November 23, 2009

Star Wars CG, or that's how we do it CG '77 style

Okay, this isn't really gaming specific, but it's kinda related because it's A) Star Wars and B) about computer graphics. This is a video about the making of the computer graphic that was shown during the briefing to Rebel pilots. I never really thought about it much but looking back at this video, and then thinking about how games are rendering things real time now, it's kinda interesting to see how far we've come in the last 30+ years.

I'm amazed at how this was done, that the method of transfer was a camera taking pictures and that it had to do multiple exposures for a single frame because the computer couldn't draw the whole trench. Note that he talks about rotating the object in real time, I imagine that was kind of a big deal back then. Larry Cuba was one of the pioneers in early computer graphics, and won several awards for his work. Interestingly enough, his own website makes no mention of his work on Star Wars, an odd omission if you ask me.

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