Can CGI Prove To Be Overexposed?

By Rebecca Mills

What is it that can be said about CGI in terms of what it can add to a production? It's a tool that I am sure filmmakers wished that they had several decades ago, since it is able to add new elements to films that they wouldn't have been able to possess before. From more dynamic landscapes to visually interesting characters, CGI is prominent and it shows no signs of going away anytime soon. With that said, though, is it possible that CGI is becoming over-saturated?

On the surface, this appears to be the case. It's interesting because CGI is almost like the film and TV equivalent of the seasons changing; it's just something that we have come to expect. When we see impressive visuals like Iron Man, in the third movie of his trilogy, descending from the sky in order to save a number of civilians, we don't say, "Look at how fake this appears." CGI is involved but it's incorporated in such a way that we don't try to search for a wizard behind the curtain.

I liken CGI to almost like whipped cream atop an ice cream sundae, which makes sense. Whipped cream, while a special addition to the dessert itself, should not exactly be the focus of the dessert in question. When there is too much proverbial whipped cream as far as movies are concerned, that's when problems may arise. CGI has had many instances where it comes across as looking phony when it was not going for that effect. It wanted to immerse you but, for some reason or another, failed to do so.

It's easy to say that CGI is oftentimes utilized poorly, even now when it's been around for a number of years. For example, upon watching the first "Twilight" movie, I did not care for many of the visuals. At first, the paler colors were interesting, as I thought they added to the somber atmosphere of the film in general. However, once the CGI werewolves made their presence, I found myself taken out of the experience. Yes, werewolves are creations of fiction but the movie-going audience should not be made aware of this.

If "Twilight" wanted to be self-aware, I would have understood this but this was not the case. This is an example of CGI not being utilized to its fullest, or even halfway, which is a crime when considering that there are films which are able to use it amazingly. There are many CGI-related effects that can come across as fake, regardless of how good a particular film or television show is. Hopefully, in time, more film creators and studios will be able to incorporate CGI to where it no longer appears overly synthetic.

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