The CG Story: Computer-Generated Animation and Special Effects

The CG Story: Computer-Generated Animation and Special Effects


By (author) Christopher Finch

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  • Publisher: Monacelli Press
  • Format: Hardback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 282mm x 318mm x 36mm | 2,472g
  • Publication date: 9 December 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1580933572
  • ISBN 13: 9781580933575
  • Illustrations note: 350 Colour Illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,800,617

Product description

"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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Author information

Christopher Finch, an artist and the author of acclaimed books on popular culture and fine art, lives in southern California. Finch was born on the island of Guernsey, in the English Channel. In the 1960s, after studying painting at Chelsea Art School in London, he began to write about the contemporary art scene for magazines ranging from "Art & Artists" and "Art International" to the British edition of "Vogue." In 1968, he became an associate curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and in the 1970s he resumed his writing career. He is the author of many books, including "The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond";" Chuck Close: Work "and" Chuck Close: Life";" Jim Henson: The Works"; and "Norman Rockwell's America."

Review quote

"A comprehensive, colorful coffee table tome that delves deeply, but not too geekily, into what is arguably the most momentous change in filmmaking since the advent of sound: digital visual effects. Finch traces the development from the first motion control shot (in 1977's "Star Wars") through the landmark computer-animated Pixar hits ("Toy Story," "The Incredibles") to the latest digitally rendered magic-scapes of "The Hobbit" and "Life of Pi." The book is huge, the images--from movies famous and forgotten--exquisite." --"The Philadelphia Inquirer" "Outstanding book design and a well-told story. "The CG Story" is impressive in scale with many of its pages full-bleed close-ups from the history of computer-generated visual effects, beginning with a proto-computer in 1839(!) through to the state-of-the-art imagery in "Life of Pi," "Cloud Atlas," and "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." It's populated with programmers and designers who first had to fight to have their talents recognized by studios and directors; and it's equally devoted to the technological advances in computer science that made the artistry possible." --"Memphis Flyer" "What could be better in the iPad era than a real physical book that gorgeously celebrates the history and technology of computer graphics in the film industry? I couldn't put it down. Every page is a 'oh, I remember that' moment. I would attend such CG milestone movies like "Star Wars" twice: once to sit in the middle of the theater and enjoy the story, and once to sit in the front row and immerse myself in the special effects. This book is a page-turning opportunity to relive that second viewing." --Graphic Speak "A beautifully designed coffee table book with gorgeous layouts and eye-arresting full-color photo spreads. An artist and prolific writer, Finch hasn't penned a critical history but a techno-chronicle important for its detailed account of a movie industry revolution that occurred as the 20th century ra