The strange power of CGI explored in a strangely powerful CGI video


1 Like

Rene Magritte would have loved this video.

That’s fascinating. I always get to thinking about what it is about CGI that makes it look so… fake. In this case, there are obvious clues, such as the parquet floor with exactly the same grain patterns in every fourth square. But there’s something else… I think it’s that we can subconsciously detect the imperfections of a real object - the difference between an algorithmically straight line and a straight line produced on a saw in real wood which has aged many decades and warped to the slightest degree.

tl;dr it’s too perfect.


tl:dr The uncanny valley.

Yeah, I know some people argue that such thing doesn’t exists, but hell if doesn’t freaks out me!

Usually can’t see through 1 minutes of CGI animation. But this held my attention.
I suspect it’s the excellent audio design.

I just took a shower in my 1946 bathroom that was obviously tiled by someone with less than 10,000 hours of experience. It has tons of imperfections that I’ve never seen captured accurately in a CGI rendering. Every grout joint is different. Every tile itself is slightly different. The tiles are skewed by small, random amounts in all six axes. One corner gets narrower at the top - I have no idea what was wrong with the underlying wall to cause that.

CGI that, EA!

This is some horrible CGI.

I’m not one to complain about terrible CGI but since this is showing off the power of CGI I fear it’s only going to empower people who constantly bitch about it.

It’s like taking everything that looks bad about CGI and polishing.


I wonder what Buñuel and Dali could have done with CGI. I want to see a resurgence of surrealism, which could mine the Uncanny Valley instead of falling into it.


It’s the way a plasterer plasters generally. Most walls have a bow in the centre because of the ‘arc’ of a quick plaster job.

Loved the CG. The audio track certainly helped it along nicely.

I didn’t care for it from a technical point of view either, but I kept watching because the weird things going on were visually interesting.

For me, that’s the power of CG. It often falls short when attempting to replicate reality, but it makes for compelling viewing when it’s used to simulate things which would otherwise be impossible to show.

1 Like

I know this is will be blown off as a rant, but please use the correct acronym. It is CG. Not CGI. Granted the misuse is long established, us old farts bitch about it constantly and nobody listens to us, but… please?

Remember, “Graphics Imagery” is redundant. And saying CGI Imagery is worse as you’re saying Computer Graphics Imagery Imagery. Really? Now you see why this makes people crazy. d(o.o)

I especially liked the seraphim-like object you used for the intro image. You really get the idea of a higher-dimensional being intersecting with our 4D world.

Aside from that (nag, nag) some of the shaders were fairly inaesthetic, particularly the shiny wall panels and fireplace. Meh on those, but a thumbs up for the imaginative work.

I always understood CGI to mean “Computer Generated Imagery”. Wikipedia agrees.


I’d like to see the “zoo” scene from Kubrick’s and Clarke’s 2001 done up as state of the art CGI–the perfect lifeless simulacrum.

Agreed; this is middle-of-the-road architectural visualization-quality CG. And while it certainly has something to say, I thought it repeated itself a bit much and didn’t take the implications as far as it could have.

CG came first, CGI was a misuse and the revisionist “definition” came later to clean-up the mess. Like I said us old farts still hold a grudge on this. =D

CGI always has and still stands for Common Gateway Interface in my book.

But, technically, CG and CGI are initialisms, not acronyms.


I don’t agree. As I recall we commonly called it CGI in Manhattan in the early 80s while CG had already taken hold on the west coast.

To me what makes this video odd is that the light transport algorithms are sophisticated, as they are in Maxwell or V-Ray, but the material definitions are lazy, perhaps intentionally so.

I nominate this video for “Calibration mode” for Matrix 1.0. See you in the vats.