Max Headroom, a "computerized" character
from the 1980s, was not computer animation.
Nowadays, it seems there is nothing that digital effects cannot imitate on a screen.
Yet some of the early "digital" effects in movies and TV were deceptive; they weren't digital effects at all because the special effects were actually easier to create with non-digital means.
A fake computer effect from
For instance, in the 1981 film Escape From New York, the supposed computer wireframe view of the city was a physical model using reflective tape on the edges of the buildings, filmed under ultraviolet light.
The argument by writer Neil Emmett at an article on Cartoon Brew is that certain fake digital effects stand up better over time:
"They have an ingenuity and hand-made charm which is missing from so much modern computer animation."That may be why audiences can still love movies with obvious stop-motion animation like the original movie King Kong, or the Wallace and Gromit animated films - they don't need to perfectly imitate reality to engage our imagination.
Read the original article: Max Headroom and the Strange World of Pseudo-CGI, Cartoon Brew>>
Here's another discussion of stop-motion versus CGI: Why Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion effects were more real than CGI, Boing Boing>>
(Thanks to Boing Boing for the find.)