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2 items from 2010

The Art of Avatar Makeup

28 March 2010 6:48 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

When watching James Cameron's blockbuster, Avatar, audiences were amazed at how the visionary director achieved the dazzling nuanced computerised performances of the blue, nature-loving Na'vi clan. The answer, at least partially, lies in the work of makeup artist, Tegan Taylor, who Cameron recruited for her specialised experience and cutting-edge techniques.   Beginning her career in the world of traditional film makeup, Taylor scored a job working with Robert Zemeckis on The Polar Express. Since then she has worked on numerous 3D projects, including Beowulf, pioneering this brave new world of 3D ‘performance capture' movie makeup.   Taylor said she knew Avatar was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. »

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How Did Avatar Do That? The Answer is Skin-Deep

19 March 2010 11:20 AM, PDT | Movieline | See recent Movieline news »

How did James Cameron achieve the dazzlingly nuanced computerized performances of Avatar? The answer, at least partially, lies in makeup. Where an expensive and labor-intensive system using reflective beads had previously been the industry standard for digitally mapping an actor's emotional landscape, Cameron had determined early on that he'd use paints instead -- offering far more comprehensive coverage, and, he hoped, a huge leap forward for the medium. The only problem was that the paints didn't exist.

Enter makeup department head Tegan Taylor. A veteran Hollywood makeup artist, she came to Avatar with extensive motion-capture experience, having worked with Robert Zemeckis on earlier experiments in the genre like The Polar Express and Beowulf. But what Cameron and the effects artists at Weta Digital were asking for would require some ingenuity. »

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