WHAT IS CGI AND HOW IS IT USED? Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) is the application of computer graphics to create or contribute to images in art, printed media, video games, films, television programs, shorts, commercials, videos, and simulators.
CGI has been used on a multitude of films notably in the earlier years … Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979), Tron (1982), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Total Recall (1990) Terminator 2 (1991), Jurassic Park (1993), Forrest Gump (1994), Titanic (1997) and The Matrix (1999). Lots of animated films such as Toy Story (1995), The Polar Express (2004) and Frozen (2013) plus many, many more have all followed suit. The list is endless and ongoing, but certainly adds to our watching enjoyment and our thirst for more and more knoweledge to improve CGI techniques year after year!
WHY DO I LOVE CGI SO MUCH? I have always been amazed by CGI, what it has achieved in the past and what is to come in the future. Despite all the movies where CGI has been used, I am still to this day blown away by the two TV commercials below. The first is the fabulous J’Adore advert (2011) starring Charlize Theron who running late for a fashion show enters a backstage dressing area to be greeted by Grace Kelly, with fellow icons Marlene Dietrich and my own personal favourite Marilyn Monroe in attendance.
What blows me away about this is how perfectly CGI has been mastered to bring these former movie stars back to life in such a real and believable way. The same goes for Audrey Hepburn in the Galaxy chocolate advert (2013). They all look so amazingly realistic and as beautiful as they all were in their prime. These two adverts really show how much CGI has been perfected over the years.
When you look at recent films that have used CGI technology, ie Avatar, The Lord of the Rings, Transformers, The Jungle Book, Blade Runner 2049, I’m positive that CGI will only go on to amaze us even moreso in the not too distant future – let’s hope so!
Another amazing fact: 2D CGI was first used in movies in 1973’s Westworld, though the first use of 3D imagery was in its sequel, Futureworld (1976), which featured a computer-generated hand and face created by then University of Utah graduate students Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke.
Another amazing fact: Money for Nothing by Dire Straits was the first music video to incorporate CGI technology way back in 1985.