Spider-Man: No Way Home remains the talk of the movie community as Marvel and Sony begin going into details about the secrets that didn't make their way into the public through leaks and announcements. With a handful of villains, a trio of cinematic Spider-Men, and plenty of intriguing side stories from supporting characters, this threequel has a seemingly endless stream of material to discuss after its debut.
Much of the attention has centered on No Way Home's VFX work, some of which has been teased through numerous pieces of concept art that have come to light since its premiere. This includes images of Tom Holland next to Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield along with an unused fight between the Green Goblin and Doc Ock, and other stories detailed some of the behind-the-scenes work required to bring those moments to life.
Part of that VFX work gave Tom Holland's Peter Parker some new additions to his growing wardrobe, one of which was the gold-infused Integrated Suit that he used in the movie's final battle. However, as revealed in a recent interview, that suit brought its own unique set of challenges once the post-production team took on the job of bringing it to the big screen.
Problems with Integrated Suit's VFX Work
befores & afters spoke with Spider-Man: No Way Home visual effects supervisor Chris Waegner on the work needed to bring Tom Holland's Integrated Suit into the movie in post-production.
While Holland wore a practical red-and-black suit on set, the VFX team "replaced the practical suit...with a newly designed digital suit" with multiple layers of material that took "various in-house techniques" to bring together. The most important part of this new digital suit was making sure that it mimicked the movements seen in the real-life suit and held up in every interaction from the movie's plot:
"Tom Holland’s new suit on the other hand had its own set of challenges. During principal photography, filmmakers decided that Tom’s character was going to have what would be called the 'Hybrid Spider-Man Suit'. So for our sequences, we replaced the practical suit Tom was wearing in camera with a newly designed digital suit. His new digital suit is composed of fabric with metallic inlays and overlays all woven together. Replacing Tom’s suit in every shot was a very laborious process which involved various in-house techniques across many departments in order to ensure the final look would hold up to intense scrutiny. It was critical to our filmmakers that this new digital Hybrid Spider-Man suit accurately mimic Tom Holland’s subtle underlying muscle movements, twitches and physical interactions with onset actors."
Waegner looked back to how many subtle details had to be put into the digital suit, which included every wrinkle and physical movement seen on screen as Holland captured the Spidey action. Even something as simple as a "straightforward blue screen shot" was now that much more complicated with the added responsibility of implementing an entire new outfit into the shots:
"There are so many subtle things Tom does when he’s physically interacting with Ned and MJ. All the suit wrinkles and physical compressions when he hugs someone, these were captured in camera, and now had to be duplicated in this new digital suit. A relatively straightforward blue screen shot now took on an additional level of complexity because of the suit replacement."
Nothing could be taken for granted with the Integrated Suit as Waegner and the team had to find all of the "subtle nuances" possible such as "suit wrinkles or compression of (Holland's) feet." Although the camera captures everything on film, replicating it in a digital format proved to be another endeavor in itself:
"We’d start the process by matching to the set lighting, then proceed with highly accurate rotomation to match all the physical interactions he might have with MJ, Ned or Doctor Strange, or his environment. Things you take for granted, like, suit wrinkles or compression of his feet all needed to be matched to the plate photography. When filming an actor all these subtle details are captured in camera, but when the actors body is replaced with a digital body, all the subtle nuances need to be duplicated and put back into the shot."
How to Replicate a Real Suit in CGI
Marvel Studios is no stranger to developing highly intricate costumes, whether it be through CGI like more recently released Iron Man costumes or physical outfits like the ones seen in WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Even so, combining both techniques proved to be a new difficulty in itself for the team behind Spider-Man: No Way Home.
While Peter utilized four different suits through the threequel's plot, the Integrated Suit made arguably the biggest impact upon its creation. Doc Ock returned the bit of the Iron Spider armor that he had stolen upon first entering the MCU through the Multiverse, laying it on top of Peter's black-and-red threads and outfitting him with a new golden armor and Spider logo.
As it turns out, bringing the suit into the Spidey threequel by combining realistic costuming and CGI may have been the toughest task that the VFX team had to accomplish. The intense work that it took to make sure the computer-generated golden parts of the suit interacted the way they would with the real-world web-slinger suit was something that couldn't be taken lightly, which the VFX team understood before the film debuted.
With this suit now being part of some of the most popular imagery ever seen from No Way Home, it's clear that the VFX team worked through their potential problems with the outfit and made it a success.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.