Originally Posted by Stone
im sorry the link is making you sad and upset.
a few points-
- its not a timeline of cgi history or custom movie products.
- its not meant to be exhaustive, but rather a compilation of 3d application evolution.
- there were hundreds of 3d related programs and companies dating way back to the 70s. why would you think wavefront deserves more mention than any of them?
- while the history of 3d and cgi definitely goes way back, 3d applications and availability did indeed take off in the mid 80s as the timeline indicates.
- while wavefront should indeed get a mention it really wasn't made into a publicly available application until '88 with personal visualizer.
- the point of the link was to provide some pictures and movies of those applications, not to define cgi history.
- its not like im being paid to spend time making that list. its still rather accurate and depicts history correctly. to some, that's still valuable.
if you want to make an exhaustive list of cgi history you are more than welcome and I will appreciate reading it.
I fully understand that it was meant to be a history of software evolution. Problem is that it omits big chunks of that history. I don't think Wavefront deserves more recognition but it certainly should not be ignored. At least i'm certain Mark Sylvester would agree with that sentiment.
Yes, a major sea change occurred in the application side of cgi in the mid 80s. One of the biggest ever. But that is where this list starts. By ignoring what brings everything to that point it leaves the impression that everything begins in 1986, and it doesnt.
By this list it would be easy to misinterpret that it all began with Sculpt3D, Lightwave, Softimage. This just isnt true. Wavefront began in 84 and the history regarding Ampex and Cubicomp goes back just as far or farther. Wavefront, Cubicomp, Alias, and Vertigo were the standard bearers for that day. They were the mainstream, how can that be ignored. Everyone from Pinnacle to Topas to Digital Arts was trying compete with that and become them. This just can't be ignored.
Look, this is not a personal criticism. There is so much history from that era that is just lost or relegated to obscurity that its really difficult for this history to be available to everyone. I blame this on lack of web access in that day mostly, but its out there in small bits and pieces.
There was a time when almost all cgi had to be programmed in production and required Cray level computing. The Amazing Stories open was one such example. But these feats set the stage where others said "wow,we can do that?" Its relevant because it set milestones which others sought to improve upon. Wavefront and Cubicomp were just such milestones. How many people know that Cubicomp boasted over 600 seats of Picturemaker at one point? That was more than Wavefront at that time and was about 88 or 89. That is significant history and evolution that just can't be ignored.
Look, everybody wanted to be Wavefront. The significant high profile work done on Wavefront and seen around the world by 88 just can't be ignored. But, Softimage was created to prove that it didn't have to be as difficult to use as Wavefront. Lightwave, to this very day still has the same application model as Wavefront where modeling and animation modules are separated. Cubicomp was arguably the FIRST successful dos based CGI app with hundreds of seats and looked like it was going to absolutely crush Wavefront at one point. They were so successful they managed to buy out Vertigo right before Cubicomp imploded catastrophically. This event was so catastrophic and left so many people who invested in dos based CGI jaded it was almost five years before anyone would give dos apps a second glance for purchase in any serious production environment. SGI reaped benefits from this event for years afterwards because it viewed as having less risk and being more reliable.Those apps on SGI reaped benefits from SGI's success. But its reliability was what set it apart.
Its all tied together. I know it may not seem that way, but I lived through this era. Everything, success or failure, elite or underdog, dos or unix, was connected in some way. The advent of Lightwave sent chills through the highend community in the early 90s. The role cad software or virtual apps played can't be ignored either. What about Evans and Sutherland? What background does Max come from? How does it influence what Max is today?
All I'm trying to say is that if someone is going to try to depict this history, they have to try and get all of it, else it is incomplete and runs the risk of giving people who view it an incomplete depiction of what really happened.