History of CGI - Computer Generated Imagery

By Shiny
  • Hummingbird

    Watch Hummingbird here. A 10 minute computer animated film by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer. Timetoast does not have a ?? option for date. Release date was sometime in 1968.
  • Kitty

    Watch it here A group of Russian scientists lead by N.Konstantinov created a model of a moving cat. A computer then printed hundreds of frames to be later converted to film. Date: ?/??/1968
  • Metadata

    Watch here.
    Drawn on a data tablet. Used the world's first key frame animation software.
    Date: ??/??/1971
  • Westworld

    First use of 2D computer animation in a significant movie. The point of view of Yul Brynner's gunslinger was created with raster graphics.
  • Futureworld

    First use of CGI for animated hand and face.
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

    Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
    Star Wars was the first time an animated wireframe graphics -a 3D model- was used.
  • Superman

    First film with a computer-generated title sequence.
  • Alien

    Used raster wire-frame model rendering for navigation monitors in the landing sequence.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    ILM computer graphics creates "Genesis Effect", The first use of fractal-generated landscape in a movie. New graphics technique created called Particle Systems.
  • Tron

    First extensive use of 3D CGI -the famous Light Cycle sequence. Very early facial animation for the master control program
  • Rock & Rule

    Rock & Rule
    First animated film to use computer graphics. Canadian.
  • Dire Straits - Money for Nothing

    Dire Straits - Money for Nothing
    The first computer generated music video made. The video used CGI to illustrate the songs lyrics and was one of the first uses of CGI human characters. The animators later went on to found the Rainmaker Animation studio which created ReBoot, the first CGI series.
  • The Black Cauldron

    The Black Cauldron
    First animated movie with CGI-effects.
  • Labyrinth

    The first use of a realistic CGI animal - the owl in the opening credits. Also an early use of green screen.
  • : The Voyage Home

    : The Voyage Home
    The first 3D morphing use. First use of Cyberware 3D scanner. The 3D scanner produced the disembodied heads of Leonard Nimoy and WIlliam Shatner as cyber-sculptures.
  • Indiana Jones And The Last Voyage

    Indiana Jones And The Last Voyage
    Used the first all-digital composite, used to show the rapid aging and death of Walter Donovan.
  • The Abyss

    The Abyss
    First digital 3D water effect.
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day

    Terminator 2: Judgement Day
    First realistic human movements on a CGI character.The first partially computer-generated main character & the first movie to have multiple morphing effects. First use of a PC to create major 3D effects.
  • Jurassic Park

    Jurassic Park
    First realistic CG creatures.
  • ReBoot

    The first half-hour, completely animated tv show. Also it was Canadian.
  • Toy Story

    Toy Story
    Toy Story was the first fully computer animated movie ever created.
  • Dragonheart

    First 2D all-CGI backgrounds with live actors.
  • Titanic

    First wide-release feature film with major elements rendered with the Linux operating system. Included many improvements, mostly in the rendering of flowing water.
  • The Matrix

    The Matrix
    First use of CG interpolation in Bullet Time effects. Bullet Time refers to the slowed-down rotating action sequences. CG interpolation was used to enhance actors on wires filmed with motion capture and still cameras shooting from all angles.
  • The Mummy

    The Mummy
    Motion capture was used in order to achieve "a menacing and very realistic Mummy". A combination of live action and computer graphics were used to create the mummy.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

    Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
    First feature-length digital film to be made based on photorealism and live action principles. The first theatrically released movie to utilize motion capture for all of the character's motions.
  • Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

    Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
    First use of AI(Artificial Intelligence) for digital actors. Gollum was the first photorealistic motion captured character for a film. A motion capture suit recorded movements that were then applied to the digital character
  • Able Edwards

    Able Edwards
    Date: ???/March/2004
    First movie shot completely with green screen & using scanned images as backgrounds.
  • The Polar Express

    The Polar Express
    The first film to use motion captured character technology for every actor in the movie.
  • Beowulf

    Entirely made in CGI, features motion capture for all actors & had realism as its foremost goal. Largest team ever assembled for an Imageworks-produced movie. New animation tools for facial, body, and cloth design were created especially for the movie. Elements of keyframe animation were incorporated into the movie to capture the facial expressions of the actors.
  • Avatar

    First full length movie made using performance-capture to create photo-realistic 3D characters & to feature a fully CG 3D photo-realistic world. The first Virtual Art Department and complete Virtual Production pipeline was developed to create it in real-time.
  • Coronation Street Live

    Coronation Street Live
    First use of CGI in a live broadcoast.
  • TRON: Legacy

    TRON: Legacy
    First movie to use computer graphics to create realistic human characters.
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    First use of CGI in a full length movie filmed at a High Frame Rate.