Computer generated imagery
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Computer generated imagery . definition. Computer-generated imagery is the application of computer graphics to create or contribute to images in art, printed media, video games, films, television programs etc. history.

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  • Computer-generated imagery is the application of computer graphics to create or contribute to images in art, printed media, video games, films, television programs etc.


  • 1968: A group of Russian mathematicians and physicists headed by N.Konstantinov created a mathematical model of a moving cat across a screen. A program was made for a specialized computer called BESM-4. The computer printed hundreds of frames to be later converted into usable film material.

  • 1970s: CGI really got a hold in the designing community. With many people experimenting with new movie and designing techniques the technology rapidly evolved. Just a few years after moving a cat across the screen the 2D animator Peter Foldes created the first CGI animated short film drawn on a data tablet. Foldes also used the world’s first key frame animation software, invented by Nestor Burtnyk and MarceliWein.


  • 1971: First CGI used in televisions

  • 1976: First 3D CGI was created in the film Futureworld

  • 1977: Star Wars becomes a box office smash and a inspiration for many CGI effects that followed

  • 1980s: A bombardment of CGI milestones were made which most importantly were: the first CGI human character (with the first use of 3D shaded CGI), the invention of the Genesis effect for creating alien-like landscapes like used in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan (1982), TRON (1982) 


  • 1993: Steven Spielberg raised the bar by creating the first eye dropping photo realistic computer-generated creatures in Jurassic Park.

  • 1995: Toy Story got the title of first fully CGI animated movie.

  • 2000s: CGI possibilities became almost endless and more and more mixed with the authentic film footage. Movies as The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Matrix: Reloaded (2003) and The Polar Express (2004) pushed the boundaries and possibilities of CGI further. Lord of the Rings was the first to make use of artificial intelligence for it’s digitally created characters as it also created the first photo realistic motion captured character. The Matrix: Reloaded thereby was the first to use Universal Capture to capture more frames in an image. Furthermore in 2004 the animated film “The Polar Express” (2004) pushed the boundary by being to first to use motion capture on all it’s movie characters.


  • 2009: The best selling movie of all time, Avatar, pushed CGI to yet a higher level, creating a movie that was fully made with performance capture, transforming the actors into photo realistic 3D characters.

Famous cgi films
Famous CGI films

  • I, Robot (2004) directed by Alex Proyas

  • Avatar (2009) directed by James Cameron

  • Terminator 2 (1991) directed by James Cameron

  • Tron (1982) directed by Steven Lisberger

Future of cgi
Future of CGI

  • The future if CGI is only limited by current computer technology

  • Some people are suggesting that actors could be computer generated in the near future to make more sequels and prequels