Production is still chugging away on the upcoming Avatar sequels, and producer Jon Landau had some updates on the movies for those present at his NAB Technology Summit on Cinema keynote speech. He said director James Cameron will experiment with using performance capture underwater to provide the best possible look at Pandora's underwater world.
“We have kept a team of digital artists on from Avatar in order to test how we can create performance capture underwater,” The Hollywood Reporter quotes Landau as saying. “We could simulate water [in computer graphics], but we can't simulate the actor's experience, so we are going to capture performance in a tank.”
He continued, “We are looking at [techniques including] what we did before with reflective markers. [It's important] how we record reference photography so that as we are going through the editorial process and the postproduction workflow, we can see what the actors did and make sure that the final performance up on screen represents that.”
Just like Avatar was the most technologically advanced movie of its kind, Landau said that he and Cameron are going to make sure they take advantage of every new development that's come out over the past few years. That means that high frame rates are being explored as a possible option for the new movies.
“We want to take advantage of the technology that people are putting out there to make the next two movies more engaging and visually tantalizing, and wrap up the story arc of our two main characters," Landau said. "[High frame rates are] a better experience for the audience. Nobody should dictate to a filmmaker whether they should make films at 24, 48 or 60fps since the technology now exists and can be presented with the same cinema equipment."
With that being said, Landau promised that Avatar 2 and 3 will be more than just flashy films. “Let's not lose sight of why people go to the movies,” he said. “They don't watch for technology they watch because they make an emotional connection to a story.”