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Avatar and the Future of Digital Entertainment Creation

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 | Posted by Leonard Teo

Marc Petit, Senior VP of Autodesk Media & Entertainment, has written an article for AWN about how Avatar is changing the way that digital entertainment is being produced. No doubt, a promotional piece in favor of Autodesk’s tools but still an interesting read, giving insights into the workflows and tools that are changing the way we create digital entertainment.

Quote: The production of Avatar highlights some fundamental evolutions in movie making. Although a lot has already been written about the movie, its production is an important milestone for the industry. It means a lot to us at Autodesk, particularly, as it showcases production requirements that support the directions that we have been taking for the development of our products. Avatar pioneers virtual cinematography, features believable characters and delivers a fully immersive stereo experience. More than 15 of the most prestigious VFX and post-production companies around the world collaborated closely to make this movie — and also enlisted a world-class games studio to produce a title that extends the story into the interactive world. Together, they pioneered virtual moviemaking in the process.

Avatar and the Future of Digital Entertainment Creation

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  • Motoko kusanagi

    Ok im getting pretty irritated with all this AVATAR leading the way stuff. Fact is AVATAR’s effects is anything but brand new in the world of computer graphics and animation. People have been making believable characters for years!. And if your truly in-the-know youve either been a part of have seen the development of these techniques. Take a look at Paul Debevec’s site and youl get what im on about. AVATAR should be noted as being the first movie to employ So many of the industry top technique into a workable film production pipeline (and budget). But much of whats been seen in AVATAR couldve been created some years earlier if not for the lack of chip processing power at the time. Rendering speed is the quality-cap on any CG effects related film and AVATAR directly mirrors the progress that’s been made in the processing field. Its a HUGE difference between making a believable character at home at 1080p compared to creating that same image at 4K resolution and to do so on a feature film scale is staggering. AVATAR is also commended facial capturing methods rather than using animators. But i gota say i didnt see anything an animator couldnt pull off. instead i submit that speed is the issue here, the time it takes to deliver – redo- edit or tweek such a performances is the factor,
    But in the end of all the CGI hype it all boils down to STORY. AVATAR with all the cash that it produced, really *didnt* have such a stupendous story. In fact the story was really cookie cutter, most of the Characters generic. So what was AVATAR all about? simple.
    AVATAR was Camerons way of moving these experimental technoglies into the production phase and making them work together.
    He did what was necessary to dispel the nay sayers of stereoscopic 3D as only a gimmic. ITS NOT if you know what your doing. most directors dont. (ie PARANA 3D ) Iif i see another director place a spear sword or arrow tip at the camera im gonna loose it!
    But if realism is what avatar was about, then you have to ask yourself. why not paint people blue? isnt that what your geting in the end.

  • Pierre

    I picked up from the ginormica sponsorships and marketing guerrilla behind the film, that when it comes in terms of “ahead” it´s referring to effective methods to produce accurately (scenes, fx, compose, etc..), and actually “launching” a whole brand new demand for entertainment as 3D viewing experience for home demand. Being said, huge deals with sony and other monsters of imagery were created to supply the new “third” dimension market. So there´s no point saying this movie isn´t making a history change…because as you said: it´s been done before (sfx); but this is a unique film awaking the necessity to switch towards change on entertainment.

  • fxdfp

    Motoko, yes mocap, IBL, and photo real characters have been around for years. What’s cutting edge is what’s called simulcam. Simulcam is a realtime compe of cg characters/bg’s with live action actors and sets. THAT’s what hasn’t been done prior to Avatar. If you can understand the power and genius behind simulcam, then you can appreciate the technical prowess of this film. I was blown away by it because I got to see it 1st hand.

  • chienyih

    motoko kusanagi : I can see how you feel, I wathced james cameron avatar myself, yea I think it’s probably made a stepping stone for the people who’s interest in the vfx and stereoscopic line, I can give them that moment for achieving something, I also agree that vfx doesn’y become the main base for them film, it only contribute to the film just to give it appeal.

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