What is CG or CGI and How to Use it

08 june 2023 year

CG (Computer Graphics) and CGI (Computer Generated Image) have experienced immense popularity over the past two decades, and their significance and utilization are expected to continue growing as they find applications in various fields. In the realm of 3D graphics and architectural visualization, CGI has become an indispensable tool for artists, enabling them to bring their vision to life on screens and paper. Whether it involves crafting computer-generated characters, architectural structures, intricate 3D models, or streamlining the image editing process, CGI has revolutionized the way artists express their creativity.

The success of computer-generated 3D animation and graphics began in the early 1990s when software packages and computing power became more accessible, even to small companies. Since then, it has evolved into an esteemed form of art in its own right. Advancements in technology have bridged the gap between art and technology, allowing these realms to seamlessly merge.

What is CG or CGI and How to Use it Render

Creation of 3D graphics

Creating computer graphics and computer animation requires the use of specialized software tools. Several software packages have emerged in the market, and it primarily comes down to personal preferences when choosing among them. After all, the most crucial factor in creating convincing digital worlds is the artist themselves, while the software is merely a tool to translate their creativity onto the screen.

As graphic software has become more user-friendly and intuitive, the process of creating CGI has started to resemble its real-world counterparts, such as painting, sculpture, photography, and filmmaking. For instance, the field of computer animation follows similar steps as in the physical world, with the addition of modeling sets, props, and characters. Shaping the mass of "digital clay" to form a compelling character (or any other object or location to be depicted) is the initial step. Then, cameras, light sources, and other objects are placed in the virtual space and animated as needed.

Computer animation can be seen as a digital successor to the classic "stop-motion" animation, akin to the works of Harryhausen, although many other methods for animating virtual objects and characters (such as physics-based simulation or motion capture techniques) have evolved over the years. The final stage is called rendering, which describes the process of gathering all the scene information and setting up the lighting to process and output the final image through the lens of a virtual camera, either as still frames or as a sequence of frames that create the illusion of motion.

CGI in television, film production and advertising

Computer animation and 3D visualization are widely used in television, advertising, and filmmaking. The "small screen" has proven to be an ideal platform for experimenting with cutting-edge technologies and concepts, and many artists working in television and advertising have made their way into the film industry. With software packages becoming more affordable and accessible, independent artists and directors took advantage of the opportunity to create their own films and short movies, resulting in a significant boost in visual quality in the mid-1990s. In the field of filmmaking, computer animation gradually started replacing handmade models and puppets, and even the genre of animated films acquired a digital counterpart.

The advertising industry expanded into other sectors such as industrial documentation ("Industriefilm") and corporate videos ("Imagefilm"), and besides entertainment-oriented computer animation, it is also used in education, interactive media ("3D Online"), and military statements or briefings.

Scientific Visualization:

Computer animation intended for presenting meteorological data, medical visualization, industrial analysis, architecture, and technology.

Product Design and Engineering:

Designers and engineers use specialized computer-aided design (CAD) software for the design, development, and manufacturing of consumer and industrial goods. Modern graphics technologies are widely employed for product visualization, allowing designers to rotate, cut, and manipulate the design on computers before production. This greatly assists engineers in visualizing the product they are designing.

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