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A look into the industry of CGI

A look into the industry of CGI

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Published by Jillian Haldeman
A video game essay for my 2006 2nd semester
A video game essay for my 2006 2nd semester

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Published by: Jillian Haldeman on Jun 08, 2008
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Video game essay1973-2006A look into the industry of CGIAn Essay by J. HaldemanThe year is 1973, and you are suddenly taken by the fact that Goodbye Yellow Brickroad is swarming the airways %u2013 and the Vietnam War continues to rage in thesoutheastern end of Asia. One would think to wonder, why in any sort of situationwould a family be sitting in front of their %u2018boob tube%u2019 and be playing agame like Sword Quest? Well, from the years 1973 to 2006, there has been asignificant change in the way video games are perceived, and valued. Once a simple4-bit masterpiece with blips across the screen, to a complete moving image wondercomplete with realistic 3d imagery. CGI (Computer Graphics Imagery) from the videogame to the movie screen, we will look at how this industry has evolved over theyears until now.One would intend to say that the graphics found in an old Atari 2600 game areundermining the effect of the word %u201CLame%u201D for lack of a betterprofessional word. However, for it%u2019s time games like SwordQuest, and even forexample Space Invaders, these were the top performing games in the early seventiesmade to entertain many households across the world. Speed reflex, was no longersomething you only heard of in the kung-fu movies of yesteryear; it was now knownthat your 12 year old child could very well be mastering the game paddle sittingin front of your family TV.If we think about it hard enough, we%u2019ll remember the slow progression intohigher quality media that became harder to achieve success within the status quoin the gaming world. However, this graphical wizard wasn%u2019t all it was crackedup to be, certain games had to carry a warning issue about flashing colours,lights %u2013 things that could set off harmful seizures. Whilst to sadly, many ahousehold this deemed hilariously funny and went about their playing, it was nowbecoming a medical issue that probed medical professionals to start viewing theway these things affected people. Thus not to forget, that video games wereevidently to blame for many teenage massacres, violent behaviour and all aroundabnormal character. This hasn%u2019t been fully proved yet, as psychologists andpsychiatrists akin cannot pinpoint a cause to this matter .Yet, in all that glitters, shiny and pretty in the video game world... Nobody hadany notion that this would spark computer graphics usage as a widespread factor inmovies of today. In fact, not all that glitters was gold: the video game markettook a substantial dive in 1983 and again in 1984 due to the bankruptcy and suddenend to several companies. (Wikipedia Oct 3rd 2006)This had however brought in light to gaming on a new form of console: the homecomputer. Yet, from around the same year as our friendly video and computer gamesgained popularity, we gained the knowledge to put 2D and 3D computer relatedimagery into our film and television. From Westworld in 1973, to the Dire Straitsmusic video %u2018Money is for Nothing%u2019 in 1985; the boiling pot was about toboil over into mainstream technology and become a breeding ground for new andexciting adventures.These new adventures were the advent creation of a new kind of filmmaking, and anew kind of video-game creation on the side. By the mid 1990s, we were makingmovies, which featured 3d animation and effects without a real flesh face to putthem against for comparison. (Toy Story, 1995) Around the same time, the battlefor the console began, as it once had nearly fifteen or so years earlier. Severalcompanies dipped into the proverbial gene pool, making it much harder to grab hold
 
of a great niche market.Consoles of the 32-bit range such as the Panasonic 3DO, Sony Playstation, Sega Cd,Sega 32 X, Sega Saturn (Dreamcast to follow), Amiga CD32, Philips's CD-I, AtariJaguar, NEC%u2019s PC-FX, Bandai Pippin, FM TOWNS MARTY, Pioneer Laser-interactive. These were ultimately labelled FIFTH GENERATION consoles; yetultimately the market could really only stand to hold a few substantial productson it%u2019s shelves. Whilst these held high aspects of the animation and CGI youare about to read, they were not brought about popularity wise until the higherend 32 and 64 bit consoles were brought to life.Yet %u2013 something else began to stir behind the mastermind of the 3d gamingmarket%u2026 Japan%u2019s Sony Playstation managed to burst out in forces nobodyhad ever imagined %u2013 games with IN GAME MOVIES. If it wasn%u2019t therealistic titles of games like Tekken 2, it was the realistically made in gamemovies in the RPG series Final Fantasy. Each year behind the belt, and Squareproduced several games that blew the Sony%u2019s sales out the window and onto thecharts as nearly the #1 console in the late 90s. Without such titles as ParasiteEve, Final Fantasy, and XenoGears -- Sony%u2019s market dominance would not bepresent today .From the in-game movies featured in several titles not only created by square(later to be known as SQUARE ENIX), but titles from other popular game creators%u2013 to later known VIDEO GAME BASED MOVIES. This was an odd phenomenon, to makemovies based on video games, as it had earlier never worked. [Mortal Kombat,Street Fighter to name a couple] Thus, somehow releasing opinions that it maynever, in fact work for a general public. Movies like Tomb Raider, Pokemon,Resident evil %u2013 paved the way for a new generation of movies solely based offvideo games.Pushing the boundaries further than ever before, with graphics were movies likeFinal Fantasy: The Spirits Within, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, ThePolar Express, The Matrix Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and last,but not least: Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. The Matrix trilogy brought abouta new sort of CGI and filming aspect, though some of it isn%u2019t truly computergenerated %u2013 some of it deserves mention for the technology aspect.As said in The Matrix Trilogy: Cyberpunk Reloaded: %u201CThe Matrix trilogy bothcelebrates and criticises Technological change, an ambivalence which could beclaimed as being at the crux of post modernity, through the medium of hardware,software and cyberspace.%u201D The matrix trilogy became famous for groundbreakingtechnology that served as a door-opening experience for other moviemakers. Matrix:Reloaded included the first use of "Universal Capture,%u201D the combination ofdense (rather than point-based) motion capture and per-frame texture capture{http://www.Wikipedia.org keyword: TIMELINE OF CGI IN MOVES}.Movies like the Matrix Trilogy, went down in history for their trademark martialarts filming, crossed with 3D CGI effects such as the well noted disambiguation ofthe face in Matrix: Revolutions. 360 degree, stop-motion filming became anindustry revelation for many films and games to come in the future. (FinalFantasy: Dirge of Cerebus, Tomb Raider Series [Movies], Crouching Tiger HiddenDragon, Bujingai Sword Master to name a few.)Yet, another movie of a different genre put together similar aspects with this newway of filming. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children(%u30D5%u30A1%u30A4%u30CA%u30EB%u30D5%u30A1%u30F3%u30BF%u30B8%u30FCVII%u30A2%u30C9%u30D9%u30F3%u30C8%u30C1%u30EB%u30C9%u30EC%u30F3 Fainaru Fantaj%u012BSebun Adobento Chirudoren) is a film based on the highly successful PlayStation
 
One and PC game Final Fantasy VII it combined the likes of the Martial Arts,realistically rendered 3d animation and 360 degree stop motion filming (Thoughanimated completely in 3d, the notion of the 360 degree camera was more thanapparent in several parts of the film), and Motion Capture to boot.A very successful movie indicating the way the 3D animation and CGI industry hasgrown over the years. A successful and booming DVD release movie franchise withseveral merchandising contracts, spin offs, cell phone games, and products thatwere specifically placed in the movie (Panasonic FOMA P900iV mobile phoneunavailable outside Japan). Movies like these stand the test of time: What camefirst the chicken or the egg?Whilst many will tell you the brush before the pen, the pen before the mouse, themouse before the tablet; CGI has come along way in over 30 years. From 2D to 3D,from game to screen %u2013 we%u2019ve seen how games affect our lives, and movieseffect our emotions. Touching upon the grossly overrated video-game generations ofthe 1980s, to gracing it%u2019s light upon the CGI first seen in movies likeFutureworld, Tron and Looker.Yet will we ever truly all believe that 3D is worth all the trouble we go to? Weprocess frame-by-frame, mesh-by-mesh %u2013 room-by-room. Motion capture the dog,motion capture this that and the other thing. Are we truly free of technology?Well, that%u2019s all for another essay I suppose %u2013 because technology rulesthe CGI industry. The industry that has successfully made its 30th anniversarythis year, and in style I suppose. There is always one or two or even three new 3Danimated films on the market these days, good or bad %u2013 there%u2019s art inevery single one of them.REFERENCE LIST:BOOKS:THE MATRIX TRILOGY: Cyberpunk Reloaded - Gillis S.An Introduction to Ray Tracing - Glassner, A. (0122861604 1989/2002 MorganKaufmann Publishing)The Art of 3d Computer Animation & Effects - Kerlow, I. (0471430366 /006.693KERJohn Wiley and Sons)What Video Games have to teach us about literacy and learning - GEE, J.(1403965382/794.8019GEE)First Person - Wardrip-Fruin, N. and Harrigan, P (026223232 794.8FIR)Handbook of Computer Game Studies - Raessens, J. Goldstein, J.(0262182408/794.8HAN)/ http://mitpress.mit.eduWEBSITES :CGI IN FILM:Wikipedia Articles:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_CGI_in_movieshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_computer-animated_filmshttp://accad.osu.edu/~waynec/history/lesson14.htmlhttp://www.cinemagap.com/visualeffects/CGI IN VIDEO GAMES:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_game_consoleshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Gamehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_computer_game

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