CGI... The New Frontier? By: Clifford Amazan

The frontier of moving picture and the magic of cinematic have one of the constant failures and from the ashes, success. One such success is the basis of tradition animation or the precursor to animation, has been around longer than the birth of the cinematic camera, which was the Phenakistoscope in 1831, while in 1892 Edison and Dickson invented the Kinetoscope. Animation on the Phenakistoscope were multiple images illustrated on a plate that was spun rapid enough to create the illusion of movement. (THE INVENTION AND EARLY YEARS OF THE CINEMA, 1880s–1904,p.2-5) While this was the birth “true” animation, the Phenakistoscope was an instrumental building block to the invention of the cinematic camera.

For Newcomer, the question isn't whether CGI is or not the next frontier. The question is: what is CGI? To be quite frank, CGI is short for computer-generated imagery. However the definition of CGI is as goes,is the creation of still or animated visual content with imaging software.

CGI is used from visual art, to television, film special effects, and others various forms of media and mediums. This form of animation really began taking storm in early 21th century/late 20th century. The prerequisite to CGI animation was 2D animation, which been around since 1908, the first 2D animation ever made was called Fantasmagorie, a short cartoon made by Emile Cohl.(Shaver, Allen) This art form has endure for over 100 years with the art style changing over the decades and still prominent. Usually when 2D animation comes about, the name that comes up is Walt Disney and Steamboat Willy. this is a common mistake since Fantasmagorie was around 20 years prior to Walt Disney's Steamboat Willy.

Walt Disney gets accredited with animation due to what his company did to revolutionize the animation market, as Charla accredits Walt Disney in the matter that “he advanced the art of animation. Disney synchronized sound and music with his cartoons and was one of the first to advance in color animation. Through the years, he found other areas of improvement by the institution of the pencil test as well as the multi-plane camera just to name a few.” Walt Disney’s precedence in the animation market set a lofty mark that other animators had to achieve. His cast of fantasy cartoons characters combined with sound, music, and most importantly color. From 1928, Disney’s cartoons have been an influence on other artists and similar styles emerged. Thanks to Mickey, everyone started clamoring for sound with cartoons and new studios popped up with their own Mickey knock-offs, as revealed by blogger Tralfaz Yowp.

While Disney and his imitators dominated the market in cartoon animation with the target audience being children, family friendly. It wasn’t till 1973 CGI was introduced into the mainstream, although it was only in 2D, the movie production WestWorld. 3 years later, CGI would later be featured in FutureWorld, but this was in 3D. CGI really took off in the late 70’s and the entire 80’s after FutureWorld display CGI use in Film. CGI ascendant rise from small gags in film and premiere an entire animated film in CGI, Golgo 13 in 1983. From pioneering the computer make some imagery to trying to make it an art form in its own merit.

Infamous for its use of CGI, Michael Bay’s Transformer extensive use of CGI is a perfect case for CGI, the story literally cannot be told in a live action adaption of the immensely popular 1980s cartoon. First, they must pre-build each Autobot and Decepticon, film it with a stand-in on set, then animate it to react. In the end, you have a Transformer movie. Executed. Special Effects. A Blockbuster and tons of CGI in the film. Another example of using CGI well is here at Georgia State, the promoting of Georgia State Stadium. The stadium isn’t even completed but the vision of the future of the stadium is already made tangible in the mind of viewers. The potential fans, the advertisement that litter the stadium. The time of evening. Both of them are examples of well-executed CGI. While there are countless examples of CGI done well. This form isn’t without flaws. They’re countless examples of CGI done wrong.

On August 25, 1989, the dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Kentaro Miura was published by Dark Horse Comics. The manga had gained a cult following from domestically in Japan and extremely well- received in the United States where after all this time, the series is stilling going on strong. Like any well-received literature with a following, the manga got a TV show in the form of an anime in 97’ but got ended prematurely in ’02. In 2012, they were a renewed effort to get the manga on the air once again. The release of Berserk: Golden Age soon followed. The fans did not take kindly to the allege “butchery” of the movie, art, and CGI especially. Reading the anime and watching the 97’ anime then comparing it to the 2012 adaption. There was a mistake made, some for the sake of the budget and others transgressions didn’t understand Kentaro Miura. His art style was obviously very difficult to adapt in CGI since every drawing or frame could stand alone and tell its own story. You couldn’t narrate the story in CGI without the art of Kentaro Miura. Has CGI made leaps and bounds in film, television, computers and all other forms of the medium? Immensely. The idea of making anything you need with your computer to tell a story or make a commercial for the future is an indispensable tool for designers and animators.

CGI was born in the infancy of computers and evolved with art. The style experimented in the late 70’sand blew up in the 80’s and 90’s. While produced, art in CGI feel as real as you and me, it’s shortcoming was the inability to adapt to individuals with a unique storytelling ability and sometimes making things look ridiculous, but with time the new art form can be refined and appreciated by all.

Created By
Clifford Amazan
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