25 best movie CGI effects ever
CGI Owls were gracing our screens long before they were resigned to delivering letters to budding witches and wizards in Harry Potter. Take the opening credits of Labyrinth for example, where a fully computer generated owl took the trophy for the first ever realistic CG animal seen in a film.
The Abyss (1989)
The infamous water snake effect from James Cameron's underwater adventure was created using an early version of Photoshop - then unreleased to the public. The programme was created by Thomas Knoll, brother of ILM employee John Knoll.
Looker featured the first CGI human to appear on our screens – an honour bestowed upon Susan Dey of The Partridge Family. The first use of shaded CGI, Dey's digitzation was portrayed by a computer-generated simulation of her body being scanned. Quite an honour indeed.
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)
The first completely computer-generated character to feature in a film is, appropriately enough, an illusion – a stained-glass man hallucinated by an elderly priest when he's shot by a poison dart. It took Industrial Light & Magic animator John Lasseter and his team four months to create the stained-glass knight – Lasseter, of course, later went on to found Pixar.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
James Cameron's well-known for pioneering special effects technology – and in Terminator 2, he conjured up the most advanced computer generated character then seen on the big screen in the form of the T-1000. The liquid-metal assassin used every CGI trick in the book, including morphing effects, CG animation and reflections on its chrome surface – plus a few old-school practical effects to help sell the reality of the character. Audiences in 1991 were wowed by the digital creation as it morphed from one character to another, emerged from a tiled floor and formed knives from its hands.