The Role of Computer Graphics in Documentary Film Production

Authors: Miao Song

35 pages; 7 figures; an April 2009 research paper

Abstract: We discuss a topic on the role of computer graphics in the production of documentaries, which is often ignored in favor of other topics. Typically, except for some rare occasions, documentary producers and computer scientists or digital artists that do computer graphics are relatively far apart in their domains and rarely intercommunicate to have a joint production; yet it happens, and perhaps more so in the present and the future. We attempt to classify the documentaries on the amount and techniques of computer graphics used for documentaries. We come up with the initial categories such as "plain" (no graphics), "in-between", "all-out" -- nearly 100% of the documentary consisting of computer-generated imagery. Computer graphics can be used to enhance the scenery, fill in the gaps in the missing storyline pieces, or animate between scenes. It can incorporate stereoscopic effects for higher viewer impression as well as interactivity aspects. It can also be used simply in old archived image and film restoration.

Submitted to arXiv on 04 Jan. 2011

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