A05- Computer graphics- Reach and scope
Q: Can you tell me where exactly the CG is used?
Yes, lets see how far its being used, the scope of CG.
1. Films/ TV ads etc.
- Jurassic Park
- Toy Story
- A Bug’s Life
- The Matrix
Films are the biggest market for computer graphics. Following Hollywood, CG is widely used in India too. Use of 3D graphics is very popular in making special effects, virtual characters, digital sets. Many of the advertisements today are developed using 3D techniques. This sector is so big that we can keep on talking for hours. We will know it better while we use it for our short film.
2. 3D games.
- First person game
- Strategy Game
- Racing Game
Most of the old games are coming back in 3D platform now. This 3D game technique is also called ‘Interactive 3D’ or ‘Real time’ 3D’. The primary difference between a film and an interactive show, is that in the film, the user can not participate so to say. But in case of an interactive game, for an example, we take part in it and play a role.
Q: Yes, both of these fields, I think, are the most popular fields.
The use of computer animation, reaches much beyond these two. Lets see few more sectors-
Visual medium can effectively be used to explain complex subjects. 3D animation is often used to make difficult topics easy to understand, just like teacher use slide shows or charts to aid the training. Very good training materials can be developed for subjects from languages, mathematics, geography or chemistry upto engineering, mechanics, scientific analysis.
In many cases, showing practical examples to students becomes very difficult or impossible. e.g. if we want to show, how a car engine works or what exactly happens inside it. It will be really impossible to show its working in real life. We can not look inside the engine whilst it is running, right? (Because, at-least today a running transparent engine is not available :-))
Take one more example of engineering. Most of the engineering students find it difficult to learn the working of complex mechanisms like Universal coupling, Differential Gears. Even students of Biology, medical science etc too find it difficult to visualise. The figures in textbooks cannot make them understand the motions of complex phenomenons. In all such cases audio-visual medium is the most useful medium.
4. Case studies:
We always see 3D graphics used in news channels. The weather forecasts, satellite maps are often shown using such graphics. Even road traffic analysis, accident case studies are best explained using simulated 3D visuals. Construction of big bridges, dams or structure can too be pre visualised in such way.
Q: Yes, we see it almost daily, but seldom know the technology behind it.
5. Architectural and Engineering:
- Architecture/ Interiors
- Factory Process
- Plant Design
This field is rapidly becoming popular as a career option nowadays. Here, 3D graphics is used to pre-visualise, study and present the designs done by architects or engineers.
In case of architecture, the concept designs of buildings and structural can be easily conveyed through photorealistic graphics. 3D Graphics can even be used to study and evaluate room illumination, better position of lights, etc. And in engineering, it can be used to show and explain complete factory operations, processes visually. It is widely used to demonstrate the working of machines. Personally, I am very much involved in these fields, for more than a decade.
- Product Design
Simulation is another advanced process of 3D graphics. Used mainly for scientific and technical analysis, this can be classified into two main groups. One is kinetic and other is kinematic. In kinetic simulations the motion of object is achieved by complex mathematical and physics calculations like mass, volume, density, centre of gravity and it goes even upto finer particle’s level. And very detailed study is done to evaluate
and analyse the objects motion. Naturally using engineering or CAD/CAM softwares is more appropriate for kinetic type of simulations. On the other hand in kinematic simulations we ignore the intricate physical properties of objects such as mass, weights etc and the simulation is done. This type is very useful for non scientific purposes where accuracy of motion is not so much important than the feel of it.
Although, most of the current 3D animation softwares can be used for both types of simulation up to a certain level. But these are more appropriate for kinematic type simulations. 3D graphics is effectively used to visually explain many subjects, to visually study the timing and movements of machine parts etc. We will have a look at this type in our later talks.