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Importance of Digital Technology in Films

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 6/2/2011

Digital technology, such as computer generated imagery (CGI) has been a growing trend and is increasingly used in conjunction with not only animation, but also with live action films.

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    Importance of Digital Technology in Films

    Growing Trend With Animation

    Computer generated imagery (CGI) effects have dramatically improved the process of creating animated films. A once very time consuming and labor intensive method (e.g. traditional animation), and thanks to the advances of digital technology, such as CGI software programs, animation has recently become more efficient and cost-effective to produce. This is truly the golden age for animation; after all, animated films are more realistic in nature--even a character’s facial expressions can be made to look real.

    Growing Trend With Live Action Films

    The growing industry of digital animation and/or CGI isn’t only used with animated films, but also with live-action films. Considering special effects in live-action films, this technology may be used in multiple ways, such as in animated title sequences and graphics, visual effects (special effects rendered in post production), optical effects (e.g. greenscreens and bluescreens), and even mechanical effects such as rain or snow and prosthetics.

    CGI technology now has a lead over other special effect methods. Why? For one, CGI is not only safer, it’s also cost-friendly and allows the filmmaker to have greater control over a production. Why risk someone’s life with a mechanical effect if you can shoot it safely and quicker in a controlled environment with CGI? However, planning ahead of time before production, as is/ was with mechanical special effects, is still a major factor to consider for any special effects supervisor.

    Growing Trend for the Indies

    Affordable CGI software programs offer independent filmmakers, studios and animators the components to produce special effects and animations for their productions. In addition, new outlets which are geared toward the independent filmmaker, such as the many countless numbers of film festivals and online distributors, have mushroomed in only the past decade. Digital technology is a great benefactor for this trend aimed toward the indies!