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Avatar sequels to go underwater

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Story by Jack Foley

THE sequels to Avatar are going underwater, according to producer Jon Landau.

Speaking during a keynote conversation at the NAB Technology Summit on Cinema in Vegas, Landau said that James Cameron’s sequels would include underwater performance capture.

“We have kept a team of digital artists on from Avatar in order to test how we can create performance capture underwater,” he said. “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.”

Landau went on to say that the intention with the sequels is “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”.

Hence, high frame rates are also being explored for the sequels – although no decision has yet been reached as to whether they will be used.

He did, however, commend fellow filmmaker Peter Jackson for his use of higher frame rates on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which drew criticism from a lot of quarters for the odd look it gave that film in places.

Landau commented: “Audiences went to The Hobbit expecting the same tone as the Lord of the Rings films, but The Hobbit is a different film with a different story and a different tone, and Peter Jackson made absolutely the right creative choice [in shooting 48fps] for him and should be respected for that.”

Related: Avatar review l James Cameron interview l Jon Landau on Avatar sequels

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