Happy 3-D Day!

To mark this special day, we go deep to highlight the latest and most technically advanced 3D filmmaking project to date.

Put on those 3D glasses, and let the festivities begin!

March 21, 2023, is National 3-D Day, founded by 3-D Space in 2020 to recognize the history and resurgence of 3D technology. It is celebrated on the third day of the third full week of the third month, naturally. This year, we are observing the occasion with a deep dive into the work for the Oscar-winning Avatar: The Way of Water, which has established a new pinnacle in stereo 3D filmmaking.

Our guide on this journey is Sam Cole, associate visual effects supervisor at Weta FX, who takes us behind the scenes of how stereo 3D was used to immerse viewers into the unique world of Avatar: The Way of Water.

From the outset, Weta FX partnered with Lightstorm Entertainment on the film, collaborating on new technology and techniques to fully realize director James Cameron’s vision. In addition to creating the flora and fauna of Pandora, Weta forged new developments for water in the sequel—no easy feat by any means.

Avatar: The Way of Water once again drew people back to the theater, providing them with a sophisticated stereo 3D experience. Stereo 3D has evolved greatly over the past decades, especially since we last visited Pandora. It is apparent that neither Cameron and Lightstorm nor Weta have rested on their laurels as they strived to present something innovative and new for our return visit.

As Cole points out, the stereo in the Avatar sequel is more immersive than anything previous, and that’s because filmmakers including Weta have much more experience with the genre and are able to make more enlightened and informed choices that draw the audience in, provide a better sense of depth, “and essentially make the cinema disappear and place people in that world.”

Laer projection and brighter projection, along with the increased quality of 3D glasses, have improved the stereo picture to where every seat in a theater provides good stereo viewing. “Films mastered for high dynamic range and projected using the latest technologies look amazing in stereo 3D—bright, clear, and with amazing color,” says Cole. Avatar: The Way of Water is a perfect example of that.

In terms of the visual effects, Cole notes that the software, pipelines, and processes are more advanced, more mature, and faster today than they were even just a few years ago.

However, that does not mean that the process was easy. And with many shots involving digital water, the work became even more challenging. As a result, a plethora of new tools at Weta and Lightstorm were created to achieve the desired results for the VFX and stereo 3D.

In the story “Avatar: The Way of Water redefines stereo 3D and VFX,” on the Jon Peddie Research news site, we pull back the curtain on the specific innovations and technical work that have enabled the film to set a new bar for stereo 3D.

Today, on National 3-D Day, celebrate by learning about those innovations. Stereo 3D continues to get better and better, thanks to innovators like Cameron and Lightstorm, as well as Weta. And it’s you who can reap the benefits of their work. So, keep the celebration going. Go to the theater and enjoy the results of how stereo 3D can take entertainment to a new level Avatar: The Way of Water.

Avatar: The Way of Water takes 3D filmmaking to a whole new level. (Source: ©2022 20th Century Studios)

Source: National Day Calendar

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