Cold War CGI

Computer animation from Russia in 1968 (yep, that’s forty-two years ago!):

A group of Russian physicists and mathematicians with N. Konstantinov in the head of it created mathematic model of the cat and its moving and realized this model in the program for the computer “BESM-4″. Computer printed hundreds of frames on the paper using alphabet symbols and then they were converted to the cinefilm.

(Thanks, Mark Newgarden)

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  • http://www.theblogofkells.blogspot.com tomm

    wow. thats fascinating. does this predate all other computer animation experiments?

  • amid

    Tomm – Not the first. Here’s a good timeline of cgi:
    http://design.osu.edu/carlson/history/timeline.html

    Still, this piece is impressive because it focused on character animation (and does a good job of it), whereas most cg experiments of the sixties revolved around abstract imagery.

  • http://mymedicatedlife.blogspot.com/ Bitter Animator

    That’s pretty amazing. You’re sure this isn’t David O’Reilly pulling one of his stunts?

  • Josh

    Okay so this is really impressive for it’s time. If only nations talked to each other more and shared their knowlege rather than having all these stupid wars we’d probably be traveling the galaxy by now.

  • http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/ Niffiwan

    @Bitter Animator, no it’s real. I’ve known about it for a few years…

  • Saturnome

    I saw it on Youtube a few years ago. From the little I know it’s pretty unique. Most computer animation from the period was abstract but pretty interesting (Jordan Belson, James Whitney…), and also used a monitor (or something else?). Here, it’s printed.

  • top cat james

    The future star of “Worker and Parasite”?

  • Iritscen

    It may not be the first computer animation, but I bet it’s the first ASCII art!

  • http://cargueconcuidado.blogspot.com x

    Ah, the thrill of using an absurdly expensive piece of equipment (30 units built!) for printing out a walking cat… Cool!

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    That is surprisingly good.

    If that had been seen in the west there would have been international panic over the “computer cat gap”.

  • OM

    …Damn, that beats the hell out of LGSPOCK! Makes me feel *really* old because that wasn’t too long before I punched my first Hollerith card on an IBM 029 and stored my first program on paper punch tape on an old Burroughs “Grey Monster” TTY.

  • http://www.mymedicatedcartoonlife.com Bitter Animator

    @Iritscen – Well early ASCII art it might be but people were creating similar art on old typewriters years before. I have a great picture in a box somewhere created by a relative who died during WW2 of a city created line by line on an old typewriter. He can’t have been the only one doing that.

  • http://powpowcomics.com Brooks Michael Williams

    This was leagues smoother than I thought it was going to be — good post Amid. Animation history like this is very interesting to me, and this post made me very happy. :D

  • red pill junkie

    You guys see what Amid is doing, don’t you?

    He’s implying that CG Animation started as a secret Communist weapon intended to destroy American capitalists!

    Kudos to you, sir :)

  • http://www.ghiblicon.blogspot.com daniel thomas macinnes

    When I first saw this, it reminded me of the original Nintendo Gameboy. It has that dot matrix look, doesn’t it?

    I really love the early pioneering work in computer graphics. I discovered this film when I discovered the amazing work of the Whitney Bros.

    Also, extra bonus points to whoever called out “Worker and Parasite.” Hah hah! What the hell was that?!

  • Austin Papageorge

    It looks like something from the original Game Boy.