Westworld (1973)

Westworld (1973) 


Second movie using digital animation

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Video (HD 1080p)


1) First use of 2D digital computer animation in a feature film (animation in Vertigo was only in title segment). The point of view of Yul Brynner's gunslinger was achieved with raster graphics. First film that use digital animation was 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

2) Written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton (later known for Jurassic park novel), in which humanoid robots live amongst the humans. John Whitney, Jr, and Gary Demos at "Information International Inc." digitally processed motion picture photography to appear pixelized in order to portray the Gunslinger android's point of view. Block portraiture was accomplished using the Technicolor Three-strip Process to color-separate each frame of the source images, then scanning them to convert into rectangular blocks according to its tone values, and finally outputting the result back to film. The process was covered in the American Cinematographer article "Behind the scenes of Westworld".

3) For the 10 second during sequences of the android's view with a total duration of 2,5 min an eight hours lasting computing process was needed.

4) Crichton originally went to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, but after learning that two minutes of animation would take nine months and cost $200,000, he contacted John Whitney Sr.(Catalog), who in turn recommended his son John Whitney Jr. 

5) Director Michael Crichton later made a film Looker (1981) - another innovative CGI movie.

6) Crichton used similar plot elements - a high-tech amusement park running amok and a central control paralyzed by a power failure - in his bestselling novel Jurassic Park.