“Wētā FX and Lightstorm Entertainment Present Avatar: The Way of Water” by Saindon, Letteri, Revelant, Illingworth and Baneham

  • ©Eric Saindon, Joe Letteri, Marco Revelant, Nicholas Illingworth, and Richard Baneham




    Wētā FX and Lightstorm Entertainment Present Avatar: The Way of Water



    Wētā FX’s Senior VFX Supervisors Joe Letteri and Eric Saindon, Pre-Production Supervisor Marco Revelant, FX Supervisor Nick Illingworth will be joined by Lightstorm Entertainment’s VFX Supervisor Richard Baneham to discuss the VFX for this award-winning film.

    With 2,225 water shots, the journey began with over five years of R&D. The talk will cover the creation of the new technology as well as the scope of innovation undertaken throughout the pipeline and why it was essential to deliver the film. Both Saindon and Baneham worked side-by-side with Director James Cameron from early concept work and motion studies through performance capture, live-action shooting and final delivery. They detail the unique workflow developed for the film and how it varies from traditional VFX pipelines, telling stories along the way.

    Pre-Production Supervisor Marco Revelant will talk about the new facial system and how Wētā experimented with a variety of approaches before settling on the new APFS facial system to help bring a huge range of performances to the screen.

    New water simulation tools were obviously a highlight but FX Supervisor Nicholas Illingworth with detail how the integrated Loki solver framework extended well beyond water. The new system saw the addition of a new combustion solver and tighter integrated solvers for plant motion, wind fields and complex physics. Combined with advancement in rendering and compositing workflows, this new level of realism helped give Pandora its immersive feel.

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