Dispute over 'Avatar' prod'n technology settled

Lightstorm, Crack Creative resolve virtual production case

Lightstorm Entertainment, James Cameron's production company, and Los Angeles-based Crack Creative have settled a dispute arising out of the development of some of the virtual production technology used in the production of "Avatar."

As part of the settlement, 20th Century Fox released a statement Wednesday recognizing Crack's contribution to the film, saying "in collaboration with James Cameron, (visual effects pipeline engineer) Rob Legato and others, Crack Creative was involved in early research and development on the Virtual Production process and Virtual Camera technology during 2005."

The virtual production process allowed Cameron to visualize his actors in the imaginary, computer-generated world of Pandora while he was filming them on set.

"Under the supervision of then-Virtual Production Supervisor Joshua Kolden, Crack Creative worked on research and development of the Virtual Production technology in 2005," the statement continued. "Although Crack Creative did not participate in the production of 'Avatar,' James Cameron, (producer) Jon Landau, Lightstorm Entertainment, and 20th Century Fox would like to acknowledge Crack Creative's contribution to the development of the Virtual Production technology used to make 'Avatar.' "

Crack had filed suit against Lightstorm and Fox in Superior Court in Santa Monica in early 2008.

Neither party would comment on whether the out-of-court settlement also included financial terms.

Kolden -- who explained that in collaboration with ILM, Crack produced a short test trailer that demonstrated the system's viability before the film went into production -- said, "The matter's been resolved, and we're all happy."

Carl DiOrio contributed to this report.