What is computer-generated imagery or CGI?

This website is all about computers and the things we can do with them. This also includes computer-generated imagery (CGI). But one may ask “what is computer-generated imagery?”

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is a term used in the world of computer graphics, more specifically 3D computer graphics and special effects. Computer-generated images get created by computer software.

Computer-generated imagery is used in many media such as movies, commercials, television programs, printed media and in video games. Computer-generated imagery is being used for visual effects because you can control almost everything you want to see in a particular 3D environment. If something goes wrong in the proces it can be changed  relatively easy (with the click of a mouse button). It allows 3D artists to create images that would not be feasible  in any other technology, such as huge fantasy landscapes and creatures that come straight out of a comic book.

Another huge benefit of CGI is that individual artists and developers are able to make content without the use of actors, models or expensive to make set pieces. All can (in potential) be realized within the cgi software.

The world of computer graphics is constantly advancing due to increasing computer power and new software that is being developed. For example if you watch Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999) and when you see Gollum in the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers(2002) some big advancements can be seen. When you look closely you can see big advancements in realism and depth of the CGI effects that were being used, and that was only over a minus 3 year period!

Some examples of computer generated imagery (CGI) software are: Autodesk Maya 2012 or Autodesk 3ds max.