The trailer for Marvel Studios' Moon Knight currently have MCU fans eagerly looking forward to the future, but that doesn't mean people have let go of Spider-Man: No Way Home just yet. Tom Holland's latest adventure as Spidey has broken records and has only recently been dethroned from the number one spot at the box office. Buzz, however, is still going strong.
Former The Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield finally came out with interviews after having denied his involvement vehemently for months before the film's debut. His words have created enthusiasm amongst fans and kept the Multiversal adventure's excitement alive and well.
Seeing Holland team up with Tobey Maguire and Garfield was fun, sure, but there's another sequence that simply doesn't get enough praise: the Mirror Dimension chase. It was some of the first footage the world saw from the film, but the best parts weren't revealed until the movie hit theaters.
Spidey does something fans have wanted for years now towards the end of the mirror debacle: solving a situation using his genius-level intellect. He does this by taking advantage of the trigonometry at play before webbing up Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange and escaping with the mystical cube.
Creating that sequence was undoubtedly a complex process, and the film's VFX Supervisor recently shared exactly how enjoyable it really was.
The Cheating VFX of Spider-Man
In an interview with Before and Afters, Framestore Visual Effects Supervisor Adrien Saint Girons talked about his work on Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: No Way Home and how the team pulled off the mirror dimension sequence. More specifically, he addressed how they waded through the complexity of the kaleidoscope finale.
Girons noted how "it was very important for the director that it was mathematical," and the scene clearly showed "Spider-Man using his education to figure this out:"
"Well, that’s a good question. One thing that was very important for the director was that it was mathematical, that it was clear that it was Spider-Man using his education to figure this out. So the brief was really worked backwards, that is, figure out the end moment when he gets caught and what the math behind that was. And then we could figure out what the kaleidoscoping look needed to be."
As for how he started to figure all of that out, Girons said that he "went online and looked up mathematical equations" and also drew inspiration from "dream catchers:"
"I went online and looked up mathematical equations and mathematical formulas that generated interesting images. It was math art fundamentally, and quickly you find all these interesting images of these spirals that are formed by straight lines. There were some very interesting looks that come from math. We also looked at dream catchers, where you connect the line, and you can create these pretty amazing patterns just by repeating the same action over and over again."
The VFX Supervisor went on and revealed that it was one of "visdev team... artists [who] came up with a really nice concept," one that when it "[came] perfectly front on-camera," it created a "pattern that looks mathematical and pretty:"
"In the visdev team, one of the artists came up with a really nice concept where if you have a spiral and you connect the pieces in a particular way, if you look at it from the side, it just looks like loads of lines connected. But when it comes perfectly front on-camera in a more orthographic view, you get this pattern that looks mathematical and pretty."
Girons revealed how at the end of the day, the visuals of Spider-Man's geometrical webbing is "a cheat," one that "tricked [the audience]... to tell the story:"
"Then we needed a very specific moment. We needed to show that Spider-Man’s connecting all these spirals together. There’s a moment where it connects, as the camera pans over this orthographic view. It happens at the same time and you can buy the fact that he’s getting caught. Realistically it is a cheat. It only works from that particular camera angle. It’s tricked to work to tell the story, but in the context, I think it works quite well. And it’s still mathematical, and that was the important thing."
Spider-Man Conned the Audiences... Successfully
It was great to have Peter use his intellect more than his strength to get out of a situation, and in this case, best the master magician. The use of that intelligence was in play far more in Spider-Man: No Way Home than it ever has been before—the last act is only possible because three Peter Parkers use their brains to whip up cures for some of the biggest villains they've ever faced.
The artists involved with the kaleidoscope sequence and the entire Mirror Dimension did a fantastic job. It's safe to say not many people question the math at play; it was simply accepted within the parameters of one's suspension of disbelief.
Doctor Strange has always been associated with trippy visuals, so it was great to see that mix with Spider-Man's corner of the MCU. Hopefully, all of the mind-bending work will continue to excel—after all, May 4 will bring Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with it. One can only hope the adventure lives up to its name.