[rescue] replacing an Ultra2

Francois Dion francois.dion at gmail.com
Mon Apr 30 09:13:09 CDT 2007

On 4/27/07, Carl R. Friend <crfriend at rcn.com> wrote:
>     Tron could, at best, be considered "computer assisted", and
> even then it wasn't (if I'm recalling things correctly) all
> that heavy.  Graphics capabilities existed at the time, to be
> sure, but stretching them to "perform" on the big screen would
> have been a major push.
>     I forget when the first *completely* computer-generated
> (more properly, "rendered") shorts came out.  "Luxo" and
> "Breaking the Ice" come to mind in that category, and I'm
> thinking that was 1985 or so.  Symbolics machines were used
> to define the motion of the flock of birds in "Breaking the
> Ice", running a program called "boids" written in LISP.  I
> do not reall what the rendering machines were.

Quebec and Montreal in particular was a great place to be for computer
graphics in the 80s and early 90s.

"Vol de Rjve" was a 13 minute short released in 1982. It was one of
the main reason for me to get into computer graphics and programming.
It actually won at the London festival in front of TRON, since "vol de
reve" was completely done on computers. It was shown at SIGGRAPH also.

It was done in MIRA-3D, an extension of MIRA-2D, itself an extension
to PASCAL. Initially, this ran on the INTERDATA at University of
Montreal (DIRO). The language was developped by Daniel and Nadia
Thalmann, along with a student named Christian Pellegrini.

The movie itself was done by the Thalmans and Philippe Bergeron, but
I'm not sure which computer they used. I know we had some Apollo
workstations too and around 87-88 got some new DN-4000. I remember
doing distributed graphics in the lab with those.

In 1985 the DIRO strikes again with Bergeron, Langlois, Robidoux and
Lachapelle with the movie "Tony de Peltrie", and the Thalmans did
"Rendez-Vous a Montreal" in 1987.

Daniel Langlois also did the full computer animated 3D movie for the
IMAX format for Expo 86 in Vancouver (that was pretty cool, I remember
seeing that at Expo 86), and of course went on to start SoftImage,
itself creating the platform for several companies in the CGI / film
processing world, and a reason why there were so many SGIs in the

There is also "Maison Vole" from 1983, from France. I dont remember if
I've seen that one.

These are 3D, but there is a good bit of prior movies in 2D, such as
the 1971 Olympiad movie by Schwartz and Knowlton.


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