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Comment count is 9
sasazuka - 2014-04-15

5 stars for the content, but, considering this is a compilation of experimental CGI from the 1980s of the sort where a half minute of shiny metal dinosaurs running took months of work, the "bad CGI" tag really isn't fair because the animators were doing the best they could with the computing power they had available at the time.

infinite zest - 2014-04-15

Yeah. I told someone that I'd do some CGI work for a show I'm working on, involving CGI animals in a petting zoo.. it took me two weeks to make something that resembled those metal dinosaurs but in zoo animal form, and that was with Blender, which pretty much sets everything up for you. I'm not a graphic designer so I'm sure it could've been done faster, but programs, even free ones like Blender sure weren't around in 1990.

sosage - 2014-04-15

I agree. This stuff was not easy to do back then, on hardware and software that was not readily available. This stuff paved the way for your "good CGI".

blue vein steel - 2014-04-15

you're right, i used to repeatedly rent this video from block buster when i was a kid because it consistently blew away my 10 year old mind. Tag removed

sasazuka - 2014-04-15

Yeah, good move, thanks for not taking my criticism personally. :-D

"Early CGI" would be a good replacement tag. I think most of the CGI in the first MIND'S EYE predates even LUXO JR., and some of it is even from the late 1970s. Some of it is so old that it's incorporating obvious "Scanimate" analogue computer effects (the melting guitars). I'm looking for a comprehensive list that breaks down who made what in THE MIND'S EYE but it's eluding me.

sasazuka - 2014-04-15

Here's an io9 article that gives years to two of the segments used in here: HIGH FIDELITY (1983) (the tropical scene with the spinning umbrellas) and CHROMOSAURUS (1985), which is obviously the running metal dinosaurs I mentioned earlier.


Binro the Heretic - 2014-04-15

This was playing on a perpetual loop at the store where I bought all my Commodore software & peripherals.

Jet Bin Fever - 2014-04-15

The future was so cool.

sasazuka - 2014-04-17

I'm not criticizing the quality of most of the demo reel clips shown here for reasons I mentioned before, but do you want to know my theory as to why LUXO JR. has aged much better than most other examples of mid-1980s experimental CGI?

Yeah, LUXO JR. has a simple-but-appealing narrative and, yes, John Lasseter had some traditional animation training that a lot of the other computer guys experimenting with computer animation lacked, but I think there's a specific technical reason why it's not as glaringly primitive: it's the genius of making the characters desk lamps, not only because they are relatively easy to model but articulated enough where each lamp can move with a distinct personality, but also because making the characters lamps give a plausible-to-the-audience's-critical-mind excuse as to why only a tiny area of the "scene" is illuminated.

John Lasseter didn't have to model anything more than the lamps (and their wires), the ball, and tiny area of floor with a wooden texture. By showing nothing more than what was absolutely necessary, LUXO JR. doesn't look as glaringly artificial as most other 1980s CGI. (I'd even argue that LUXO JR. has aged slightly better than Pixar's later TIN TOY, at least the original version pre-breast reduction.)

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