What movie used CGI first?

Answered by Tom Adger

The first movie that used CGI (computer-generated imagery) was Westworld, released in 1973. I remember watching this film and being amazed at the futuristic world it portrayed. The use of CGI was a revolutionary concept at the time, and it forever changed the way movies were made.

Prior to Westworld, movies relied on practical effects, such as miniatures, models, and makeup, to create their visual effects. But Westworld broke new ground by incorporating CGI into its storytelling. The film, directed by Michael Crichton, depicted a futuristic theme park where lifelike robots entertained and interacted with human guests.

The introduction of CGI in Westworld was subtle but significant. It was used to create the point-of-view shots from the perspective of the robots, giving the audience a glimpse into their digital minds. This blending of live-action footage with computer-generated imagery was a groundbreaking technique that had never been seen before.

Following the success of Westworld, other films started to explore the possibilities of CGI. One notable example is Star Wars, released in 1977. The space battles and alien creatures in the film were brought to life through the use of CGI, adding a level of realism and spectacle that was unprecedented at the time.

Another early film that utilized CGI was Tron, released in 1982. This science fiction film delved into a virtual world, and the computer-generated visuals were instrumental in creating the immersive experience. The film showcased the potential of CGI in creating entire digital environments and characters.

In 1983, Golgo 13: The Professional incorporated CGI to create realistic explosions and gunfire. This marked one of the earliest uses of CGI for visual effects in an action film, demonstrating its versatility in enhancing the on-screen action.

The Last Starfighter, released in 1984, pushed the boundaries of CGI even further. The film used CGI to create the spaceships and alien creatures, pushing the limits of what was possible with computer-generated imagery at the time.

Young Sherlock Holmes, released in 1985, introduced the concept of a fully CGI character. The film featured a stained glass knight that came to life, showcasing the potential of CGI in creating photorealistic digital characters.

Flight of the Navigator, released in 1986, utilized CGI to create the spaceship and its flight sequences. This film further solidified the role of CGI in enhancing the visual effects and creating immersive cinematic experiences.

These early films paved the way for the widespread use of CGI in movies today. While the technology has advanced significantly since then, it is important to recognize and appreciate the groundbreaking work done by these films in pushing the boundaries of visual effects and storytelling.

I am personally fascinated by the evolution of CGI in film. As a movie enthusiast, I have witnessed the transformation of visual effects over the years, from the first use of CGI in Westworld to the seamless integration of computer-generated imagery in today’s blockbusters.

The first movie to use CGI was Westworld in 1973. This film introduced the concept of computer-generated imagery and forever changed the landscape of visual effects in the movie industry. Subsequent films like Star Wars, Tron, and many others further explored the possibilities of CGI, pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible in filmmaking.