The NY Post’s Larry Getlen takes a second look at Avatar and sees more in the film than he could have imagined:
‚ÄúThe idiosyncrasies of how people‚Äôs faces work ‚Äî the order in which their muscles flair ‚Äî that varies from person to person,‚Äù says Richard Baneham, the film‚Äôs animation supervisor. ‚ÄúSo for Zoe [Saldana, who played the Na‚Äôvi beauty Neytiri], our main goal was to [capture] her performance, to do everything in our power to get her idiosyncrasies, and to really delve into the specific sequence of muscles flaring in her face and in what order. We armed the animators with the toolset to bring that to life.‚Äù
When the actors playing Na‚Äôvi donned motion-capture suits, they were filmed on all sides by as many as eight HD cameras, providing animators with the data needed to realistically render movement. Most importantly, this gave their eyes a very human vibrancy, solving a long-running CGI problem, and making the love story between the characters played by Sam Worthington and Saldana especially resonant.