Computer-generated imagery, or CGI, has drastically changed the film industry since its inception. Video Production London firm, Ideal Insight, explored the impact that technology has had on the film industry and asked Hot Dark Matter Co-Founder Julian Anderson a series of questions about this.
Regarding CGI’s impact on the film industry, in particular, he said, “Virtual Production is evolving how films are made, using CGI and Game Engines to create ultra-realistic environments and characters, with the ability to output content that can be viewed on-screen, as augmented reality assets in the real world, or in a fully immersive virtual reality experience.”
What Impact Has CGI Had in the Film Industry?
CGI is used in film and television to digitally create animation and special effects. While it all began with conventional animation, later technology has seen artists abandon their pens in favor of their computers.
The history of computer animation dates back to the early 1970s, when manufacturers began using computers to generate graphic images. However, CGI did not revolutionize the film industry till the 1980s. Thanks to technological advances, filmmakers can now create realistic digital effects that were previously impossible to achieve.
CGI was only utilized rarely until the late 1990s, but Toy Story, released in 1995, was the first full-length CG film. Fan favorite characters, from Woody to Buzz Lightyear, were brought to life by a small crew of animators. Pixar followed up with a slew of CG animations, including Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, and the Toy Story sequels, the most recent in 3D.
With Jurassic Park, before scanning the dinosaur designs and prosthetics into a computer, the ILM team’s visual effects started with hand-drawn designs and prosthetics. Before the dinosaurs’ skin texture was drafted, animation software was utilized to pinpoint and modify hand and foot movements. The dinosaurs were placed in a scene mixed with live-action and location shooting after these individual shots were gathered together.
When a fully rendered CG character appeared on film in the early 2000s, spectators were stunned. Motion capture allowed for capturing movements made by objects or people, and it was a strand of CGI that came into popular movies at a breakneck pace.
Gollum was the first motion-captured figure to interact with other performers in Peter Jackson’s 2001 blockbuster Lord of the Rings. Traditional animation was blended with artificial intelligence algorithms to substitute actor Andy Serkis’ actions with those of Gollum.
Eight years later, facial capture was combined with motion capture to ensure every facial expression could be captured and displayed. Avatar, known for its innovative CGI, stunned audiences with this invention in 2009 and will continue to do so in 2022 with its sequel Avatar: The Way of Water.
CGI allowed the creation of entire virtual worlds that could be explored on screen. As a result, CGI has had a profound impact on the way films are made and how audiences experience them.
Even though CGI was once reserved for only the most expensive and prominent films, most of which were action or science fiction, it is now more widespread than ever. It has profoundly affected the film industry, and its capabilities continue to grow each year.
However, with this new power comes responsibility- filmmakers must use CGI thoughtfully and with restraint to create beautiful and believable films.short url: