In the wake of Sunday’s Academy Awards where movies using CGI like Gravity and Frozen were big winners, our lunch bit is “The Illusions” from Lev Manovich’s influential The Language of New Media. In “The Illusions”, Manovich critiqued the shift from traditional cinematography to usage of computers to generate images used in films. According to Manovich, this is important in New Media studies because before the wide spread usage of computers in films, one looked at an image and judged it on its appearance—how real it looked, but with new media the paradigms for judgment of illusions have changed. Here’s what he has to say about the expansion of analysis of this new technology:
Today, while still useful, the traditional analysis of visual illusionism needs to be supplemented by new theories. The reason is that the reality effect in many areas of new media only partially depends on an image’s appearance. Such areas of new media as computer games, motion simulators, virtual worlds, and VR, in particular, exemplify how computer-based illusionism functions differently. Rather than utilizing the single dimensions of visual fidelity, the construct the reality effect on a number of dimensions, of which visual fidelity is but one.