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    Revolutionary Film Styles: Tron


    by askmen

    It's not that Tron was the best movie ever made, but it was one of the most creative. This was the first time computer-generated imagery had ever been used to such a massive extent in a movie. Visual effects group MAGI used a "SynthaVision" process to render the graphics, which basically means it made the computer see simple shapes as solid objects with density.

    This occurs mostly in scenes where the Lightcycles and Recognizers are used, which normally corresponded to scenes where live actors weren't the focus -- because at the time, the technology didn't exist for live-action figures and CGI animation to be used together. Instead, filmmakers needed to use hand-drawn animation with the live-action shots (mixed with editing) to create what you saw on screen.

    Here's the where things get even more fun though: Many Disney animators initially refused to work on Tron, as they felt computers would put them out of a job. A little more than two decades later, those fears came true and Disney closed their hand-drawn animation studio in favor of CGI. However in the irony of ironies, Pixar guru and industry visionary John Lasseter eventually ordered the facilities re-opened, as he saw the value in both type of releases.

    Another fun fact: Tron was disqualified from the 1982 Visual Effects Oscars, as voters felt the film's computer-aided effects were considered "cheating."