World's First Computer-Generated Animation Traced Back To 1963 (VIDEO)

07/19/2012 05:01 pm ET

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.

In a series of technology firsts, Vice magazine gave us a look at the first photo ever posted on the Internet, last month -- a glamour shot of an all-girl comedy band called Les Horribles Cernettes -- while Instagram dug up its first photo, in honor of its second birthday earlier this week.

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