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If you've been the movies recently, chances are you've seen computer-generated imagery (CGI), perhaps without even consciously realizing it. Computer-generated imagery uses computer graphics to create pictures in the following:
- Visual arts
- Video games
Most of the time, CGI refers to 3-D images such as special effects.
Computer-Generated Imagery - Avatar
One of the most obvious and groundbreaking uses of computer-generated imagery was James Cameron's Avatar, which overlaid computer imagery onto the actors. Other notable examples of CGI in film include Gollum in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the recent Planet of the Apes films.
Filmmakers use CGI in order to achieve high-quality images and effects that not only look realistic, but also provide substantial cost over physical effects, such as miniature models, or hiring lots of extras for crowd scenes. With CGI, a single artist can produce effects that used to require expensive props and sets.
The decreasing cost of CGI now allows individuals to create professional-grade works of art from their home computers. Even more importantly, computer-generate imagery is being used in the courtroom, allowing for the recreation of crime scenarios or crime scenes, which provide better visualization for jurors. Studies have found, however, that many such CGI recreations unfairly sway jurors to believe that the particular scenario recreated is the truth.