December 18, 2009

See how Photoshop & Adobe apps helped make Avatar

“Literally the first piece of software we went out and purchased was Photoshop…”
Check out this 2-minute overview of how PS, Lightroom, After Effects, and other Adobe tools were used in the production of Avatar:

Adobe’s Mike Kanfer won an Academy Award working with James Cameron on Titanic & has been a great conduit of information during the making of Avatar. Too bad I never did manage to twist his arm & get behind the scenes during shooting…
Ah well: this morning the Photoshop team is off to see Avatar–a welcome little break from the whole march to Cocoa. I justified it to my wife, saying, “Well, they used Photoshop to make the movie.” Raising a dubious, I-know-you’re-all-cutting-class eyebrow, she asked, “Don’t they use Photoshop to make every movie?” Hush, woman!!
[Update: Evidently Photoshop co-creator John Knoll was the Avatar visual effects supervisor at ILM.]
Semi-related bonus fun thing: Slate talks about Cameron nearly dying while making The Abyss, punching & then firing a rescue diver.

Posted by John Nack at 8:34 AM on December 18, 2009


  • keith — 9:25 AM on December 18, 2009

    Yes we’ve had Photoshop artists like Walt Jones do demos for our LA Photoshop Users Group meetups. Creating backgrounds, comps and all sorts of stuff.
    Really interesting to see how PS is used in so many different ways

  • Sabrina — 10:58 AM on December 18, 2009

    Just a side note: the Visual Effects Supervisor for Avatar was John Knoll of Industrial Light & Magic…yes, John Knoll, the brother of Thomas Knoll, the guy who developed Photoshop. Saw that today while watching the end credits of the movie.
    [Cool, thanks; just saw that, too, and updated the post. –J.]

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  • Johnny — 5:42 AM on December 21, 2009

    Wow, Impressive, I never would’ve thought they were using adobe products to create avatar, I assumed it would be some 3D stuff.
    It looks like an awesome movie, can’t wait to see it.

  • RUGRLN — 7:05 AM on December 21, 2009

    Wicked. Cool to see how Adobe apps including Ps are used in Hollywood..if only it was longer the video…

  • gj — 3:17 AM on December 27, 2009

    Isn’t the plural of software software? Someone tell Jon Landau…

  • johnsmith — 10:46 PM on March 31, 2011

    Great Video! Shame its not longer but it really gives you an idea of just how many hours of work are put into these films. Hopefully Avatar 2 is produced…

    • Elqua — 10:48 PM on March 31, 2011

      Yeah I agree, johnsmith. An ‘Avatar 2’ woulgd be great

  • johnsmith — 10:50 PM on March 31, 2011

    Great Video! Shame it isnt a bit longer, but it gives an insight of how many hours go into these films. Hopefull he produces an ‘Avatar 2’…

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