Turning the Sphere Inside Out (1976)
First polygonal physical model animation, first cgi gloss effect (for non animated parts)
1) Directed by Nelson Max, who joined "the Lab" animation company in 1971, and whose (with help of another great CGI animator James Blinn) 1976 film "Turning a sphere inside out" is regarded as one of the classic early films in the cgi medium (International Film Bureau, Chicago, 1976).
2) First physics calculations by computer animation (wireframe) was in Hypercube.
3) In differential topology, sphere eversion is the process of turning a sphere inside out in a three-dimensional space. (The word eversion means "turning inside out".) Remarkably, it is possible to smoothly and continuously turn a sphere inside out in this way (with possible self-intersections) without cutting or tearing it or creating any crease. This is surprising, both to non-mathematicians and to those who understand regular homotopy, and can be regarded as a veridical paradox; that is something that, while being true, on first glance seems false.