Avatar, the new 3-D blockbuster from director James Cameron, represents a quantum leap in movie-making technology. The truly impressive part of the production was the real-world technology that powered the stunning special effects. How did they do it? For over a decade, James Cameron has been fascinated with the prospect of using 3D in his movies. His first aspiration for the technology was to create a movie about Mars exploration that would symbolize NASA’s Mars ambitions. At the time, stereoscopic 3D camera systems were the size of refrigerators and could weigh close to 500 pounds. Cameron issued a challenge to one of his partners, Vince Pace: Develop a quiet, lightweight 3D camera for a movie I want to do. That was seven years ago, and the result is stunning – the new Fusion Camera System. Considered the most advanced camera system ever designed, it was used to “run the stitches” between live action scenes and computer generated scenes.