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The CG Story: Computer-Generated Animation and Special Effects

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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 poss 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.  


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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 poss 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.  

44 review for The CG Story: Computer-Generated Animation and Special Effects

  1. 4 out of 5

    Libby Hays

    I've never read a book with so many factual errors! Or rather, factual errors that I, as a child, could easily pick out myself without being an expert on the topic. For one, the author seems to think that the Jimmy Neutron TV series predates the movie, which any Google-savvy chimp could easily refute. Finch seems completely confused about how Director Brad Bird constructed digital "sets" while making The Incredibles in order to save time. He says Bird built a "fully navigable set," costing Pixar I've never read a book with so many factual errors! Or rather, factual errors that I, as a child, could easily pick out myself without being an expert on the topic. For one, the author seems to think that the Jimmy Neutron TV series predates the movie, which any Google-savvy chimp could easily refute. Finch seems completely confused about how Director Brad Bird constructed digital "sets" while making The Incredibles in order to save time. He says Bird built a "fully navigable set," costing Pixar extra money, when really, according to the interviews on the Pixar website, Bird was asking his artists to create precisely what would be seen by the "camera," and nothing extra. I was looking for an in-depth expose into the creation of these movies, and instead, Finch mainly just wants to talk about how fun they are to watch. He is no more of an insider than I am, and even the pictures in the book are mainly film stills, not behind-the-scenes-models. As a CG fan, this hulking, expensive book came as a huge disappointment.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Inna

    I received this book couple of days ago and was really impressed. As a child in a candy store, I am saving reading part for uninterrupted time during holidays. Meanwhile I just randomly pick through pages alone or with daughter enjoying spectacular photos gallery and selection. And looking forward to reading and enjoying details that sure will be something to enjoy and talk about.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eli

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lee

  6. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marina

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ryuichi

  9. 5 out of 5

    George Taylor

  10. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Butcher

  11. 4 out of 5

    David

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Morgan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Steve Diggins

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roy Hessinger

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jason Manford

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  18. 5 out of 5

    Monacelli Press

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  20. 4 out of 5

    Epphra

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dean

  22. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  23. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dáithí's

  26. 4 out of 5

    Janelea

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Crawley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jazz

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alyse Foust

  30. 5 out of 5

    Delana

  31. 4 out of 5

    Betty

  32. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

  33. 5 out of 5

    Jillian (Peapod Historical Bookery)

  34. 4 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  35. 5 out of 5

    NormaCenva

  36. 4 out of 5

    Diana Senn

  37. 4 out of 5

    Traci Hearty

  38. 5 out of 5

    Brandi

  39. 4 out of 5

    Avrey

  40. 5 out of 5

    Tammy Coulbeck

  41. 4 out of 5

    Richard Tyler

  42. 5 out of 5

    Haven Gordon

  43. 5 out of 5

    Melody

  44. 5 out of 5

    Linda

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