Tracing the origins of something as manmade as computer animation has proven to be almost as difficult as uncovering the beginning of mankind itself. But a team of computer scientists from AT&T believes that it has finally tracked down that elusive moment.
In a grainy, space-age clip dating back to 1963, Edward E. Zajac narrates what he calls a "computer-made movie" depicting a wire-frame satellite - or rectangle - orbiting the planet, depicted as a wire-frame sphere.
The animation was programmed in FORTRAN, Gizmodo reports, a computer-programming language originally developed in 1957 by IBM in an effort to simplify human communication with computers.
According to the AT&T Archives and History Center, which uploaded the footage to YouTube, Zajac didn't set out to demonstrate computer graphics. Instead, he created the film as a part of AT&T's research on developing communications satellites.
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