Favorite Milestones

There are many technical and popular milestones in CG animation history. The list below represents my favorite milestones that inspired me to love computer animation more at each stage in its evolution. This great short visual documentary helped remind me of most of these key moments.

image1984  details link The Adventures of André and Wally B. (1984) reference link
  • Shop: Pixar
  • Milestone: first full CG short
image1985  details link Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) reference link
  • Shop: ILM
  • Milestone: first full CG character (stained glass knight)
image1986  details link Luxo Jr. (1986) reference link
  • Shop: Pixar
  • Milestone: first full high-quality CG short
image1989  details link The Abyss (1989) reference link
  • Shop: ILM
  • Milestone: first full organic CG character (shape-shifting water creature)
image1989  details link Knick Knack (1989) reference link
  • Shop: Pixar
  • Milestone: first full high-quality CG short with multiple distinct characters
image1991  details link Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) reference link
  • Shop: ILM
  • Milestone: first full humanoid CG character (liquid metal T-1000 terminator)
image1994  details link ReBoot (1994) reference link
  • Shop: Rainmaker
  • Milestone: first full CG TV series
image1995  details link Casper (1995) reference link
  • Shop: ILM
  • Milestone: first full CG lead character (Casper)
image1995  details link Toy Story (1995) reference link
  • Shop: Pixar
  • Milestone: first full CG movie
image1996  details link Dragonheart (1996) reference link
  • Shop: ILM
  • Milestone: first full photo-real CG lead character (Draco)
image1999  details link Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) reference link
  • Shop: ILM
  • Milestone: first full photo-real humanoid CG character (Jar Jar Binks) heavily integrated with live-action actors
image2001  details link Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) reference link video link
  • Shop: Square
  • Milestone: first full photo-real CG movie
image2002  details link The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) reference link
  • Shop: Weta
  • Milestone: incredibly expressive full photo-real humanoid CG character (Gollum)
image2005  details link King Kong (2005) reference link
  • Shop: Weta
  • Milestone: another level incredibly expressive full photo-real CG character (Kong)
image2007  details link Beowulf (2007) reference link
  • Shop: ImageMovers
  • Milestone: first full photo-real CG movie totally based on motion capture
image2009  details link Avatar (2009) reference link
  • Shop: Weta
  • Milestone: many full photo-real CG lead characters with most realistic movement to-date
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