Looking back and to the future of CG


I just started watching some older SciFy show and I started wondering how the CG that looks great today will look a couple of years from now.

One show I’m talking about is Babylon 5 and I often wonder if newer shows will one day seem as distant as Babylon 5 seems now.

Maybe if I had watched Babylon 5 when it first came out, I would have been impressed.

What do you guys think… any CG stuff you guys think have aged particularly well?


I’ve read your post about 5 times and I can’t, for the life of me, work out what you’re trying to say.


I believe you are right and I was afraid of that. I edited my post a bit to try to make it resemble “English” a bit more :wink:

EDIT: another point is… sometimes I wonder if outdated CG in a way taints what once was an amazing show… so with SciFy shows … going back and watching them might not be as great as going back and watching shows that do not rely heavily on CG.


your post makes sense. now at least

yes, there is cg that has aged really well, still extremely impressive. for instance Jurassic Park
or lord of the rings,


Original Tron has aged remarkably well, granted there is a lot of traditional animation in there as well and it is highly stylised but, they worked well with what they had.


If you watch the original Toy Story you will notice how aged it looks. The video game for Toy Story 3 has pretty much the same level graphics except its in real time :smiley:


No, it’s all the same.


I was surprised how well the digital shots in Mighty Joe Young still looked last time I watched it.

Jumanji’s monkeys always looked “digitalish” though

Sometimes you can see a movie that has fake computer graphics.
Escape From New York–there is a digital model of New York and a helicopter is flying over it-and I thought-hey that’s pretty cool looking cg for 1981.
I read it was an actual model-painted black with some kind of reflective tape over it so when they filmed it only the glowing tape showed up.

I wasnt really tricked by the tin foil man stand in used in Terminator 2 ( I mean some of the shots where he is fighting in the steel mill)


If you want to hit the “way-way-back” button … take a look at Kubrick’s 2001 again. Done with practical models in the 60s and still holding up fine. Yeah, some stuff isn’t going to hold par, but what difference does it make? They hold up well in “nostalgia” which is all that matters to most people (Star Wars episodes IV, V & VI plus the Star Trek television series - for example).


If you want to see the bad of aged CG, look no further than the average playstation 1 game… they haven’t aged well at all. The 3d was amazing at the time though.


“Space: Above and Beyond” aged pretty well in my opinion. Rewatched it just last year and for me it’s still the best Sci-Fi show to date.


It’s a huge span - 12 years (ps1 is a 1994 release and ps3 is 2006). But ps3 games already look pretty aged as well.


True. I remember the Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, and Final Fantasy 7 cut scenes being the most amazing thing since sliced bread when I was 15. Now they all look pretty lousy by todays standards. Hell, they looked pretty bad by the year 2000’s standards.

Myst was always considered to have the “prettiest” graphics in the ninties. Its all still frames but overall I think it still holds up relatively well as a “pretty” game.


Graphics aside, but games themselves were, and looked better than now. At least sequels look horribly worse.


i personally think graphic quality has reach its top limit of reality. any top notch hollywood movie nowadays will have a top notch vfx quality that its hard to define which is real or not.
the future would be how to do that with minimum cost (processing unit cost lower and lower) and real time (gaming more realistic).


If you take into consideration compositing, then you should understand at that stage everything is conformed to the film, so… I want to see straight from the renderer realistic graphics without compositing. Then it’s a step forward. Until then, it relies on talent of a compositor.


Quite interesting topic
.the stain glass window knight in Young Sherlock Holms I’d quite like to see in High Definition…to see how that’s looking these days (and the Jurassic Park movies). :slight_smile:


Jurassic Park does seem to have aged so well…

Perhaps it is true that we are pushing the limits of CG but maybe stuff will still look dated for other reasons. When we have gone beyond Bluray (and even film’s higher resolution) we will have to look at other things beyond just higher resolution. I believe we have already started doing some of that, there are lots of fans of stereo 3D and I must admit I’m a big fan… you just can’t argue with the great experience you get from watching Avatar in full blown 3D, makes me regret not having gone to see the thing at least twice. Even old games look amazing in stereo 3D (at the moment perhaps more so than some newer games). Speaking of games, I too often wonder the effect the first 3D games really had on us and how amazing and great they looked, maybe I was just young and our imagination at that age does more work than we realize.


This is the only bit of CGI thats ever fooled me I reckon…the stuff where I’m completely 100% fooled into wondering if its real or not…when they get you into that ballpark…then they have won.


Or what I mean is the stuff where I’m starting to think
.“what is this I’m looking at here?”