It’s remarkable that in this issue of Computer Graphics World, we see a reprint of the feature story about Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story, the first animated feature film created entirely with computer graphics, and at the other extreme, this year’s The Lion King, a CG feature from Disney that looks like a live-action film and is the first to be fully shot inside virtual reality by a live-action director and cinematographer. Also in this issue, and prompting this introduction, is the feature story about this year’s Toy Story 4, and reprints of all three Toy Story films preceding it. We thought our readers, as students and practitioners of the craft, would appreciate the look back in time and marvel at how far this industry has come.
Technical innovations, orders of mag- nitude in compute power, and 24 years of experience by artists working with these tools are evidenced in Toy Story 4’s jaw-dropping complexity and Lion King’s photorealism. It is possible that some artists who worked on Toy Story 4 and Lion King weren’t born when Disney released the first Toy Story, and that many on the crews of these films – and those watching them – take CGI for granted. It wasn’t always so.