What is CGI?

CGI can refer to:

Common Gateway Interface

Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is an interface specification for transferring information between WWW servers and external databases and information sources known as CGI programs (sometimes referred to as CGI scripts). The specifics of how the script is executed is determined by the server. A CGI program is any program designed to accept and return data that conforms to the CGI specification and is the most common way for web servers to interact dynamically with users.

For example, when a user fills out a form on a Web page and submits it, it needs to be processed by an application program. The Web server passes the form information to a small application program that then processes the data and sends a confirmation message back. This passing of data back and forth between the server and application is the CGI. It’s a mechanism that is part of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

A disadvantage of CGI is that a new process is started each time a CGI script is executed. For busy websites, this can noticeably slow down the server. Using the server’s API, such as ISAPI or NSAPI, can be more efficient but difficult to implement. Another popular solution is using Java’s servlets.

Computer-generated imagery

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) is the creation of still or animated visual content with computer software. Computer graphics are used to create images in art, printed media, video games, films, television, commercials, and simulators. These images can be dynamic or static, two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D). CGI is most commonly used to refer to 3D computer graphics used to create characters, scenes, and special effects in films and games.

CGI is cheaper than using physical methods for creating effects such as hiring extras for crowd scenes and constructing complicated miniatures. In some circumstances, it’s humanly impossible to create the visuals needed without CGI.

Well-known movies that have extensive CGI use include:

  • Avatar (2009)
  • Jurassic Park (1993)
  • Star Wars (1977)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • King Kong (2005)
  • Interstellar (2014)
  • Inception (2010)
Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes
Abby Dykes is a newly-graduated writer and editor for websites such as TechnologyAdvice.com, Webopedia.com, and Project-Management.com. When she’s not writing about technology, she enjoys giving too many treats to her dog and coaching part-time at her local gym.

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