Although this video first surfaced on the Internet back in February, a few blogs (we found it at The Awesomer) have dug up this very cool video of one of, if not the first ever pieces of digital 3D animation. According to Robby Ingebretsen, who has the original 8mm film he digitized this test from, the above bit of history was created by Pixar founder Ed Catmull in 1972 while he was a student at the University of Utah. And if the animation itself isn't impressive for having been created in the early '70s, when most people had to share computers that were the size of refrigerators, wait 'til you see the behind-the-scenes footage of how all the polygons were mapped long before there was software to do it for you.
It gets even better. Ingebretsen shares even more unique insight to the video on his blog, including why he has an original 8mm copy of it and how he ended up getting a personal tour of Catmull at Pixar because of it. We definitely recommend giving his story a read.