The World of AVATAR: How Did Cameron Make Pandora So Real?

Bioluminescence James Cameron produced his own special effects and technology during the creation of AVATAR in order to create the realistic world of Pandora. By creating a custom camera, he was able to view the actors as they performed as though they were immersed in the scenes of this fictional world.

Guest post by Ashley Hansen

Audiences all over the world were blown away by the stunning 3D effects in AVATAR – The Movie. Though viewers realize the sci-fi element to the film, there is a startling reality about the world of Pandora and its inhabitants. Even though we know that floating mountains and nine-foot tall blue people may not exist, the filming of AVATAR certainly makes it seem possible. The startling 3D footage has caused many moviegoers to wonder about the special effects and technology used to create the realistic world in Pandora. There’s an interesting story behind it; in fact, James Cameron even had to make his own technology to meet the needs of the film.

A Long Time Coming

The story and effects in AVATAR were actually in the works for over 20 years before AVATAR even hit the movie screens. James Cameron had wanted to make a movie like AVATAR for years, but one thing held him back: the technology. Cameron actually had to wait until technology caught up with his vision in order for the special effects he desired in AVATAR to become a reality.

Fortunately, 3D filming has advanced enough that Cameron was finally able to get the special effects and technology needed to create the realistic world in Pandora. The technology he found was close to what he needed, but not quite enough. Cameron and his team had to come up with a solution to get AVATAR to the level he envisioned in his mind.

Custom Cameras

James Cameron found that the Sony HDC-F950 HD camera met most of his needs for filming the 3D effects in AVATAR. However, to make the experience even more realistic, he decided to create his own camera system to produce even better visual effects. By connecting two Sony HDC-F950 HD cameras so that the lenses were only two and a half inches apart, he was able to create a 3D experience that is overwhelmingly realistic for movie audiences. Cameron chose to use this measurement of separation of cameras to mimic the stereoscopic separation of human eyes, which is what gives the resulting visual effect such a realistic view.

Actor’s Movements

An innovative form of technology was also incorporated with the 3D cameras to help create a better filming experience. The special effects and technology used to create the realistic world in Pandora were translated into the camera. Though the actors performed the scenes in front of a green screen, Cameron was able to look through his camera and see the entire world of Pandora surrounding them. It allowed him to create a better flow in filming and produced a more realistic effect.

Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning full HD with the Panasonic VIERA HD TV.

Through the combined use of creative vision and technology, AVATAR swept viewers along a path that turned the fantastical into reality.

What part of Pandora was the most amazing – and real – for you?


The comments to this entry are closed.