James Cameron (20th Century Fox) 2006
VFX Supervisors Joe Letteri, Wayne Stables, Chris White, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist
VFX Breakdown By Weta Digital
Avatar was the landmark stereo film of the modern era, taking 3D technology to new heights, and changing the way many people thought about 3D film and visual effects. Weta Digital developed a new generation of visual-effects techniques to realise this ambitious film. As well as bringing about huge innovations in real-time performance capture, facial rigging, 3D animation and compositing – the scale, detail, and complexity of Avatar showed that computer generated filmmaking had reached the point where it could carry the story, and maintain suspension of disbelief, through an entire movie.
In addition to the Academy Award® for Visual Effects, the film won Weta Digital six Visual Effects Society awards, including the VES equivalent of a best picture race – Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture. What Weta Digital built and what they learned on Avatar changed the way Weta Digital approached visual effects, and its impact is still being felt to this day.