While James Cameron’s Avatar is creating ripples at the Indian box office queuing up for the visual spectacle, many would be unaware that that an Indian company was part of a team that worked on the awe-inspiring visual effects of the film.
Mumbai based vfx house Prime Focus has contributed a number of shots to stereoscopic 3D film. The movie, which stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver, features numerous stereographic and ‘Holotable’ displays, animated graphics, immersive environments and other visual effects created by Prime Focus.
A team of 90 artists which worked on making Avatar a visual spectacle was spread across Prime Focus’ Los Angeles, Vancouver and Winnipeg facilities, with President & Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Chris Bond and Visual Effects Producer Chris Del Conte driving the project out of the LA office. The bulk of Prime Focus’ work was done for the film’s Bio lab and Ops Center, the bustling hub for military operations and one of the key environments in the film.
“Our experience working with stereoscopic 3D material, both on the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D and through our proprietary View-D technology, more than prepared us for Avatar,” said Bond.
Prime Focus designed displays for the Op Center’s Holotable over which the film’s main characters discuss their missions and plans to mine a valuable mineral found on the planet Pandora. In one key scene, the film’s protagonist Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and Col. Quaritch (Stephen Lang) bring up a three-dimensional hologram of the ‘Home Tree,’ where the Navi, Pandora’s indigenous population, live.
The Prime Focus VFX team also created displays called Immersives that provided a 180-degree stereo perspective, allowing military personnel to control air traffic flow in 3D. Additionally, Prime Focus contributed CG helicopters, buildings and atmospheric elements seen from the Ops Center and Commissary windows in several sequences.
Said Del Conte, “Much has been said about James Cameron’s incredible vision as a director, his hands-on style and the very high bar he set for all his visual effects vendors, so playing a part in bringing Avatar to life has been a fantastic experience for our team.”