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Why James Cameron Brought Back 3D For Avatar: The Way Of Water

As well as the first of James Cameron Avatar played a crucial role in the brief golden age of 3D movies, Avatar: The Path of Water has great potential to usher in a new era of 3D viewing. 13 years later, the long-awaited sequel is incredibly immersive as audiences are transported back to Pandora, an experience that is definitely limited with regular 2D viewing given Cameron’s specific production techniques for a superior 3D experience.


With James Cameron having filmed avatar 2 With 3D in mind, initial rumors about the highly anticipated episode claimed that he was looking to have the film released with 3D as the only display format. While that’s not the case, it’s clear that 3D is still the best viewing experience. This includes viewing the film in HFR, which highlights many of the underwater and action sequences where frame rates have been doubled, also providing a smoother and more engaging 3D experience. With 3D ticket sales breaking records for this new sequel, it’s clear there’s still a market for a format that’s been dying since the first. avatars release.

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Related: What Avatar 2’s Na’vi Actors Look Like In Real Life

How Avatar 1 launched a 3D boom and why 3D disappeared
The Na'avi in ​​Avatar

In 2009, the first James Cameron Avatar The film was seen as heralding a new era, one in which 3D would become the norm both in theaters and in the home with a wave of 3D televisions. However, while Cameron produced Pandora’s first adventure with as much passion and intent for 3D cinema as this new chapter in 2022, the same cannot be said of the many studios and manufacturers who rushed to do the same after its success. massive. . While it should have been a no-brainer, digitally reformatting a film shot in 2D to 3D solely in post-production didn’t yield the same results.

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Essentially, a lack of quality control was the main culprit along with the misconception that consumers wanted a 3D experience outside of the theater. Few were willing to wear glasses that needed to be recharged in their living rooms, especially if they were trying to multitask or talk to others in the privacy of their own homes. Also, the added cost attached without constant quality improvement hastened the decline of the 3D boom created by Avatar. For the past few years, only blockbusters belonging to the biggest franchises in the industry, such as the MCU and Star Wars they’ve typically had digitally reformatted 3D offerings (and less than 10% of moviegoers actually participate).

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Why Avatar: The Way Of Water Brings Back 3Davatar the way of water image review

The key difference between Avatar: The Path of Water and previous 3D offerings is James Cameron’s unwavering dedication and passion for the format itself. Using techniques and shooting the sequel natively for 3D (such as having longer sequences with fewer cuts), the results speak for themselves. Beginning with the film’s opening scenes in the forests with the Omatikaya clan, something as small as floating particles can be seen in close-up, taking viewers into an immersive experience, experiencing the stunning visuals in a way that it feels anything but flat.

Likewise, the new technologies used to bring avatar 2 underwater sequences come to life with the multiple depths displayed. As the children of Jake Sully and Neytiri learn to be part of the oceanic clan known as the Metkayina, the seas of Pandora come vibrantly alive (and they can’t be done justice in traditional 2D format). Avatar: The Path of Water it was clearly ready for 3D from its inception, an experience that is part of its inherent DNA. 3D cinema has to be done natively to be successful, as Cameron has shown with avatar 2rather than the more frequent cost-cutting action of reformatting in post.

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Related: Everything We Know About Avatar 3

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Jake flying in Avatar The Way Of Water

While it’s hard to say if 3D movies will see a resurgence after Avatar: The Path of Water, clearly there is still a market for the experience (as long as said experience is really good and worth the extra cost). As confirmed by ticket seller Fandango, the new Avatar The sequel has seen the site’s most 3D ticket sales since 2015 the force awakens, a great testament to its quality as a 3D viewing experience. As such, Avatar: The Path of Water It proves that 3D movies can be worth your time and could even play a big role in the future of cinema in the future. It just requires a higher level of intent and investment on the part of the studios making the movies.

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More: Avatar 2 Is One Of James Cameron’s Best And Worst Rotten Tomatoes Scores

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