The latest behind-the-scenes images from James Cameron’s Avatar 2 tease the director’s new underwater motion capture technology. Cameron is hard at work on the long-awaited sequel, even though production had to halt back in the middle of March. Part of the initial delay for the sequel hinged on technology that did not exist, which Cameron had to help develop in order to bring his massive vision to the big screen. The director doesn’t take shortcuts when it comes to the visuals that help propel his storytelling.
The official Twitter account for the Avatar movies released two new behind-the-scenes images this afternoon. In the first image, we can see James Cameron sitting above a pool as he gives directions to the actors before they head underwater. They’re all covered in motion capture gear, which is what Cameron’s new technology is based around. The second Avatar 2 behind-the-scenes image shows off a hint of how he and his creative team are revolutionizing underwater motion capture by placing white balls on the water’s surface. According to the image caption, the “floating balls that prevent lights from interfering with filming underwater.”
James Cameron is no stranger to stretching the limits of the imagination when it comes to underwater scenes. Abyss was one that kicked off a whole new world of visual effects that shaped the way a lot of movies were made afterwards. With that being said, it’s going to be very interesting to see what Avatar 2 will look like on the big screen. Cameron is already setting the bar pretty high and we’re still pretty far away from seeing the first footage.
James Wan learned just how hard it was to shoot underwater motion capture when he made Aquaman. With that being said, Wan went with more of a heightened look as opposed to something natural. In the process, he created a brand-new world that comic book fans and visual effects fans found to be fascinating. James Cameron will not be taking this route with Avatar 2. The director is going for something totally different in terms of the look and feel, noting that he would have had a hard time taking on a project like Aquaman.
Looking at James Cameron’s thoughts on Aquaman, it seems like he might be going for more of a realistic underwater look in Avatar 2. That has not been confirmed as of this writing. Cameron could very well end up creating something even more fantastical than what James Wan did, with a focus on more realistic underwater mechanics. It’s unclear if the long-awaited sequel will be able to make its release date with production still shut down. As of this writing, Avatar 2 is still on schedule for its December 17th, 2021 release, though that can change at any moment. While we wait for confirmation, you can check out the latest behind-the-scenes images below, thanks to the official Avatar Twitter account.