Issue: Volume 34 Issue 8: (Oct/Nov 2011)

Editor's Note

By: Karen Moltenbrey
In early October, the CG industry—and the world—lost a visionary. When other people were viewing the future in black and white, Steve Jobs saw it in vivid color, and revealed that vision to us through many unique inventions that today are part of our daily lives, whether at work or at play.

One would be hard-pressed to find a company with a more devoted or loyal customer base than Apple, which Jobs founded in the mid-1970s. Apple computers were aesthetically, and functionally, different from their PC cousins. When Jobs wanted to introduce the Macintosh, he did so in grand fashion with a big-budget Super Bowl commercial that heralded the Mac as a shift from the status quo—a position that holds true nearly three decades later. Perhaps it’s this label of “uniqueness” that continues to attract bands of loyal Apple customers, whether in the consumer or professional space.

Although Jobs will be forever linked to the iProduct revolution, his vision helped foster another iconic brand: Pixar. Starting with its first CGI movie, Toy Story, Pixar would continue to spin box-office gold under the guidance of CEO Jobs. He saw the potential when he purchased the Lucasfilm division and turned it into the world-renowned animated film company. Under Jobs’ watchful eye, Pixar developed technology and married it with visual storytelling, resulting in hit after movie hit—titles that are woven into our cultural fabric today, and certainly tomorrow. Many have tried to emulate Jobs and his inventions, but he, like his legacy, is one of a kind. He recognized potential long before others. And he made his visions realities. He was a true iCon.

Terra Nova. Innovation in CG on TV required baby steps, starting with logos and eventually commercials by the late 1980s. A few years later, the “Dancing Baby” phenomena began, and CG/VFX began to show up in our favorite series, sometimes as invisible effects, other times as apparent (and, at times, in-your-face) effects. Increasingly, VFX specialists are asked to produce feature-quality work on a television budget and time frame. The results have been impressive. One of the most anticipated effects-heavy new series is Terra Nova. (For an in-depth look at the work, see “Turning Back Time” on pg. 42.)

Puss in Boots. In 2011, DreamWorks established itself as a top CG animation studio when it released the unique fractured fairy tale Shrek. During the next decade, we were introduced to a number of new characters and new technology within this fairy-tale world in subsequent films. Just recently, DreamWorks shed the spotlight on Puss in Boots, giving this previously supporting character his own film. (To find out how artists prepared Puss and his co-stars for their premiere, see “Holy Frijole!” on pg. 10.)

CGW. For nearly 30 years, CGW has been covering the ever-evolving digital content creation industry. Over time, technical innovations have found their way into the mainstream, touching our everyday lives. And still, the industry continues to innovate. The publishing model has changed over the years as well. Digital has transformed the way we communicate, the way we produce and receive information. As a result of these changing times, CGW will be printing bimonthly. We will still be covering cutting-edge applications and important news in the industry, but will do so through the various media available­—print, digital publications, newsletters, Web, video, social media, events, and more—as we optimize the tools of today and tomorrow to do our job even better (see the accompanying Publisher’s Letter).

Real icons are not just made, they evolve to stay ahead of the latest trends and technologies. And they do it to the best of their ability. 
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