‘Avatar 2’ producer reveals James Cameron’s plans for underwater performance capture

James Cameron is heading into uncharted waters for his forthcoming “Avatar” sequels.

The blockbuster director will use underwater performance capture in the next two installments of his sci-fi trilogy, according to producer Jon Landau, who revealed the news during his keynote address at the NAB Technology Summit on Cinema in Las Vegas on Sunday (details courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter).

“We have kept a team of digital artists on from ‘Avatar’ in order to test how we can create performance capture underwater,” said the producer. “We could simulate water [in computer graphics] but we can’t simulate the actor’s experience so we are going to capture performance in a tank.”

Added the producer: “We want to take advantage of the technology that people are putting out there to make the next two movies more engaging and visually tantalizing, and wrap up the story arc of our two main characters.”

“Avatar” utilized groundbreaking performance-capture technology that Cameron spent over a year developing prior to the film’s production.

Cameron recently mentioned that he’s “deep into” the scriptwriting process for the sequels, the first of which isn’t expected to hit theaters until at least 2015. He’s also claimed to have an idea for a fourth, which would be a prequel to the events depicted in the first movie.

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