The TECHNOLOGY behind computer generated imagery is amazing! Oftentimes I ask myself is that real or CG? There are so many different computer programs out there to create such imagery, however, for this post I will focus on one of the programs that I have had quite a bit of experience using to give you the basic idea of CG imagery-Autodesk’s 3ds max. It’s a great program for modeling, texturing, lighting, and animating. In this program you are able to take primitive objects (such as a square, cone, or sphere) and pretty much change it into anything you would want. Using deforming tools (scale, rotate, shift) you are able to manipulate the object’s vertices, edges, and faces and using other modifiers (bend, squeeze, smooth, and stretch) affect the overall appearance of an object. It’s digital sculpting! Once you have the shape modeled you are able to apply various textures to its surface to make it more life-like. Once this is done or during this process you can add lighting to bring out the form of the object (true lighting, in my opinion, is what can make your image really come to life). Tell the program to “take a picture of the scene” or “render” and hopefully only a few minutes later you’ll have your CG image.
Go to this link to see if you can tell the difference between a photo and a CG image: http://area.autodesk.com/index.php/fakeorfoto/