Computer Graphic Imagery, or CGI, is a term that covers a number of different digital technologies these days. Even simple 2D Digital Compositing and Image Processing are referred to as CGI by many, due to the platform on which it is executed. In a purest sense, however, it really refers to images that have originated in the computer, not those that have merely been manipulated by it. Specifically, objects that have been modeled, animated or simulated and rendered in a virtual (computer) environment.

Having said that, I generally use CGI as a final solution when all other solutions fail to meet the callenge. If I can get something in camera, then I try to get it that way first. But when other traditional techniques won't cut it, CGI is usually a great way to get it.

Over the last 26 years, I have managed to work with many of the best CGI houses around the globe. From smaller boutiques, like Trixter and Pixel Playground, to medium sized shops like Scanline, Rising Sun Pictures, Pixomondo and Hydraulx, all the way up to major industry powerhouses like Digital Domain, Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore, Moving Picture Company and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Each of these places offers a unique environment based on the artists, hardware and software that reside there. No two shops are alike in that regard and individual projects may fare better at one shop or another. I maintain excellent working relationships with all the CGI houses listed above.....and quite a few more.

Whether it's a simple ball rollling across the floor, or a complex character animation with photo-realistic rendering, CGI is a huge tool box whose boundaries I continue to stretch and exploit. All it really takes is an accute understanding of light, motion, time and space......and lots of patience....

Oh yes, of course, money is a factor, too.....

Video #1:From the Motion Picture "GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra"- We photographed a Live Action plate for these Backgrounds, then added a Digital Double of Scarlet riding a Digital Motorcycle - and lots of extra cars on the road. Excellent CGI and Compositing by Digital Domain.

Video #2:From the Motion Picture "Poseidon"- Full 3D ship & environement - with a bit of Live Action comp'ed into the shot in two places. The shot is far too complex to describe in detail here, but suffice it to say that it took nearly a year to complete. Expertly done by ILM.

Video #3:From the Motion Picture "Pushing Tin" - The  SpaceCam triple Gyro-stablized camera platform, nose-mounted on a Twin-Star helicopter was used to photograph the aerial backgrounds for this and several other shots in the film. Extensive tracking in 3D and 2D was done to accurately place the aircraft into the environment. 3D aircraft and compositing brilliantly done by BlueSky/VIFX (since folded into Rhythm and Hues).

 Video #4:From the Motion Picture "Swordfish."- This shot took months to pre-vis and test. We spent four days photographing over sixty-five 6K film elements using a combination of film and still cameras. It took nearly 8 months of post production to complete the shot. Far too complex to describe in detail here, but it remains the hardest single shot I've ever designed and executed. An amazing job, painstakeingly done by Frantic Films (since folded into Prime Focus).

Video #5:From the Motion Picture "Speed"- The1/8th scale Miniature is an 85' long shaft built and staged by Grant McCune Designs. Motion Controlled camera booms, with Vista Vision cameras were used to photograph the inside of the shaft.Miniature Photography and excellent CGI Wench, Cable and Compositing by Sony Pictures Imageworks.

© 2014 Boyd Shermis Visual Effects, Inc .