The creatures of Na’vi were not only virtually designed but the whole Pandora, landscape, flora, and fauna add to the believability of the world (Valk & Arnold, 2013). In 2010 the movie was selected for eight British Academy Film Awards and won the BAFTA prize for Best Production design and unique visual outcome.
Stereopsis is an optical illusion where our brain sent our eyes the signal to visualize a two-dimensional object as a three-dimensional object. This optical illusion has been used as a trick in the 3D film Avatar. The film has used high tech active glasses side by side liquid crystal display (LCD’s) in place of lenses. The two LCD’s opened and closed alternatively and synchronized with the images on the screen via radio transmitters in the theatre thereby inducing the brain of the viewer to form a three-dimensional illusion. Except for few sequences, there was no camera used in the studio where Avatar was made. The actor’s movement was recorded by motion capture which suited their body movements and facial expressions. James Cameron integrated the digital image of the characters with a 3D image of the virtual environment of Pandora generated in real time so that he could see the 3D world as he directed the movements of the actors and could remake a scene if he did not like it (Straubhaaar,2013). Visual effects can be described as animation done in support of “live action plates” and it is primarily about surroundings and noncharacter dynamics. Avatar takes this idea further. The technology of visual effects makes us believe that fantasy places like that of Na’vi’s Pandora as depicted in Avatar exists in reality. From the beautiful landscape of Pandora to the rich regal blue skin of native, to the techniques used in battle scenes, Avatar was a medium for visual pleasure. Visual imageries have played a significant role in the film. There was a visual similarity between the “cryo-pod” from which Jake, the protagonist emerges and the casket in which his brother’s body was cremated depicts the connection between them. Avatar has employed racial stereotypes about race and identity and offered strong female characterization. The critical reception of Avatar holds both awe and disappointment because although the film employs 3-D digital performance capture it has been caught hold by old-fashioned storyline (Grabiner, 2012). Thomas Schatz noted that commercialization of film texts coincides with the shift from character to the plot. The danger as per him is that the films are continuously depoliticized as noted in the film Avatar where colonialist and imperialist subtext has been negated by the focus on spectacle, action and special effects. The film’s narrative plays a secondary role and the complex characterization is replaced by spectacularisation of narrative (Valk & Arnold).