Computer-generated imagery

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Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in art, films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media. The visual scenes may be either dynamic or static. The term computer animation refers to dynamic images.

3D computer graphics software is used to make computer-generated imagery for movies, etc. Recent availability of CGI software and increased computer speeds have allowed individual artists and small companies to produce professional grade films, games, and fine art from their home computers. This has brought about an Internet subculture with its own set of global celebrities, clich├ęs, and technical vocabulary.


Static images and landscapes

Not only do animated images form part of computer-generated imagery, natural looking landscapes, such as fractal landscapes are also generated via computer algorithms. A simple way to generate fractal surfaces is to use an extension of the triangular mesh method, relying on the construction of some special case a de Rham curve, e.g. midpoint displacement.[1] For instance, the algorithm may start with a large triangle, then recursively zoom in by dividing it into 4 smaller Sierpinski triangles, then interpolate the height of each point from its nearest neighbors.[1] The creation of a Brownian surface may be achieved not only by adding noise as new nodes are created, but by adding additional noise at multiple levels of the mesh.[1] Thus a topographical map with varying levels of height can be created using relatively straightforward fractal algorithms. Some typical, and easy to program fractals used in CGI are the plasma fractal and the more dramatic fault fractal.[2]

A large number of specific techniques have been researched and developed to produce highly focused computer-generated effects, e.g. the use of specific models to represent the chemical weathering of stones to model erosion and produce an "aged appearance" for a given stone-based surface.[3]

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