Project Description

Avatar: The Way of Water Immersive Pop-Up

I.M Studio generated a particle-prominent immersive underwater world in anticipation of Avatar: The Way of Water.

The Hyundai Seoul recently hosted a two-week media art pop-up zone for the South Korean release of Avatar: The Way of Water. I.M Studio produced related videos, media, and interactive work, beginning with storyboards and visuals created using Notch. I.M Studio’s In Jeong found he could quickly and freely iterate and receive feedback from the client from the start.

The team took inspiration from the film and interpreted it to match their vision of glowing blue particle work emulating Pandora. For research, they visited EPCOT to see how Disney had created an entire Pandora environment within the park. In made it a goal to translate the impressions of the visit into a more personal setting. He studied water-based materials and focused on how they could interact with guests.

The creative team’s system was initially too heavy to play back in real time, so they separated the layers into three sequences: alpha, interaction, and compositing. In found they could make the presentation interactive for up to thirty people with focused optimisation at 30 frames per second. They ensured the artwork’s quality would sustain as much as possible at this stage.

The team connected and operated twenty-one projectors and six Hokuyo sensors, optimising the interaction server using an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card to control the temperature and stabilise the frame. As an extended sensory teaser for the film itself and the world of Pandora, old fans and newcomers flocked to the floor, filling the room for the duration of the show’s run.

“I wanted to translate the emotional weight I felt visiting Pandora as much as the craftsmanship. This workflow made it easy to communicate those emotions directly.”

In Jeong, Creative Director, I.M Studio

Additional press coverage:
Hankyung, KBS.

Client: Disney Korea (20th Century Studios Korea)
Sponsor: The Hyundai Seoul
Agency: Project Studio B
Project Director: Lizzy Oh
Project Manager: Ally Kang
Art Director: In Jeong
Storyboard: In Jeong

2D & 3D Art: Dahye Yun & In Jeong
Interactive Art: In Jeong
Compositing: In Jeong
Technical Director: Kwanjong Kim (a.HASH)
Interactive Tech & System: Jounghwan Son, Yuhwa Kim, & Jiwon Cheh (a.HASH)
Hardware: tone-sys
DOP, Edit, & DI: Tim