By now most of us have seen James Cameron’s Avatar and marveled at his creation. Avatar proved that you could have a 100% virtual world and have it be 100% believable. If movies like this continue the need for live action will be a thing of the past. Or so we hope.
As a technologist, I marveled about what it took Mr. Cameron to get this film made. The technology behind Avatar must have been mind-boggling. Some facts I read: creating the virtual world required over a petabyte of digital storage. The final footage for Avatar occupied 17.28 gigabytes of storage per minute. Those numbers can give any server administrator a heart attack.
John Roth wrote an excellent piece on the data center requirements behind Avatar.
In addition, here is a great article on the technology behind Avatar.