A small team of artists have remade the iconic opening of Avatar: The Last Airbender in 3D (see below). The remake introduces some interesting new animations without sacrificing any of the elements that made the original so incredibly effective. For these reasons and more, it’s been trending on Twitter ever since it was uploaded.
That upload came from the team’s spokesperson, artist Jacob E Mann. The biggest difference between his remake and the original – aside from the fact that one is done in CGI and the other in traditional 2D animation – is the character. In the original, each of the elements is being bent by a different bender. For his version, though, Mann chose to let series protagonist Aang do all the work.
This decision was probably made for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it saved time. 3D animation, unlike 2D animation, requires animators to create character models which they can then move and manipulate in order to achieve desired shots. Using one model as opposed to four must have therefore saved them a ton of work.
This was such a blast!! We remade the in Avatar: The Last Airbender opening in 3D! pic.twitter.com/eHzRlW3gbe
— Jacob E Mann (@jacoberinmann) August 1, 2020
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But there might have been other motivations, too. For instance, the decision to use Aang and only Aang introduced some interesting changes that distinguish the remake from the original. Because Aang was born an airbender first and an Avatar second, he’s less familiar with the other three elements than he is with air. As a result, he uses different bending techniques, which can be witnessed in all their glory throughout the video.
Also, the decision to use Aang as opposed to other characters makes sense from a storytelling perspective. Being the Avatar, Aang has the unique ability to bend all four elements – a power which no other person in his world possesses and which he can show off clearly in this version of the Avatar: The Last Airbender opening, thus achieving through visuals what the original communicated through words.