, cohesive look.
“One of the special aspects of working on an animated film is that you are often collaborating with fine art painters and they have a different way of analyzing images,” Leonnet explained. “Justin, Danny and Dean were very articulate with their feedback, whether the decisions served the story or the aesthetic. The film is obviously very colorful but they wanted it to feel comfortable and not visually overwhelming, with colors that are both lush and natural.”
The unique look of "Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse" was amplified by bold choices in the color suite, with Leonnet utilizing hue shifting tools typically reserved for music videos. She also drew inspiration from the source comic books, earning a crash course education on the artistry of comics.
“With comics, you can see certain elements that result from color printing, such as areas where the CMYK dyes don’t quite line up at the edge of characters or how fill is done with dots or lines. Those kinds of little idiosyncrasies as well as traditional comic book line shading inspired the overall aesthetic,” said Leonnet.
Art Director Dean Gordon added: “The overall intent was that the final product would look like an illustration. Often using heightened color and contrast, we lit each sequence in the film individually for the storytelling and emotional content. We then worked with Natasha to make sure each sequence was consistent in its look.”
Reflecting upon standout scenes, Leonnet noted a scene that covers a day in the life of the main character, Miles. She approached the color choices to underscore Miles’ day-to-day stress and frenetic feelings, shifting the color from shot to shot to capture that sense of turmoil.
Production Designer Justin K. Thompson elaborated: “The film is a constant balance between the naturalism of Miles’ melting pot home life in Brooklyn and the supernaturalism of his experiences with Spider-Man. Natasha did a great job to make sure the viewer feels the power of the thematic elements that kept repeating through color and the consistency. For example, Spider-Man’s red and blue costume is one of the most iconic visuals ever created. When Miles meets Peter for the first time, we made sure we always had red and blue as the theme for the scene, and it repeats throughout the film. Additionally, we gave certain scenes an expressive bold color when a dramatic moment is happening, just like in comic books.”
Leonnet concluded, “I feel so lucky to have worked on this project and with such amazing storytellers; I never got tired of looking at it.”
Deliverables for the film include P3, Dolby Vision, Dolby Cinema 2D, 14 foot-lamberts, 6 foot-lamberts 3D, 3D home video and 100-nit down convert versions.