Sunday, October 9, 2011

Computer Generated Characters in Movies

a short history of CG characters in movies from lnrdshelby on Vimeo.

This video, created by "lrndshelby" on Vimeo, chronicles the history of computer generated characters in Hollywood films. I think it's interesting to see how well computer generated characters from as far back as almost 20 years ago can hold up. It goes to show the the application of an effect and the skill of the artists can often have a bigger impact on how the effect looks than the technology available at the time. The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park are more convincing than some of today's CG characters because the 3D effects were smartly integrated into the film along with animatronics. Gollum still holds up largely because of Andy Serkis's motion captured performance. Effects like the glass knight in Young Indiana Jones and the "liquid metal" effect in Terminator II are effective because they played on the strengths of computer graphic technologies at the time.

The fact that this list already seems outdated by not including the fantastic ape characters in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which represent real animals and are motion captured in completely real environments, just goes to show how fast computer graphics are improving.

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