Top 5 Box Office Computer Generated Characters

admin July 10, 2013 Comments Off on Top 5 Box Office Computer Generated Characters
Top 5 Box Office Computer Generated Characters

We’re now so used to seeing computer generated characters in film that the amazing amount of technology that goes into them is largely overlooked. Advanced forms of 3D rendering have been used since the 1980s to produce characters using motion capture and fully realized CGI figures; at the same time, filmmakers have made the green screen process and CGI characters essential parts of summer blockbusters. With this in mind, who are some of the most notable CGI characters ever created? In no particular order, they include:

Davy Jones


Depending on your opinion of The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the second and third films were either good natured fun or overblown epics that stretched on for too long. What is less arguable, though, is the quality of the CGI work pulled off by Industrial Light & Magic on the films, with Davy Jones being one of their greatest achievements. With Bill Nighy providing motion capture, Davy Jones’ dripping, moving tentacles achieved a rare level of photo realism.



The appearance of the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day represents one of the most notable moments in CGI history. Director James Cameron had already proven himself a pioneer in special effects during the 1980s with The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss, but took things further with the liquid metal T-1000. Whether marching through flames, being shot through, or finally melting, the CGI still holds up 22 years later.

King Kong


For Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong, the challenge of creating a CGI Kong fell to WETA, the effects team behind The Lord of the Rings. The result was a resounding success, with Jackson’s Kong being one of the highlights of a flawed film; with Kong’s photo realism narrowing down to hair follicles and scar tissue, the giant gorilla was one of the best CGI achievements of the 2000s.



Of all the CGI characters on this list, the Andy Serkis-acted Gollum arguably had the greatest impact of its time. The Lord of the Rings character broke new ground in terms of what motion capture could achieve, and more importantly, showcased how much emotion could be put into CGI characters. Serkis also provided the motion capture and the personality for King Kong, as well as for the next character on this list.



Rise of the Planet Apes did not sound too promising on paper, with its premise of going back to the origin story behind Planet of the Apes. However, the focus on Caesar, an ape that eventually leads a new species of intelligent animals, elevated the film to a surprisingly high level. Serkis provided the facial expressions for a fully realized CGI creation, setting a standard for what can now be expected from CGI characters on film.