Tron: The First CGI

Tron: The First CGI

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Tron (1982) was the first major motion picture to make use of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).  The inspiration for Tron grew out of early television commercials using computer generated animation and video game technology.  The original idea that became Tron was intended to be a combination of Animation and CGI but with the high cost of animation at the time it was decided that a combination of CGI and live action would be cheaper.  Several studios were approached but it was Disney that produced it.  Almost from the beginning it was a controversial film.  The traditional animators at Walt Disney were very opposed to computer generated Imagery and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences did not nominate Tron for the Best Effects, Visual Effects Academy Award because it was felt CGI was ‘cheating’.

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Tron was a highly innovative and unique film but it was a failure at the box office.  Tron involves a computer programmer being digitally mapped and converted into a character in a computer game.  Video games were still in their infancy and video arcades were seen as a kind of ‘pool hall’ for kids.  Controversy raged over the harmful effects of video games on adolescents.  Tron was cutting edge technology but there was no connection with an existing science fiction novel, genre, or story line.  Tron was a highly original storyline which was unique for 1982 and far ahead of it’s time.  No one had ever seen anything quite like it.  Although it was a failure for Disney at the time, it is an important film in the development of CGI and special effects.

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Come join us at the Rogers Public Library Sunday June 19 at 2:00 for a showing of Tron.  Come and share and discuss your love of Sci-Fi movies.  Admission, refreshment are free.