Technical Visualization On Set for Avatar: The Way of Water

Date: Saturday 02 September
Time: 10.55am – 11.45am

The barrier between traditional live-action filmmaking and computer graphics is getting smaller, thanks to rapidly evolving virtual production techniques. Casey Schatz is an experienced visualisation, virtual production and previs artist and was the Simulcam Supervisor on James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water. In this talk, Casey will discuss the advanced virtual production technology that interlaced the digital world with the physical to bring the film’s stunning scenes to life.

This talk focuses on the human aspect of using virtual production to collaborate on set. The complexity of this film required the contributions of thousands of skilled VFX artists, animators, and on-set crew. Casey will discuss how he and the entire crew leveraged the virtual production toolset to connect people from different disciplines to play in the digital sandbox and create a digital experience on set that is analogous to the live-action paradigm.

He will also share the advanced virtual production workflows developed for The Way of Water, including his part in creating a new performance-driven cable-cam eyeline system that ensured eyelines were as accurate as possible for authentic human/CG interactions. The audience will also learn about the intersection of motion capture, LIDAR, repeatable cameras, and the surprising connection between Abraham Lincoln and motion bases.

About the Speaker
Casey Schatz is a recognised expert in emerging virtual production techniques for motion pictures and television. Having collaborated on landmark films like Avatar: The Way of Water, he is regularly called on by blockbuster productions seeking to seamlessly bridge the worlds of traditional live-action cinematography and CG. His early career in previs for motion control cranes led to key successes in leveraging motion capture for previs as well as for simulcam shoots.

Casey’s credits include Avatar: The Way of Water, Avatar, Game of ThronesThe Mandalorian, The Martian, Real Steel, and more. As Head of Virtual Production at The Third Floor, Inc. he continues to promote the design and use of on-set simulcam. Casey is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied photography, theatre and computer graphics.