For an article on 3D movie-making for Time Magazine , writer Josh Quitter was lucky enough to see preview clips of James Cameron’s new SF blockbuster Avatar, to be released later this year. And he seems mightily impressed.
“The film is set in the future, and most of the action takes place on a mythical planet, Pandora. The actors work in an empty studio; Pandora's lush jungle-aquatic environment is computer-generated in New Zealand by Jackson's special-effects company, Weta Digital, and added later. I couldn't tell what was real and what was animated--even knowing that the 9-ft.-tall blue, dappled dude couldn't possibly be real. The scenes were so startling and absorbing that the following morning, I had the peculiar sensation of wanting to return there, as if Pandora were real.”
He also describes a scene he witnessed from a new 3D version of Titanic: "The luxury liner is nearly vertical, starting its slide into the black Atlantic, and Leonardo DiCaprio is hanging on for life, just like always. But this time, I am too. The camera pans to the icy water far below, pulling me into the scene--the sensation reminds me of jerking awake from a dream – and I grip the sides of my seat to keep from falling into the drink. Most of us have seen the top-grossing film of all time. But not like this. The new version, still in production, was remade in digital 3D, a technology that's finally bringing a true third dimension to movies. Without giving you a headache.”