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James Cameron Promises ‘Revolutionary’ 3D In The Avatar Sequels

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When directors like Robert Zemeckis and James Cameron brought 3D back into popular usage in the ’00s—with the help of various technological upgrades—many viewers were amazed. The future of cinema seemed to be upon us, and the studios decided to invest in that future—kind of. As Cameron sees it, their preference for the more cost-effective post-conversion process did 3D a major disservice. As a result, he believes native production technology “stalled as of about three or four years ago.”

While the mediocrity of post-conversion has turned some viewers off, Cameron plans to use the Avatar sequels to tap into 3D’s true potential. “They will be, to the best of my ability, the best 3D that’s possible to make,” he said at Vivid Sydney. “That includes collaborating with the people at Dolby Cinema, who have developed high dynamic range projection that could put 16 foot-lamberts of light on a 3D screen through the glasses, which is revolutionary. Normally, you’re looking at about three foot-lamberts. 16 is what you should be seeing. That’s what movies should look like.”

While some still perceive 3D as a fad that’s run its course, Cameron believes we’ve only scratched the surface of the format’s potential. “We need to see the roll out of these laser projection systems, so that we can fully appreciate 3D through glasses in cinemas,” he explained. “Then, we need the roll out of autostereoscopic screens—large panel displays, where you don’t need glasses at all. You have multiple discreet viewing angles and all that sort of thing. Anybody that’s geeking out on 3D knows what I’m talking about. It’s all possible. It’s just a question of will it happen or not.”

Experience the next step in the evolution of 3D when Avatar 2 arrives in theatres on December 18, 2020. In the meantime, check out the trailer for its predecessor below.