Computer-generated imagery (CGI) ( /siːʤiːˈʌɪ/) is the application of computer graphics to create or contribute to images in art, printed media, video games, films, television programs, commercials, and simulators.
The visual scenes may be dynamic or static, and may be two-dimensional (2D), though the term "CGI" is most commonly used to refer to 3D computer graphics used for creating scenes or special effects in films and television. They can also be used by a home user and edited together on programs such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
The term computer animation refers to dynamic CGI rendered as a movie. The term virtual world refers to agent-based, interactive environments. Computer graphics software is used to make computer-generated imagery for films, etc. Availability of CGI software and increased computer speeds have allowed individual artists and small companies to produce professional-grade films, games, and fine art from their home computers. This has brought about an Internet subculture with its own set of global celebrities, clichés, and technical vocabulary. The evolution of CGI led to the emergence of virtual cinematography in the 1990s where runs of the simulated camera are not constricted by the laws of physics.