“Spider-Man 2” by Raimi

  • ©Sam Raimi  Sony Pictures Imageworks



    Spider-Man 2




Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Sony Pictures Imageworks


    “Spider-Man 2” features the introduction of Doc Ock, a new character that Spider-Man has to interact with on many levels. Like the CG Spider-Man, a synthetic version of Doc Ock had to be created for situations where it was not practical to use the real actor, a stunt man, or puppeted tentacle arms. The challenge was to blend and integrate different methods for putting Doc Ock into a shot.

    Similar to the building pipeline developed on the first Spider-Man, the creation of Doc Ock relied heavily on photographic data and techniques, including Paul Debevec’s reflectance field acquisition work. The challenge for Imageworks was to integrate this with skin, hair, cloth, and tentacles into a production environment that allowed flexibility to meet the demands of different shots.

    This “Spider-Man 2” excerpt shows a progression of the Doc Ock character in the story. It features shots with different execution techniques, as well as interstitial glimpses of pieces that went into the full CG Ock creation, including footage acquired on the Light Stage at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies.


    HARDWARE: Multiple systems including Dell, IBM, HP, Apple, SGI and others, many with NVIDIA graphics cards. Rendering farm: Thousands of CPUs (primarily Intel).


    SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: Modeling, animation, rendering, dynamics, and compositing: a variety of off-the-shelf software; internally developed facility tools; and custom tools developed specifically for the show. Additional software: The House of Moves mocap; Kaydara Motionbuilder (for editing body mocap). Custom software: 3D volume shattering; data management tools; improved in-house hair-pipeline; improved cloth simulation developed by Alias; in-house muscle tools for facial motion capture; tools to extract reflectance functions from scanned ICT Light Stage film images of principal actors; virtual light stage system to aid paint- work on the Light Stage photography. OS: various.

Additional Contributors:

    Visual Effects Designer: John Dykstra
    Visual Effects Executive Producer: Jenny Fulle
    Animation Supervisor: Anthony La Molinara
    Computer Graphics Supervisors: Peter Nofz, Daniel Eaton, Seth Maury, Ken Hahn
    Visual Effects Supervisor: Scott Stokdyk
    Visual Effects Producer: Lydia Bottegoni
    Visual Effects Editor: Kevin Jolly
    High Speed Compositing: Lisa Deaner

Additional Information:

    Modeling: NURBS converted to subdivision surfaces; virtual New York City is a mix of polygonal and subdivision surfaces with a few NURBS patches later converted to subdivision surfaces. Facial motion capture to capture performance details of Alfred Molina and Tobey Maguire, and blended with keyframe facial animation; body motion capture for background characters. Minimal rotoscoping used. Rendering technique used most: RenderMan with ambient occlusion and ambient reflection. Average CPU time for rendering per frame: five minutes-eight hours. Total production time: 700 days. Production highlight: Production editorial sent us cut movie sequences via a fiber connection, and we evaluated the shots in a review room equipped with a NEC 1K DLP digital projector calibrated to film. This significantly reduced our average amount of filmouts per shot. The shots in progress were cut into the latest sequence for color-accurate shot review in context. The complex geometry of the CG city was enhanced with lighting techniques such as secondary caustic reflec- tions, lightrays shining through corner building offices, and improved HDR interiors. The CG Doc Ock was our best combination of IBR (HDR fisheye lighting images were obtained for every sequence on- set) and traditional CG light placement. ICT’s Light Stage data was the basis of Ock’s facial skin rendering, and the real breakthrough for us was being able to integrate this technique into our pipeline and have it coexist with our more standard setups.

Animation / Video Overview: