James Cameron is still immersed and preparing several large projects although all eyes are inevitably fixed on the Avatar sequels (which will involve parts 2 and 3 of the story). Can we see them without glasses and in 3D? Cameron is focused, among other things, on achieving technology that enables this milestone.
The creator of Terminator, Aliens: the return, Titanic or Avatar has always gone one step further and has tried to be a forerunner in the advances and developments that he used in his films. Avatar had at the time some critical voices with its script but no one can deny that the use of its "pure" 3D was an important advance on its release date (back in December 2009). It should be remembered that the film achieved a millionaire record gross of 2.4 billion euros (almost 2.8 billion dollars worldwide).
The technology that he will use in Avatar 2 and 3 remains one of the biggest challenges to discover and one of the best kept secrets but Cameron already offered some clues about what we can see in the future. From what Cameron himself and people on his team have been revealing, we know that two key elements must be highlighted .
1. The idea of getting to 3D without glasses
It is the biggest and main challenge of all. Cameron told Indiewire that he felt "optimistic" with the use of this technology, despite the fact that many films no longer promote it due to the high production costs involved. Along with the use of advanced technologies that he will use for sure such as HDR (High Dynamic Range) or HFR (High Frame Rates) that improve image quality, Cameron spoke of 3D in these terms: “We need brighter projections and in the end I think that it may happen that 3D exists but without wearing glasses. We will get there ”.
Cameron always tries to be at the forefront: “My idea is to get rid of the movement associated with 24 frames per second (frames). Films like this are already a century out of date. We are looking to test with 48, 60, 72 frames and looking for the efficiency of the different solutions ”. But there is the problem of projectors and Cameron knows it but does not give up in his efforts: “The trick is how you project 48 or 60 frames, with multi-flash, as happens with 3D projectors. That is the small advance that I am working on ”.
2. The underwater effects capturing the movement
We know that Avatar 2 and 3 will see the oceans of Pandora, with all their own ecosystems. Therefore, the use of water and its appearance are a key challenge. Some time ago Cameron had a meeting with Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, where he spoke of the need to enhance and improve the effects under water in general and the sea in particular. Cameron already shot the film Abyss in 1989 , where he used some of these elements but now the idea is to achieve something much more realistic, and not even recreate the water by computer.
Cameron stated: "You could simulate the water but what you cannot is simulate the actor's experience with the water when it offers resistance, so what we will do is capture the movements underwater." "We're looking at what we've already done from a critical point of view, including how the film references were recorded so that we can see the actors' work in the cutting room and make sure that's exactly what we were looking for."
In any case, the motion capture technology will have to take into account both the density and the luminosity of the water at all times.
One of the producers of Avatar, Jon Landau , confirmed what Cameron had already explained: "We have retained the team of digital artists from Avatar in order to test how we can create motion capture underwater."
But the reality is that we will have to wait for Avatar 2 and 3 . There is still no definitive date, only a forecast for 2018 and 2020. But in order to know more about the results of both films, it is necessary to see first how James Cameron shows in 2018 the creation of a new series for the AMC of 6 episodes on documentaries based in science fiction that has just started shooting. In this series is where Cameron will begin to use parts of this technology to continue working and improving details that can be used for the filming of the Avatar sequels .
About this new series that he is preparing, Cameron himself has told The Hollywood Reporter that: “Without the works of Jules Verne and HG Wells we would not have the texts of Ray Bradbury or Robert A. Heinlein and without them there will not be films of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas or Ridley Scott . It is part of an evolution ”.
When this project is finished we will be able to see how Cameron reunites Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana . Avatar 2 (presumably 2018) and Avatar 3 (presumably 2020) will be followed by Avatar 4 in 2022 and Avatar 5 in 2023, if all goes according to plan.