*Warning, Serious Geek Alert Ahead*

Okay, glad we got that out of the way. So as most of you know, I'm an artist, and also a programmer. So CGI is something I get a little geeky about.
This is why the new movie Avatar is on my absolutely-must-see-this list.

Why is this going to be super-awesome-epic?

- Because it was made by James Cameron, the creator of Titanic, and this has been his baby for the past decade.

- Because it looks like it actually has a well-developed, thoughtful, and relevant story. (pet peeve: when a movie is just all flash and bang and focuses all on the special effects department. People, it's a movie. The special effects are supposed to aid in telling a story, not the other way around.)

- and my favorite part, because the CGI has been developed past anything we've seen before. THIS IS NEW TECHNOLOGY PEOPLE. Why is it awesome?
Basically, CGI in the past has been an actor acting with a green-object, then a separate voice over for the character, then weeks later an illustrator/programmer developing the character and creating all the motions and emotions on a screen. This creates a lot of disconnect and lack of reality within the character because it's all done separately.
Then we got Polar Express where they CGI'd real live actors, instead of just a green lump, so we combined the motions and voices, but there was still touch up needed on the faces and the eyes didn't move (um.... creepy) so illustrators were still largely in charge of the actor's emotion and presence.
NOW Cameron has managed to combine all of it at once. For filming, he literally held up a camera to the actors, and within the viewfinder saw their animated characters in their animated environment. What he has basically done is created a computerized costume department. Why is this incredible? Because just think of the possibilities. You have real actors who have the same limitations as cartoon characters when it comes to what they can look like or can do.

I'm so excited. This is going to be epic.

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