The T-1000 in its default (metalic) form.

The T-1000 in its default (metalic) form.

The First Partially Computer-Generated Main Character

1991
<p>The T-1000 cyborg as played by Robert Parker.</p>

The T-1000 cyborg as played by Robert Parker.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a 1991 science fiction action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher, Jr., included included the first use of natural human motion for a computer-generated character, and the first partially computer-generated main character.

"Terminator 2 was the first mainstream blockbuster movie with multiple morphing effects and simulated natural human motion and realistic movements for a major CG character. It was the first film to use 'personal' computers to create its special effects. 

"The lethal, liquid-metal, chrome T-1000 cyborg terminator (Robert Patrick) was the first [partially] computer graphic-generated main character to be used in a film. This was the first major instance of a CG character in a film since Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). He was capable of 'morphing' into any person or object. The liquifying-solidifying robot's humanoid texture was layered onto a CG model to create the effect. Over 300 special effects shots made up 16 minutes of the film's running time.  

"The seemingly-indestructible Terminator android composed of morphing liquid metal was a killing, shape-shifting terminator with no emotional intelligence, usually exemplified as a policeman. The sleek, modern android was composed of poly-mimetic metal, meaning it could take on the shape, color, and texture of anything it touched (such as a porcelain-tiled floor or metal bars), and could also mimic human behavior, such as imitating the voices of its victims. It could transform its hands into jaw-like blades for impalement, and completely absorb shotgun blasts to its midsection or head. After a fiery big-rig crash in the LA flood channel, the T-1000 walked unscathed out of the flames - revealing his metallic frame before reverting back to humanoid form. In another remarkable scene, the T-1000 was shattered into pieces, but then the pieces reassembled themselves" (http://www.filmsite.org/visualeffects14.html, accessed 05-01-2013).

Timeline Themes