The LATimes, just released an exclusive behind the scenes pic from James Cameron’s upcoming  3-D film, Avatar.  Its sad that I’m drooling over this photo, but its all we’ve got. The sci-fi epic has been shrouded in mystery for well over a year, and this is the first “real” sighting of anything close to the film. Here we have star Sam Worthington taking mental notes from mechanical master, James Cameron.

More on Avatar after the jump.

The film, a mix of CGI and live action using new techniques Cameron himself helped to develop, was shot with a special 3-D camera (also developed by Cameron). Mix that with the promise of large-scale, hard science fiction that hasn’t been attempted much in the past few years, and you have a project that seems guaranteed to live up to the hype and expectations that are riding on it.

Avatar will finally be released December 18, 2009, and co-stars Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana, and Giovanni Ribisi.

Read up on what’s new with Avatar!