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James Cameron Talks VR And Cinema

Director James Cameron has long been at the forefront of new developments in film technology. His work on The Abyss pioneered several new techniques involving computer generated imagery, and Avatar was at the forefront of the new wave of 3D cinema, with new technologies being developed for use in the making of that film. However, Cameron remains somewhat sceptical of current virtual reality (VR) technology.

In an interview with YouTube channel Beerdy, Cameron said: “Our method of authoring Avatar involves working in VR, so I work in VR all day every day. Whether a new art-form – a new form of cinema – that’s interactive can be created? I’m waiting for it to manifest.”

However, Cameron later makes it clear he does have an interest in VR technology: “If so much of my bandwidth wasn’t taken up with Avatar, I would be experimenting with VR.” He says, explaining that much of his attention at present is dedicated to his work on the sequels to his 2009 sci-fi film Avatar.

He also clarifies that he doesn’t believe that ‘true’ VR is currently available, and that current definitions for VR tend to refer more to 360-degree films and omnidirectional camera setups. Cameron said he thinks that true VR won’t be possible until full movement and exploration is possible within the virtual space, something that some room-scale videogame titles such as Echo Arena, among others, have already begun to experiment with.

“It takes 100 hours of a massive render farm to do a single frame of an Avatar movie. Show me that in real-time in VR, and that will be what I’ll call true VR.” he said.

You can view the interview clip below.

VRFocus will continue to report on new developments within the VR industry.