By: Maddie Turner
This week I decided to focus on a bit of a throwback movie. Avatar captivated me from the start, and each time I have seen it since, it gets better and better. The visual effects are unmatched in this film, even today. The vibrant colors, and realistic mix of graphics and recorded scenes are unlike anything I have seen prior. The article, “How Pandora Comes Alive: Visual Effects in AVATAR” describes the cutting edge new technology used in the film. The director, James Cameron, aimed to produce a movie that made the viewer feel as though they were actually on the plant Pandora, where the story takes place. He accomplished this by through creating stereoscopic cameras and virtual cameras that gave the movie a 3D feeling while also improving the quality of the graphics. Stereoscopic cameras allow for facial expressions and minute changes in eye movements to be tracked and recorded. Below is a screen capture showing the main character Jake Sully played by Sam Worthington. The green dots track movements on Worthington’s face which are then combined with the computer generated character Jake. It surprised me at first to see how human-like the characters looked, and when seeing the photos side by side, it proves how similar they really look.
Still from YouTube video “Avatar: Motion Capture Mirrors Emotions” (December 2009).
The inclusion of the stereoscopic filmed scenes and vibrant world of Pandora, as well as many colorful, imaginative plants, animals, and landscapes, are a visual masterpiece. While I enjoyed the film’s plot, what brings me back time after time is to witness the beautiful scenes of Pandora. Below is the climax of the movie, when the community comes together around the Tree of Souls to pray for the health of a friend.
Still from Avatar (2009)