Computer Animation - History

History

Main article: History of computer animation See also: Timeline of computer animation in film and television

Some of the earliest animation done using a digital computer was done at Bell Telephone Laboratories in the first half of the 1960s by Edward E. Zajac, Frank W. Sinden, Kenneth C. Knowlton, and A. Michael Noll. Early digital animation was also done at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

Another early step in the history of computer animation was the 1973 movie Westworld, a science-fiction film about a society in which robots live and work among humans, though the first use of 3D Wireframe imagery was in its sequel, Futureworld (1976), which featured a computer-generated hand and face created by then University of Utah graduate students Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke.

Developments in CGI technologies are reported each year at SIGGRAPH, an annual conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques, attended each year by tens of thousands of computer professionals. Developers of computer games and 3D video cards strive to achieve the same visual quality on personal computers in real-time as is possible for CGI films and animation. With the rapid advancement of real-time rendering quality, artists began to use game engines to render non-interactive movies. This art form is called machinima.

The first feature-length computer animated film was the 1995 movie Toy Story by Pixar. It followed an adventure centered around some toys and their owners. The groundbreaking film was the first of many fully computer animated films.

Computer animation helped make blockbuster films such as Toy Story 3 (2010) (Disney/Pixar), Avatar (2009), Shrek 2 (2004) (DreamWorks Animation), and Cars 2 (2011) (Disney/Pixar).

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