Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the creation of still and moving images and visual effects using computer hardware and software. CGI artists create characters, environments, objects, special effects and locations, both real and imagined. Although CGI encompasses many specialties in computer graphics, 2-D and 3-D animation and special effects, the term is most often used to refer to 3-D animations created for television, video games and film.
Many multimedia artists and animators, including CGI artists, are self-employed and therefore must spend time finding work. Although they might work long hours to meet deadlines, they often work from home or other convenient locations.
Many positions require professional experience. New artists or graduates may have to accept assistant-level positions to obtain the necessary on-the-job experience to advance. This field also has many freelance opportunities available, allowing artists to commission CGI art for experience and a contract fee.
- Volunteer locally. Volunteering to perform CGI work for schools or other nonprofit organizations can provide valuable experience. Additionally, cable access stations may seek volunteers to provide programming and production services, which can be included in an artist’s portfolio.