Tron was the first true feature film to feature computer animation even before Photoshop! They had to create rotoscoped film transparencies to put each composite frame together frame-by-frame for every frame in the film. Some simple frames had like 6 transparencies, but the more complex frames had like 25 transparencies. The film was 100 minutes long! At 24 frames per second that meant 144,000 frames of film had to be created using this antiquated method. Computers created the images, but they were put together the old fashioned way onto film.
Now fast forward almost 28 years. I just managed to find an HD version of the Tron Legacy trailer that was shown at the San Diego Comic Con a couple of weeks ago. It is simply awesome! Clearly they maintained the original design aesthetic created by Syd Mead and Moebius for the original. I am very excited to see what Steven Lisberger and his team can put together using modern methods of computer animation.
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