Jurassic Park

[Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment]

1993 Academy Award® Winner for Best Visual Effects

1993 BAFTA Award Winner for Best Special Visual Effects

Director: Steven Spielberg
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor: Dennis Muren
ILM Visual Effects Art Director: TyRuben Ellingson
ILM Visual Effects Producer: Janet Healy
Co-Visual Effect Supervisor: Mark A.Z. Dippe
ILM Studios: San Francisco

Case Study

Jurassic Park

Release Date: June 11, 1993

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

No one had put living, breathing synthetic animals in a live action movie before; creature animation had always been mechanical and animatronic. Before Jurassic Park, animators had never even tried to reproduce real animals digitally for a feature film. But ILM showed Steven Spielberg a test with digital dinosaurs, and they looked so natural and moved so freely that there was no turning back.

The breathtaking shots of dinosaurs walking through a field and placidly eating leaves from the tops of trees have become milestones in visual effects and in filmmaking. Suddenly, directors could imagine making films in which realistic animals, fantasy creatures, even digital people could perform without restraint.

This project marks a major advance in digitally simulating living organisms. The various software breakthroughs allow for unprecedented freedom in the digital compositing of CG creations and live-action film. For the first time, all restrictions on camera movement in background plates are removed, thanks to such software tools as Softimage. Jurassic Park is the first major film to use this commercial 3-D animation package. The film also pioneers work in the field of film input scanning.