What does CG Stand For? If you’ve spent any amount of time near film, TV, and media, you’ve probably heard the term thrown around, and you might even have a loose understanding of what it means.
Today we’re going to be telling you what CG stands for and some examples of it. We will also be discussing the history of the term and some different meanings it has had in the past.
What Does CG Stand For In 2018?
First, a quick answer to your question before we dive a bit deeper into its origins.
Today, the term “CG” is most widely used as an abbreviation of the acronym CGI. CGI stands for Computer-Generated Imagery, a term used to refer to all of the special visual effects (VFX) created using computers to enhance the look of a live action or animated film.
Therefore, CG would mean just “Computer Graphics” or “Computer Generated (Imagery)”.
If you’ve been to the movies at all in the last decade, you have definitely seen CG in some shape or form – even in ways you wouldn’t expect. While your first instinct might be to think of Thanos or Smaug, CGI contributes a lot more than just animated characters.
It’s used to create particle effects, duplicate actors to simulate larch crowds, and even remove undesired elements from the frame. In recent times, over 3 million dollars was even spent to remove Henry Cavill’s Mustache. So yes, even a bare upper lip can qualify as CGI in this age.
So, if you’ve heard the term used any time in the last 5-15 years, that would almost always be the proper meaning. However, just a few years before that it could sometimes have a slightly different interpretation.
What Did CG Mean In Prior To The Early 2000s?
Before the era of everyone having the tools to create professional grade content, creating simple titles was a process that required a large investment in dedicated hardware.
A device that could produce these titles and key them into a video feed was called a CG or Character Generator.
Character Generators were used primarily for things like credit rolls, name tags, sports scoreboards and news crawls, as well as graphics and logos as the hardware became more sophisticated.
Before character generators were available, productions achieved a similar effect by shooting a secondary video feed with physical titles shot against a black background. This process is also where we got the now-common film term “Keying” – in reference to a space in the shape of the letters being cut out like a keyhole.
As the technology progressed, things like motion graphics and advanced animations became possible. The difference between “Character Generator” and “Computer Graphics” has been becoming progressively smaller.
In this day and age, we use tools like Adobe Premiere, After effects, Illustrator and Photoshop to create the graphics that are displayed on screen. While the graphics these programs add qualify as “Computer Generated Imagery”, they are also, in a way, our modern “Character Generators”.