Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Origins of Computer Generated Content: Director's View Point

Computer Generated Content (CGC) or Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) is the application of the field of computer graphics; specifically 3D computer graphics to create special effects in areas such as film, video games and simulators. These visual scenes may be dynamic or static.

The technology was introduced in the early 1960’s. Computer Generated Content began as Fragmentation Animation. Tthe film known as Hummingbird is among one of the first to be made using CGI. Hummingbird gained fame when it was viewed at the fourth International Experimental Film Competition in Brussels, Belgium. This “Fragmentation Animation” which is the deformation and reformations of an object in a computer generated space - was an important step for CGI in films because with it came the birth of an entirely new technology for use in the film industry (Fragmentation Animations, 2007).
The visual scenes may be dynamic or static, and may be 2D, though the term "CGI" is most commonly used to refer to 3D computer graphics used for creating scenes or special effects in films and television.

Early films that used Computer Generated Content

One of the earliest movies that used Computer generated content was Star Wars. It was released in 1977 and took the world by storm. The technology was used to trench run briefing sequence. The other films in the early era that were renowned for CGC include Alien (1979), Dire Straits (1985), Lybrinth (1986), and Start Trek IV (1986)
In the modern era some CGC films that have caught the eye include Titanic, Toty Story, The Matrix triology, Spider Man, and Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Directors who feel use of CGC is not necessary
Although CGC has become an important component of the film industry but some directors have been somewhat very restricted towards the use of it. For instance Martin Scorcesse has not been the greatest admirer of CGC in films and openly shared his opinion on it for the best part of 20 years. Although, it seems like his views have changed as Hugo, one of his latest fims Hugo heavily used computer generated content. Clint Eastwood also shared negative views on using computer generated imagery and techniques in films since it took the authenticity and human element out of the film. Christopher Nolan is another director who is not a great admirer of using CGI or CGC. In one of the interview, he said "The thing with computer-generated imagery is that it’s an incredibly powerful tool for making better visual effects. But I believe in an absolute difference between animation and photography. However sophisticated your computer-generated imagery is, if it’s been created from no physical elements and you haven’t shot anything, it’s going to feel like animation. There are usually two different goals in a visual effects movie. One is to fool the audience into seeing something seamless, and that’s how I try to use it. The other is to impress the audience with the amount of money spent on the spectacle of the visual effect, and that, I have no interest in."


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