Avatar 2: Under Water Motion Capture
When it was announced that the top-earning movie of all time was getting a sequel I was less than surprised. What production company wouldn’t produce a sequel, and trilogy, out of a movie that earn over 2 billion dollars worldwide? For this next movie, director James Cameron intends to go further than he did with the first. Cameron hopes to pioneer underwater motion capture technology.
Motion capture technology has been around for a while, taking presence in many movies, such as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Nav’i in the first Avatar movie. The reason for doing it here seems to be the large focus of Avatar 2 on the ocean. Much of the movie is supposed to take place there and Cameron wants the motion of characters on screen to be accurately portraying the movement of motion underwater, which could not be achieved otherwise. While on a set, it is easy to capture a person’s motion and put it onto a scene on land, but it would look odd to put the same movements under the water.
The producer of Avatar, Jon Landau, said about the movie, “We have kept a team of digital artists on from Avatar in order to test how we can create performance capture underwater. We could simulate water [in CG], but we can’t simulate the actor’s experience, so we are going to capture performance in a tank.”
It will be interesting to see where the production and development of this movie takes the industry, if it takes it anywhere at all. Will there be more movies in the future that will take advantage of the technology being development or the techniques being used and push the industry forward, or are people already satisfied by the already high production value of movies?