July 18, 2012, 4:16 PM — AT&T's Tech Channel, which has a knack at finding very early films and videos, has posted a 1963 film that it considers "to be possibly the very first computer graphics film ever."
According to the post, Edward E. Zajac made and narrated this film, which showed how a particular type of satellite would move through space.
"Zajac programmed the calculations in FORTRAN, then used a program written by Zajac's colleague, Frank Sinden, called ORBIT. The original computations were fed into the computer via punch cards, then the output was printed onto microfilm using the General Dynamics Electronics Stromberg-Carlson 4020 microfilm recorder. All computer processing was done on an IBM 7090 or 7094 series computer."
It's interesting to note that Zajac wasn't making the film because he was interested in computer graphics, but rather the "real-time modeling of a certain theoretical construct," AT&T says. But it's possible that Zajac did create one of the first CGI films.
Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.