What is the first truly breakthrough CGI character?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Flying Spaghetti Monster, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 18, 2006
    Flying Spaghetti Western
    I'm curious what you all think.

    Some people might say Gollum. He of course changed the game, made the idea of a CGI character as represented through an actor's perfomace but given life on teh screen with computers and ingenuity, as being the breakthrough. It helps that the character was important and compelling, and we somehow feel sorry for him, despite his scheming.

    We all may despise Jar Jar Binks, but he was a rather lifelike character that, as technical achievement, is impressive.

    But what about Draco, from Dragonheart, made in the mid-nineties, This was during the time when Jurassic Park and Toy Story were breaking the boundaries, but Dragonheart was also an actual character, with over 2000,000 points of computer articulation. His mouth movements and mannerisms matched the voice actor of Connery so well they even got the tongue movements and his distinct lisp down.,Some people say that Draco looks a bit dated, but I watched the film recently and can't take my eyes over how compelling a character he is.

    In my opinion, Gollum would not be possible without Draco to pave the way. I think Draco is the bigger breakthrough.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  2. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 15, 2012
    Roger Rabbit. :devil:
  3. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

    May 19, 2001
    Columbus, Ohio
    The T1000.
  4. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 3, 2003
    Chicago IL

    I'd probably go with this...at the time, it was groundbreaking...and while not CGI the whole time, it really opened up the potential.
  5. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jan 7, 2001
    On the run.
    Before even clicking the link, I was going to say Draco. Glad to see that was the point of the OP. :)

    In terms of breaking ground as a character that was CGI, Draco wins hands-down. The T1000 gobsmacked people with a tiny sprinkling of CGI (Far less than people recall it to be), but the character was all Robert Patrick at work. Draco was an actual character top to bottom, and with only one or two physical set pieces to augment his CG-ness. He's everything the Jurassic Park dinos were, plus being a speaking part and main character.
  6. Mage

    Mage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 17, 2007
    I would also agree that Draco is the breakthrough here. It was amazing seeing that for the first time.
  7. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 9, 2007
    Jar Jar Binks?
  8. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 22, 2010
    to your immediate right
    I agree. I would also submit that the fact that it was often not CGI, but the the CGI and live actor were integrated so seamlessly makes it even more appropriate as the winner.
  9. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Vice Admiral Admiral

    Dec 29, 2008
    Go ahead, caller. I'm listening...
    Pac-Man if we're talking about the first CGI character that people really cared about as a character. The Master Control Program from Tron if we're limiting to film. The T-1000 if we're talking about the first character that people weren't supposed to be able to tell was computer generated.
  10. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 28, 2006
    Agree with many of the above posts, would say Looker, Tron, Great, Jurassic Park, Terminator and Westworld proved it could be done, Last Starfighter and 2010 were ground breaking graphics but not on screen characters. Another thing we must also take into consideration the advancements in video game and computer entertainment in the 80s and 90s, generation consoles, the personal computers and golden age of video arcade games showed you could have character and an exciting story on a small computer screen without big hollywood sets and big expensive actors. These were small pix-elated characters, quirky scratchy noises, 8-bit sometimes less and yet characters like Mario, Chun Li, Lara Croft, Prince of Persia, Mega Man and others would later have their own films . I would give a shout out to the smaller independent companies, there were also many animation studios like the guys who would go on to run dream works and pixar, they did short animations of dancing plastic soldiers and dancing lamp shades to prove you could give life and personality to computer generated objects and shorts like 'Tin Toy'. Draco, from Dragonheart is great, great movement, great voice acting from Connery, great visual look with Draco but I believe by this time CGI characters had already 'broken through'
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    I'd have to say the MCP.

    "You'd rather take your chances with me? You want me to slow down your power cycles for you?"

    "Get this clown TRAINED. I want him in the games until he dies playing. Acknowledge!"

  12. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 19, 2005
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I cannot believe that no one mentioned Yoda. Not necessarily in chronological order for me a distant second and so from Yoda would be: Wall-E, the Velicoraptors in Jurassic Park, General Grievous, and Sonny from I-Robot.
  13. Cyke101

    Cyke101 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Feb 11, 2007

    The Glass Knight in Young Sherlock Holmes from 1985 was definitely influential, at least among special effects artists. Certainly it opened the door for more than a few CGI possibilities in later movies, and the team ofanimators who worked on that scene later adopted the name Pixar in 1986.
  14. auntiehill

    auntiehill The Blooness Premium Member

    Feb 7, 2006
    ^ This. I was just thinking of that, having just watched the movie again this Christmas. The Stained Glass Knight was THE watershed moment for CGI.
  15. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 19, 2005
    Atlanta, Georgia
    According to this timeline in Wiki actually one of the, 'watershed,' moments for CGI ironically was ILM's creation of the, 'Genesis Effect,' for ST II The Wrath of Khan. While that short isn't a character per se it was nonetheless breakthrough CGI.

    Also the link says that the character Cindy in the sci-film, The Looker was the first CGI character on film.

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  16. Foxhot

    Foxhot Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Oct 28, 2011
    ''Say.....that's a nice bike.'' Another reason to go with the T-1000. :borg:
  17. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Let's Fly Moderator

    Mar 13, 2001
    32nd Century
    It's a more recent film, but Christopher Johnson from District 9. He's probably the first CG character to actually have a performance and feel alive. There isn't even a human voice, he's just a giant bug and he's able to connect emotionally with the audience.
  18. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks Asoka, the real chosen one Premium Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    I always thought the Dragon from Reign of Fire was one of the finest CGI creatures ever created. It had a vicious beauty and the way it moved, in air or on the ground was simply hypnotic. The way that light past through the skin on its wings, with little tears and holes. When I think of Dragons, what they would be like and how they would look, I always go to Reign of Fire.
  19. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 10, 2010
    Silent City
    Yeah, I liked that guy more than Smaug.
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 2, 2009

    And then the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park.

    And eventually Gollum.

    Those are in my opinion the three definite milestones in CG animation and live action integration.