A short documentary from 1968 shows first computer animation of people

In 1964, Michael Noll, a researcher from Bell Telephone Laboratories, achieved a groundbreaking feat: creating a computer-generated ballet dance featuring stick figures gracefully moving across a virtual stage. While the graphics may appear crude by today's standards, the resulting video remains a mesmerizing testament to the state-of-the-art technology of its time.

This captivating six-minute documentary (see below), produced in 1968, not only showcases Noll's ballet creation but also presents other mind-bending computer-generated visuals from that era. Accompanied by a retrofuturistic score composed on analog synthesizers, the film adds a trippy dimension to the overall experience.

Despite the significant advancements in computer graphics over the past six decades, I find myself irresistibly drawn to these early, rudimentary efforts. Perhaps it's because they embody an unbridled sense of optimism and untapped potential that tends to diminish as technologies and best practices advance.

From computerartist:

Other computer animations shown are from "MAN Title Sequence" (by A. Michael Noll of Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.); "Man and His World" (by Kenneth C. Knowlton & Stan VanDerBeek at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.); "Force, Mass, and Motion" (by Frank W. Sinden of Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.); Satellite (by Edward E. Zajac of Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc.); Weather Pattern (Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Livermore, CA); Sluice Gate (by F. H. Harlow & John Shannon of Los Alamos National Laboratory); Carrier Landing (by William Fetter of Boeing Company); and Stressed Metal Plate.