Computer Generated Imagery, or simply CGI, is the ultimate invention of the modern era that directors and technicians in the movie industry use to produce appealing visual scenery. The visual scenes might be flat or static, but also dynamic. It is usually 3D, but it can also be in 2 dimensions, as in classic animation, made with Adobe Flash, or drawn by hand with a tablet or a mouse.
The 3D virtual world is an interactive environment. Its broad availability of the specialized software makes it possible for anyone to produce the 3D data that can be used for commercials, movies or television. CGI animation, virtual world or dynamic CGI renderer are terms known to many people, due to its spread and popularity over the internet.
The spectrum of things CGI can replace is very broad. They can be landscapes, architectural scenery, anatomical models, cloth and skin and many more. Natural looking landscapes don’t have to be built anymore by hand. Computer artists have algorithms that produce fractal landscapes in minutes, depending on the technical specifications of their computer. At the beginning, the computer generates a rough triangulated surface, but as the artists demands more detail, that can be added with new nodes to the existing basic mesh.
The architecture requires a bit more time to be produced, as detailing is important for the final result and the designer or the architect has to create a certain harmony between the building, its environment and other edifices.
CGI can also generate a skeletal animation that is clothed with a desired shape of an animal, alien, fantastic character, which is later rigged onto it. These models are most commonly used for animation movies and movies for children, such as Finding Nemo from 2003, Toy Story from 2010 or Inside Out from 2015.