The use of CGI in movies- Find out everything you need to know about it

The use of CGI in movies- Find out everything you need to know about it

Anytime we watch movies and see abstract creatures, images, objects, and scenes we tend to ask ourselves where they got these types of abstract things from. Some even think it is real. These abstract creatures are the results of a technology called Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI). The use of CGI in movies has become dominant and the new way to go now. CGI is the use of technology to create distinctive effects and features in a movie. Take a look at 9180 electrolyte analyzer.

How it all Began

Many young people think the use of CGI in movies started in the 21st century but they got it all wrong. This technology started way back in the late 1950s. Although it was not called CGI, it used the same technique in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Alfred hired the services of John Whitney. He used pieces of machinery from a WWII anti-aircraft to design this mechanized computer. Together with Saul Baas, the graphic designer who created the spirals, Whitney created a continuous rotating spiral in the opening sequence to define the staircase that triggers Scottie’s vertigo. He created this continuous rotating spiral by hanging a pendulum on a ceiling above the gun director, with his animation cels on the platform that held the gun director. The pendulum held a pen, linked to a paint reservoir 24 feet high. Vertigo became the first movie to use this type of animation in history in 1958 though it was not used on the characters. Read about the hoverboard seat.

The 1970s were ushered with great CGIs in movies. One movie that brought CGI into live-action is Westworld. This was done by the son of John Whitney Sr., John Whitney Jr. He partnered with Gary Demos to produce the villain of the movie with extraordinary senses even over long distances. This villain served as the host to an android to be a gunslinger. The CGI effect was seen through the vision of the gunslinger. This was achieved with 2D CGI. 3D CGI was used in the sequel of Westworld, Futureworld. These two movies are considered to be the forerunners of the use of CGI in movies today. One movie that took inspiration from these two movies is The Terminator.

Let Us Take a Look at How Some Movies That Made Good Use of CGI

Titanic (1997)

This is what a good CGI does. According to the filmmaker, James Cameron, the sinking of the Titanic was due to the CGI effect. That is, from the collision of the iceberg till the chip landed at the bottom of the sea.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Though CGI was in its early stage of development in 1993, Jurassic Park still holds the top position with this kind of effect and features. Technicians were still trying to find out the best way to develop the technology but they created breathtaking effects which felt so real and it still counted as one of the best movies with CGI. Steven Spielberg and his team put in much work to make the movie convincing since viewers were not used to seeing this kind of visuals

the use of CGI in movies

Avatar (2009)

It seems James Cameron never gets it wrong with the use of CGI in movies. About 60% of 2009s Avatar was made with CGI to give that special blue effect and unique appearance to the characters. He started working on Avatar in the 1990s but due to a lack of technology to support his vision for the movie, production of the movie began in 2007.

the use of CGI in movies

The Lord of The Rings (2001-2003)

The most notable use of CGI in the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the most hated character-Gollum. The color of Gollum’s skin. his veins, hair, protruding eyes, and curved vertebral column were very iconic.

the use of CGI in movies

Terminator 2 (1991)

Will you call James Cameron the master of CGI movies? This is another masterpiece from him. The villain of the movie is well known for his transformation into liquid metal. This liquid metal was a result of CGI. Though it was released in 1991, it still has great graphics.

the use of CGI in movies

Why is the use of CGI in movie dominants in this century?- The Pros of it

Although people criticize the use of CGI in movies, this technology has brought great improvement to the movie industry. CGI is an astounding technology that creates a never-ending opportunity for new effects and features to be added to movies. These are some reasons why the use of CGI has become dominant in this century.

CGI Is Cost-Effective

Many people will argue with this point. It can be both true and false. How does CGI be cost-effective when it is expensive? When shooting movies, the director has to provide costumes for actors, travel long distances to change locations, rent hotels and houses, pay for make-ups, a large crew, and many more. With CGI, all you need is a location and a CGI set-up to bring all your imagination into reality. This CGI will cover the cost of the expenses mentioned above making the production of the movie easy and faster.

CGI Is Time-Effective

Traveling locations back and forth is a very good waste of time. Just imagine not being able to travel to shoot a movie because of bad weather conditions. This will just prolong the duration of the movie and increase the cost of production. Unlike green-screen effects, CGI allows creators to immediately make backgrounds and place characters to make sounds and move. With this, the production of movies will be very fast and increase the number of movies produced in a short time.

CGI Improves Creativity

Furthermore, the use of CGI in movies allows the director to think outside the box. It gives the director a whole lot of choices to pick from as it makes scenes from different viewpoints, directions, and sizes. This has been useful because it is always difficult to shoot action movies from a bird’s eye view. Usually, this was done by using helicopters to fly around with a cameraman in it or using cranes. Today, CGI has made it very easy to shoot movies with such viewpoints. Again, scenes with ancient buildings, old towns, and space can easily be created with the help of CGI.

Ability to Change Appearance of Characters

Most directors may not be ok with the shots and scenes within a film. Before CGI, it was very difficult to change such things after the shooting of the movie. Thanks to CGI, these features and effects can be changed without stress even after the shooting of the movie. Although make-up artists do a great job in changing the appearance of characters, it takes a while before it is done. CGI allows the character to strike a resemblance to any animate or inanimate object. This makes it seem so real even though it is not.

Cons of CGI In Movies

Even though CGI has improved the quality of movies produced, overuse of the technology has been highly criticized. The overuse of CGI makes the audience feel as if there is no originality in the movie. Movies like 2001 The Mummy Returns were heavily criticized due to the bad use of CGI on Dwayne Johnson. This accounts for one of the few disadvantages of the use of CGI in movies.

The Need for Highly Skilled Technicians

One of the difficult things in the use of CGI is getting a highly skilled professional(s). Gaining knowledge about the use of the software is cumbersome. This may take a long time to learn and gain experience.

Again, experts must consistently upgrade themselves with up-to-date knowledge on the use of CGI since technology becomes outdated very quickly. Experts will be of no use if they cannot operate the upgraded version of the software since it will include more options to develop a movie with a strong effect and features to make imaginable things look real.

High Cost of CGI

CGI may be cost-effect but the initial cost of hardware and software is very expensive. The budget for CGI must include hardware, software, and hiring of experts to create your desired product. To guarantee that data is not lost, special; programs are required to acquire and process the data. This same program is needed to make sure that, the data acquired is edited perfectly to suit the taste of the director.

Some argue that rentals of space and traveling to different locations are all eliminated with CGI but the hiring of experts to develop great imaginary things to look real is very costly.

Difficulty In Animation

When experts decide to animate with CGI, it is of high importance that the final product looks as real as possible. Sometimes, this becomes very difficult in such a way that movement created by CGI does not correlate with the law of physics though they may appear normal. Errors may only be detected by taking a critical look and this will help you know that they may not be as real as it has been portrayed.

With pressure on the CGI experts to produce within a time frame, it becomes very difficult to edit whatever they want to do to perfection which creates minor errors in the animation.

Overuse of CGI

People watch movies because they want to have a real life experience although it could be a fantasy. Overuse of the CGI prevents movie lovers from having that experience and they tend to give bad reviews on the movie. Others also listen to these movie commentators in such a way that when they give a bad review on a movie thy will not even go to the cinema to watch again. This will also reduce the revenue of the movie. Take a look out how to flyboard.


We can make all our arguments against the use of CGI in movies but one thing remains clear: Computer-Generated Imagery has improved the quality of movies and it has come to stay.

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