NAB: 'Avatar' Sequels to Use New Virtual Camera Tracking System

The system, tested on Emmy winner ‘Cosmos’ and currently in use on ‘The Walk’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland  2,’ was quietly demonstrated at this week’s NAB Show.

To make his Avatar sequels, James Cameron is developing a technical pipeline that includes a virtual camera tracking system that was first used in an incomplete form to make Emmy winner Cosmos, Solid Anim founder Isaac Partouche told The Hollywood Reporter at this week’s NAB Show in Las Vegas.

The real-time markerless camera tracking system, SolidTrack from Solid Anim, is now available and has been used for a couple notable feature films. It helped Joseph Gordon-Levitt, performing on a green screen, to make Philip Petit’s famous tightrope walk between New York’s Twin Towers in Robert Zemeckis’ Oct. 2 release The Walk. And it also was used to place a cast in the extensive virtual sets that make up the magical world in 2016’s Alice in Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass film.

Partouche noted that it was not long after Cosmos aired that the system came to the attention of Avatar producer Jon Landau. As part of the work, Partouche has relocated from Paris to Los Angeles to further develop his system to meet the needs of the Avatar production.

According to the company, SolidTrack was developed to give filmmakers plenty of flexibility in that it can quickly be set up and doesn't require a greenscreen stage. It’s designed to talk with popular software such as Autodesk’s MotionBuilder and Maya, which were used on the first Avatar film.

At NAB, Solid Anim also previewed a second technology, a new virtual camera dubbed SolidVCam.

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