The best CGI movies of the '80s - VFX that changed filmmaking

Best CGI movies of the 80s; a neon street in the film Tron
(Image credit: Disney / ILM)

Best VFX movies of the 80s; a retro ILM logo

(Image credit: Disney / ILM)

1981 Works on first non-Lucasfilm project, Dragonslayer
1982 Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division creates the Genesis Effect for Star Trek II
1988 The team won a Sci-Tech Academy Award for the ‘Morf’ software developed for Willow.
1989 The Abyss’ CG watery pseudopod wows audiences

The 1980s was the decade that ushered in a computing revolution for filmmaking and VFX. As home computers began appearing in every home and processing power grew, canny filmmakers started to push the boundaries of what could be achieved.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.