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Marvel’s Spider-Man Artist Shares How the Into the Spider-Verse Suit’s Effect Was Achieved

Marvel's Spider-Man
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Marvel’s Spider-Man Artist Shares How the Into the Spider-Verse Suit’s Effect Was Achieved

The latest DLC for Marvel’s Spider-Man, titled “Silver Lining” included a treat for the fans in the form of a suit inspired by the recent movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The suit features a very interesting shader that integrates the visuals of the movie into the game in a rather impressive way. If you’re wondering what a shader is, it’s a graphical feature that can perform many tasks, but in this instance, it basically tells materials how to interact with the light in order to achieve a specific effect. I know, I’m oversimplifying a lot, but you’ll find plenty of complexity (and artistry) below.

Associate Graphics Technical Artist J Tuason took to Twitter to explain how the effect was achieved thanks to the power of shaders and a bit of a hack.

[Editor’s note: Tuason mentioned afterward that they made a small mistake in drawing this diagram, and the L Arrow should point the other way]

Does this sound complex? That’s because it is. Shaders are one of the most interesting and diverse aspects of graphics technology nowadays, and even if you didn’t understand a single word (I have no qualms in admitting that I understood just a small part of it) this is a perfect example of how much knowledge goes into creating something as apparently simple as a costume in a game.

Interestingly, we also hear that each suit in the game has its own shaders, which makes sense since they’re made with different materials, and shaders play a primary role in determining the look and feel of a surface’s materials through interaction with lighting.

Basically, when a Graphics Artist wants to turn a textured 3D model into something that can be perceived by our eyes as cloth, leather, rubber, or even a cartoon, that’s when shaders come into play. Marvel’s Spider-Man’s suits involve a wide range of realistic (or intentionally unrealistic) materials and effects, and that’s certainly a testament to the love and care poured into the game.

Another recent example of excellent shader work is the suit featured in Sam Raimi’s films, which has been provided for free to the fans a few days ago.

Marvel’s Spider-Man is currently available exclusively for PS4, and it has been met with critical and fan acclaim, on top of commercial success. Its sales have outpaced every other superhero game in the United States. If you’d like to learn why it’s so good, you can check out our review.

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