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Film Studies 101
Feature
A History Of CGI In The Movies
The highs and lows of a game changer

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A History Of CGI In The Movies  | Star Wars
Star Wars

Year: 1977
Signifiance: 3D wireframe graphics

Like Bernie Mac, Baby Face Nelson and the giant barbecue rib, 3D graphics were born in Chicago. That was thanks largely to computer animation boffin Larry Cuba who toiled away for months on the city’s University of Illinois campus to match George Lucas’ idea for the pre-Death Star attack briefing. What he came up with was a wireframe mock-up the Empire’s moon-shaped HQ that made the Rebel Alliance’s IT department look seriously good. A special making-of feature that's well-worth ten minutes of your time, gives a fascinating behind-the-screens look at how his wireframe work came together. Ridley Scott called on similar wireframe technology for Alien’s LV-426 fly-over two years later, but it was Cuba, a true pioneer of CGI, who got the ball rolling. Most impressive, as a certain ex-Jedi might say.

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Your Comments

1 RE: RE:
Well clearly Star Trek II was beaten to it by several movies there. Flight of the Navigator should be included really though. More

Posted by rich on Thursday December 23, 2010, 22:01

2 RE: RE:
I think you missed out Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - I've always been led to believe that the Genesis Device simulation was the first CGI sequence in cinema. More

Posted by Mandragora on Thursday December 23, 2010, 20:46

3 RE:
Classic film The Last Starfighter:) Surely it must be included as it had a floating camera during which showed the 3d space and super imposed cock pit space battles. Long before the star wars trilogy 1997 special eds. Also dont forget Flight of the Navigator (also 1985 i think) which had morphing and reflection effects on the ship. More

Posted by jimbosolo on Wednesday December 22, 2010, 14:49


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