The Art of Walt Disney author Christopher Finch tells the story of the pioneers of CG films: producer/directors like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Ridley Scott; and John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, founders of Pixar.
Computer generated imagery, commonly called “CG,” has had as big an impact on the movie industry as the advent of sound or color. Not only has it made possible a new kind of fully animated movie, but it also has revolutionized big-budget, live-action filmmaking. The CG Story is one of determined experimentation and brilliant innovation carried out by a group of gifted, colorful, and competitive young men and women, many of whom would become legendary in the digital world.
George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Ridley Scott embraced the computer to create believable fantasy worlds of a richness that had seldom if ever been realized on screen. Their early efforts helped inspire a revolution in animation, enabled by technical wizardry and led by the founders of Pixar, including John Lasseter and Ed Catmull, who would create the entirely computer-produced worlds of Toy Story and subsequent Pixar films. Meanwhile, directors like James Cameron used the new technology to make hybrid live-action and CG films, including the extraordinary Avatar. Finch covers these and more, giving a full account of today’s most significant CG films.
“This lavish, 368 page survey of the computer graphics world starts with Michel-Marie Carquillat’s 1839 portrait of Joseph Marie Jacquard created using 24,000 punched cards and a jacquard loom through Pixar’s ground-breaking Toy Story to the spectacular CG scenery and special effects of Cloud Atlas, The Hobbit, and Life of Pi. The full-color plates capture and underline the sheer power of computer graphics and how they have transformed not only film-making but also business, advertising, and engineering.” —NetworkWorld “Gearhead”
“Finch declares that the development of computer animation is as important to the history of motion pictures as the introduction of color and sound, and the copious illustrations and blockbuster examples in his 368-page volume make a persuasive argument. With the turn of the millennium, computer-generated imagery became an essential tool of one giant film franchise after another: Harry Potter, Spider-Man, The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Chronicles of Narnia. All this recent history and more are covered in enlightening detail . . . We’ve all been living through a remarkable period, during which the wildest visions of filmmakers can be realized and made palpable. The CG Story is a valuable account of one seismic transition. —Film Journal “Screener”
“Beginning with the simplest visual representations created in fabric through a jacquard loom (using punched cards) in the mid-19th century, the story moves quickly through the beginnings in the academic world expanding into the somewhat geeky/technical world of early SIGGRAPH meetings and conferences to the landmark film Toy Story (1995), the first animated film to be completely created on computers. This is a book about delight, wonder and visual exploration, and could not be satisfying in a digital format.” —VizWorld
“Finch offers a broad and unbiased view of the industry as a whole, covering many films and studios often unmentioned in most texts on the subject. The CG Story covers both special and visual effects as well as fully digital animated features. It progressively examines the technological strides each feature film has made for the medium. The text is accompanied by hundreds of behind the scenes images, photographs, and art work. This large format book is a beautiful volume worthy of a spot on your shelf.” —On Animation
“A comprehensive, and beautifully illustrated bible of the history of Computer Graphics in film.” —Popcults