Is CGI Becoming a Burden for the Film Industry?

The CGI movie effects used to be the inn thing and provided a sort of turning point in the movie world. However, with some developments in the area, it seems to have become overbearing and overused in the movie world. This article looks into the claim by some critiques that CGI movie effects are turning into a problem for the movie industry.

Discussions about the place of the CGI movie effects in the present day movie industry are becoming louder by the day. This is because people are actually divided between the place, benefit, and downsides of the movie special effects. Now, this is a concept that people cherished so much upon its arrival. But just as it is with almost every human discovery, the overuse of the special effects app is turning into a problem for the film industry, and many people are calling for regulations.

Now, some of the movies that had very huge CGI movie effects on them came out great and raked in millions of dollars plus a huge public appeal. But some others have also witnessed failures that got tongues wagging. For instance, the movie called Valerian and The City of Thousand Planets is a science fiction movie that cost more than $200 million to produce.

However, the movie did not make it big. In fact, it is currently described as the biggest box office flop. This is attributed by many critiques to the overuse of CGI movie effects, and it has resurrected the debate on whether CGI has turned into a burden for the movie industry.

A look at the development of CGI

It was in the 1970s that the use of computer animation arrived. At this time, the use of 3D layering to craft pieces of animations and visual effects was in vogue. The present-day use of an avalanche of filming effects stemmed from the work of Fred Park and Ed Catmull, the founders of Pixar. They did the first digital rendering of 3D hand with technology in 1972 and you may know more about it here

However, the computer-generated film effects did not make any giant stride until 1993 when the first trailblazer movie arrived. This happened with the live looking dinosaur in Jurassic Park. It marked the first time a physically textured CGI film is hitting the shelves.

The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park were made to look very realistic on screen, even though they were not, and that came to be after many years of great work. At this time, the strategy was to draw the animals on paper and then scan them into the computer sets. The manipulation and pinpointing of the movement of their hands were then realized with animation software. 

Toy Story 1995

In the mid-1990s, we saw the first case of the use of the CGI movie effects for a full feature. This happened in 1995’s Toy Story. They brought the loved characters of the movie to life with the animations. This was followed by many other movies by Pixar. They include the Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., and the Toy Story sequel. After this, many special effects companies started springing up, with regards to the movie world.

The Game Changing CGI Movie Effects

New grounds were broken and giant strides made in the special effects in films from the year 2000. It got to the extent where the events were recreated in live action films with computer graphics by many technicians.

When the Japanese attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbor was filmed and televised with CGI movie effects, it looked so real. The effects were brought to life with two USS Arizona’s shots and some visual effects. These made the sequence, body simulations and smoke plumes possible.

Pearl Harbor

While the millennium rolled by, films like the Lord of the Rings popped onto our radar. The film used the CGI movie effects in presenting Gollum as a character. Andy Serkis’s movements were completely replaced with those of Gollum. This was done with the help of artificial intelligence and animations.


But the latest turning point in answering the question, ‘how has CGI changed the film industry,’ is the facial capture that was discovered in 2009. This effect combines with the motion capture to make the capturing and rendering of facial expression possible. This was hugely used in the movie Avatar in 2009, and people were awed by it.

The Downsides of CGI Movie Effects on the Film Industry

With the flop of the Valerian and some other CGI effects movies before it, questions are now being asked as to whether things are being done excessively. The story of Valerian centered on the social interaction between indigenous aliens and their human colonizers.


It is a wonderful tale but was marred by the CGI effects overuse. The effects tried to convey the ideas of the filmmaker.  For many people, the overuse is a complete affront on realism in movies. Many see it as signifying the downfall of realism. When acting performances are downgraded, while the green screen is upgraded, such failures are bound to happen. 

One more expert said that when the virtual techniques and digital technologies are overused, film directors become overly lazy. This is to tell you that this has practically affected every aspect of movie making.

With it, directors will no longer have to push themselves to become the best. Now, while this technology helps in saving money, movies become unrealistic. Movies are inundated by magnificent infrastructure, landscape, and large crowds that don’t seem real at all. In most cases, they make movies look lifeless. The real attachment between the actors and the physical location is completely eroded.

One thing you must understand is that the good practical effect will always trump even the best of CGI effects. Take the instant bread scene in the movie The Force Awakens for instance. So, while the CGI effects and the practical effects are good filmmaking tools, the use of CGI effects in movies must not be abused. In some movies, this comes out very good, while in some, it becomes very unnecessary.

For instance, no one could have imagined doing the Spider-Man flying stunts along with skyscrapers in New York with practical effects. CGI did a perfect job there. But this may not be said in other CGI movies. So, there must be checks on the use of these special effects before it becomes too much of a burden to the film industry.

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Joshua Sherman

I'm one of the most widely known writers that specialize in technology. I've written many other informative articles, I mostly write about technology. Apart from being an excellent writer, I love traveling, playing games, watching TV and meeting new people from anywhere in the world.

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