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Computer Generated Imagery is the special effects used in motion pictures to create a visual depiction of an illusion that can not be easily created in real life. Directors of major motion pictures have been using these technologies since the early days of the personal computer. Early on, when and special effects were in their beginning stages, it was difficult to make efficient and effective effects that are well accepted by the movie critics and the general public. An evolution of special effects and the introduction of computerized animation brought the standards for movie effects to a higher level. The development of new methods of Computer Generated Imagery for less money and more effective than in the past has allowed even fairly low budget movies to incorporate such technology. Today, movies use CGI to create special effects to replace thousands of extras, stunt people, and puppet like characters, as witnessed in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The evolution of special effects and Computer Generated Imagery technologies has taken the film industry to a whole new level.
Computer Generated Imagery began with awkward and dull effects in the early 1980’s. The 1982 film “Tron” was a desperate attempt from Disney to jump on the CGI bandwagon and start a revolution in film making technologies (imdb.com). Although this film showed an attempt at something that had never been done before in the history of cinematics, it was weird and confusing. This broke the door down for other companies to start up and aid films in creating better and better effects that appealed to a larger market. Although the effects were not good in the early days, the general film going public was astonished by computer generated effects and flocked to the theaters to see these cheesy attempts to use basic technology that did not transfer well to the silver screen. It was not until later films like “Jurassic Park,” “Toy Story,” and “The Lord of the Rings” until CGI became a film making powerhouse and the killer application for high budget movies.
The evolution of the 1980’s saw the pioneers of the early ages of CGI, but it was not until major revolutions in computer aided film making when the industry took a notice. Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film “Jurassic Park,” one of the first major motion pictures to use CGI on a large scale, is one of the largest grossing movies of all time (imdb.
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