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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:37 AM   #1
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Steve Jobs on Computer Animation as a Milestone for Film History, Before the Release of 'Toy Story'




Steve Jobs famously purchased Pixar from Lucasfilm for $10 million in 1986, selling the company to Disney 20 years later for $7.4 billion. In 1995, Pixar was ready to unveil its first feature film, Toy Story, which was also the first feature film composed entirely of computer-animated graphics. Before the film was released, Steve Jobs spoke at SIGGRAPH 95, a conference for those in the computer graphics industry.

In his speech, the full video of which was discovered by Mashable, Jobs presciently compared computer-animated films to such game-changing breakthroughs as sound and Technicolor, even as Toy Story had yet to be released in theaters.
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I want to talk for a minute about a place in history. The computer graphics community has been climbing the wall of the castle for 20 years, standing on each others shoulders and made immense progress as we've seen today. And finally we have now scaled the castle wall and we're in the castle now with Toy Story and I think that's an achievement that many in this room should take proud ownership in.

And we should take a few minutes today, on the hundredth anniversary of the invention of the motion picture, to contemplate the contributions that we're making. We have now pioneered, I think really, the next major offshoot of the motion picture. It's going to be a medium in its own right, it's going to have unique talents in itself that we will find boundaries for as we explore it over the next many years.
Toy Story went on to become a blockbuster, taking in over $360 million at the box office and spawning sequels, spinoffs, and extensive merchandising as it garnered a prominent place in entertainment history.

Before Toy Story, computer graphics were used for either short films or to augment live action movies with special effects. Since Toy Story, there has been a boom in the production of computer-animated films and less of the traditional hand-drawn animated films. In early November, Pixar Animation Studios named its main building in honor of Steve Jobs.

Article Link: Steve Jobs on Computer Animation as a Milestone for Film History, Before the Release of 'Toy Story'
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:41 AM   #2
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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the man got imagination and vision. george lucas won't be able to make pixar what it is today, thanks to steve...
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:55 AM   #4
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Not to discredit Pixar's accomplishments (quite the opposite, I think they're the best filmmakers on the planet), but the Canadian TV series ReBoot, the first fully CGI television program, started airing a year before Toy Story premiered.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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The one and only great Steve Jobs, brilliant visionary who not only foresaw the future but understood the significance of each moment as it passed.

Love you forever Steve. Can never thank you enough. Think you are already needed back here.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post
Not to discredit Pixar's accomplishments (quite the opposite, I think they're the best filmmakers on the planet), but the Canadian TV series ReBoot, the first fully CGI television program, started airing a year before Toy Story premiered.
As it says in the story it was the first fully computer generated feature film. There had been many short films as well as the TV show you mention before it but Toy Story took all this to a new level. Steve Jobs bank rolled Pixar for many years spending a vast amount of money on developing the company to the point where it could produce something like Toy Story, in computer animation he saw a future in something that many of the big players thought was a complete wast of time.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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Great clip. Strange how Jobs keeps referring to CGI as "synthetic," making computer animation sound somehow inferior. But his pride is really evident.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 11:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by everything-i View Post
As it says in the story it was the first fully computer generated feature film. There had been many short films as well as the TV show you mention before it but Toy Story took all this to a new level. Steve Jobs bank rolled Pixar for many years spending a vast amount of money on developing the company to the point where it could produce something like Toy Story, in computer animation he saw a future in something that many of the big players thought was a complete wast of time.
Certainly, and it was not my intention to argue anything, and I apologize if it seemed that way, I just wanted to add an oft-overlooked important production in the history of CG.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 11:38 AM   #9
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nice to see, that he had to learn how to speak in front of an audience too. far away from the steve that showed us the the first iphone and stuff.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 11:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mbarriault View Post
Not to discredit Pixar's accomplishments (quite the opposite, I think they're the best filmmakers on the planet), but the Canadian TV series ReBoot, the first fully CGI television program, started airing a year before Toy Story premiered.
a tv show isnt cinema. jobs was referring to filmmaking. different beasts...
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 11:52 AM   #11
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Certainly, and it was not my intention to argue anything, and I apologize if it seemed that way, I just wanted to add an oft-overlooked important production in the history of CG.
From a historical context the first computer generated film was actually a 10 minute short made in 1967. Although only consisting of a simple line drawing of a humming bird I'm amazed that computers were able to produce anything like that back then.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 12:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mdelvecchio View Post
a tv show isnt cinema. jobs was referring to filmmaking. different beasts...
Theater is life.
Cinema is art.
Television is furniture.
- Author unknown
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 12:49 PM   #13
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This is a perfect example of what made Steve Jobs a genius. He understood the implications of every step taken. He saw the future before the rest of us imagined it.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 12:56 PM   #14
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If we had Google back then, they would come out with Google Animation (quickly thrown together stick animations) and claim they invented it.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 01:10 PM   #15
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yeah but check out the 70s porn 'stache look those guys are sporting.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 01:14 PM   #16
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I'm an avid Pixar fan -- this is brilliant.

Thanks for posting this.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 01:16 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jayducharme View Post
Great clip. Strange how Jobs keeps referring to CGI as "synthetic," making computer animation sound somehow inferior. But his pride is really evident.
It depends on the linguistic baggage you bring with you. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/synthesis

Speaking to that audience? I doubt a person in the room thought computer-synthesis was inferior in any way, other than to the extent that it was not yet as good as they could imagine.

The word was hijacked, as was "artificial." ("Art" is cool, but "artificial" is not? What's that all about?) But all of language is man-made, so we use (or abuse) a human creation to denigrate other human creations.

Compliment or slur? It's often just a matter of context and/or tone of voice.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 02:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ApfelKuchen View Post
It depends on the linguistic baggage you bring with you. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/synthesis

Speaking to that audience? I doubt a person in the room thought computer-synthesis was inferior in any way, other than to the extent that it was not yet as good as they could imagine.

The word was hijacked, as was "artificial." ("Art" is cool, but "artificial" is not? What's that all about?) But all of language is man-made, so we use (or abuse) a human creation to denigrate other human creations.

Compliment or slur? It's often just a matter of context and/or tone of voice.
I wholeheartedly agree. Synthetic just means created and/or created from nothing, as opposed to capturing something that exists (actors, locations and sets), and that is clearly Steve's meaning in this presentation.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 03:44 PM   #19
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This is a very cool video!

Is there an exact date to when his speech was given? I noticed some very minor soundtrack and dialog changes in the clips they showed... I'm guessing the soundtrack was still being worked on.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 04:45 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by LimeiBook86 View Post
This is a very cool video!

Is there an exact date to when his speech was given? I noticed some very minor soundtrack and dialog changes in the clips they showed... I'm guessing the soundtrack was still being worked on.
Yeah, it was August 1995, so about 3 months before the film was in theaters.
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 02:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Tankmaze View Post
the man got imagination and vision. george lucas won't be able to make pixar what it is today, thanks to steve...
Sorry dude...but credit where credit is due. If it wasn't for George Lucas and ILM, we wouldn't have those magical cgi we have now.

The first major revolution was Terminator2: Judgement Day. Read about that before you discredit ILM and bow to the Steve.
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 03:29 AM   #22
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Sorry dude...but credit where credit is due. If it wasn't for George Lucas and ILM, we wouldn't have those magical cgi we have now.

The first major revolution was Terminator2: Judgement Day. Read about that before you discredit ILM and bow to the Steve.
fair enough. cheers for that
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 09:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by swagi View Post
Sorry dude...but credit where credit is due. If it wasn't for George Lucas and ILM, we wouldn't have those magical cgi we have now.

The first major revolution was Terminator2: Judgement Day. Read about that before you discredit ILM and bow to the Steve.
In the clip, Steve does give Terminator its due, and references it as a landmark. However, I think there is some merit to saying that the unit that became Pixar wouldn't have accomplished what it did, when it did, under Lucas. The fact that he sold the unit to Jobs shows, on the surface, that he had a different idea for it. This not to say that we wouldn't have had a fully CGI feature film eventually, but I don't see Lucas as the one who would have done it.
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Last edited by SeanMcg; Dec 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: typo, formatting
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 10:23 AM   #24
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The World of technology misses Steve. I miss Steve.

And no, I didn't know him. I'm just stating my opinion that the World is a less exciting place without Steve.
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 03:13 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
Theater is life.
Cinema is art.
Television is furniture.
- Author unknown
If only he knew how important television would become... maybe then he wouldn't be "unknown."
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