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Pixar: 30 years of computer-generated animation in film

This video from Wired magazine looks at the foundational role Pixar Animation Studios (and by extension Industrial Light & Magic, where Pixar got its start) played in the use of computer-generated visual effects in film. As the video title points out, Pixar’s RenderMan software and talent have been involved in the movies that won 27 of the last 30 Oscars for Visual Effects.

The video also works well as a short history lesson for computer-generated visual effects in film covering Pixar’s three decades of work from the Genesis visualization in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs to Pixar’s own Coco.

With Ed Catmull retiring as President of Pixar Animation Studios, a chapter in computer-generated animation has ended, but there are still many opportunities ahead for Pixar and other computer-graphics effects houses.

Unsurprisingly, we haven’t reached the limits of computer-generated animation. The recreation of Grand Moff Tarkin (originally played by actor Peter Cushing) in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is just the first step toward being able to make movies bringing back any actor from the past.

Did you know about the foundational role Pixar played in cinematic history?