The response to Sony's animated Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, has been overwhelmingly positive so far. Sony has taken note of reception, too, with Deadline reporting that the company is looking to patent the animation technology and process they employed to create the movie, which officially hits theaters in the States on Thursday (Dec. 13).
Sony has applied for patent protection on the technologies they used in producing the film, which possesses a unique look that closely resembles the comic book series it's based on. The movie is currently certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, sitting at an impressive 98 percent with 130 reviews. Critics were quick to highlight its striking animation style, which uses a mix of CG animation and hand-drawn art.
“We had this mandate to basically challenge how animated movies are made and what they can be, from top to bottom,” co-director Rodney Rothman told Deadline of the techniques. “There were large periods of time where we wondered if it would even work.” As previously noted, each frame of the almost two-hour long film featured an overlay of hand-drawn artwork, moving away from the usually clean image associated with CG films.
The U.S. Patents and Trademark Office will now determine if the techniques used to create the specific look of the film can be patented, although as noted by Deadline, the process can take up to five years to go through. The unique rendering techniques employed by the film include what they call "stylized quantization," and specific controls over light hitting objects and characters in what they call "screentones."
Reportedly, the film also included some machine-learning within the animation process, which helped to streamline the whole production of the project.