TheCGBros CGInsider Newsletter

Editor's Note

So, let’s talk about two big things that are on the minds of writers and actors in Hollywood these days. First off, there’s a decline of wages and residuals within the streaming ecosystem. Residuals are those payments that writers and actors used to receive when their shows were rerun or syndicated. They were a reliable source of income in the past, but with the rise of streaming services, those payments have significantly decreased.

For instance, a writer on a primetime show could earn around $25,000 for a single rerun on a traditional network like ABC. However, if the show is on Netflix or HBO Max, that residual payment could drop to less than $20,000 or even as low as $13,000. And it’s not just the amounts that have shrunk; the number of residuals paid out has also gone down over the years as streaming services have changed the way they produce and release content.

On the other side of the coin, we have the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in Hollywood. AI technologies have disrupted numerous industries, and the film industry is no exception. AI is bringing in unprecedented transformation, enabling filmmakers to do things that were once unimaginable.

However, writers and actors often view AI as a threat. They fear a loss of authenticity and individuality in storytelling and performances. AI may be great with computations, but it can’t truly emulate the depth and complexity of human emotions and experiences, which are essential in creative work. Moreover, there are legitimate concerns about job displacement as AI technologies continue to advance, with the possibility of AI-written scripts or AI-simulated performances replacing human talent.

The different perspectives on AI in Hollywood have added to the complexity of ongoing negotiations and strikes. While the Directors Guild of America (DGA) has reached agreements with the studios, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are facing challenges due to their concerns about residuals and AI.

As Hollywood continues to navigate the implications of AI, finding a balance among these perspectives is essential. This issue of residuals and AI is shaping up to be a significant challenge for the industry. The transformation brought about by AI is undeniable, and it’s something that everyone involved in Hollywood acknowledges.

With so much at stake for all parties, one would hope that the studios and producers can find common ground with the writers and actors who breathe life into the onscreen dreams we all love. The issue of residuals and AI is a critical one, and despite the current challenges, it’s an important time for Hollywood to address these concerns and set a generational precedent for the future of the industry.

"Virtual Humans Are Taking Over"

This month in TheCGInsider Newsletter- August 2023: We’re taking a look at how the rise of Virtual Humans and how they are beginning to impact all forms of communication!

Digital Avatars: At Your Service.

Virtual humans powered by AI technology sounds like something straight out of science fiction, right? Well, believe it or not, this futuristic concept is becoming a reality. These digital avatars are not just a fancy idea; they have the potential to completely transform how we interact with technology and with each other. From handling customer service queries to providing therapy sessions to enhancing our entertainment experiences, virtual humans are poised to make a significant impact on various aspects of our lives. In this article, let’s dive deeper into the exciting possibilities of using virtual humans and explore the pros and cons of each use case.

Let’s start with one of the most practical applications of virtual humans: customer service. Have you ever been on a website, desperately seeking answers to your questions, and waited forever to connect with a live customer service representative? Enter AI-powered virtual assistants, which can provide quick and accurate responses to your inquiries, saving you both time and frustration.

For companies, this means cutting down on the need for a large customer support team, translating into significant cost savings. However, not everyone is a fan of virtual assistants. Some people prefer the human touch, finding comfort in speaking with a real person who can understand their concerns and emotions. Moreover, virtual assistants may not always grasp complex or unique inquiries, leading to potential frustrations for users.

You Can Talk To Me.

Beyond the realm of customer service, virtual humans also hold promise in the field of therapy and mental health. Imagine having a digital counselor available 24/7, ready to lend a listening ear and offer support. Virtual humans can be programmed to provide guidance and assistance to individuals dealing with mental health issues, providing a lifeline to those who may otherwise struggle to access traditional therapy. Moreover, they can simulate real-life social interactions, making it easier for people with social anxiety or related conditions to practice and improve their social skills.

However, while virtual therapy has its advantages, it may not be for everyone. Some individuals may find it less engaging or effective than face-to-face therapy sessions with human therapists. There are also valid concerns about virtual humans potentially replacing real therapists, raising ethical questions about the level of care and empathy that a digital avatar can truly provide.

The Ethics of Using Digital Doubles.

And let’s not forget the wonderful world of entertainment because as we’ve seen it’s also another exciting avenue where virtual humans are beginning to shine. In the realm of gaming, these AI-powered avatars can elevate the experience to new heights. Imagine playing a video game where your interactions with characters are so realistic that it feels like you’re in a movie. Virtual humans can also take the stage in movies and TV shows, bringing to life characters in ways that were once unimaginable.

While this promises to create more immersive entertainment experiences, some might find the realism of virtual humans to be unsettling or even disturbing. Additionally, there is the concern that this technology could replace human actors, leading to potential job displacement in the entertainment industry.

What About The Future?

Virtual humans powered by AI technology are on the cusp of transforming various aspects of our lives, ranging from customer service to therapy to entertainment. The potential advantages of using virtual humans are vast, from providing efficient customer support to offering accessible mental health resources and enhancing our entertainment experiences.

However, as with any emerging technology, there are valid concerns and challenges to address. Ensuring that virtual humans are used ethically and responsibly is of paramount importance. As we embrace this technology, let’s remember that its purpose should be to complement and enhance human life, not replace it. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, can we harness the potential of virtual humans to create a brighter and more inclusive future for all?

Let us know what you think at! If you found this information interesting or valuable, please be sure to “spread the word” and pass this newsletter along to your friends and colleagues. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising 🙂 Don’t miss next month’s issue of the CGInsider newsletter, where we’ll be discussing the “12 Rules Of Animation” and how to use them to your advantage  You don’t want to miss it! 

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"Pee Time" - by Amanda Lam

TheCGBros Presents “Pee Time” – by Amanda Lam – Pee Time is a CG short film centered around Chad’s nightly escapades to the washroom. Throughout his journey, Chad must engage in combat against shadowy monsters that seek to thwart his mission, his pee pee time in the washroom.

Runners up:

"The Soldier"
by Dom Fred Films

"Birds of A Feather" - by Varad Bhamburdekar + Ringling

News Articles "On the Edge"

Inflection Mickey
Hollywood's Inflection Point -
Harrison Ford
Dial of Destiny Featurette - Befores & Afters

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TheCGBros CGInsider Podcast

Relevant, Trending and Cool Insight - New Episodes Weekly!

This year, after encouragement from fans and consistent with our mission to provide our members relevant and quality content, we launched our own Podcast: TheCGBros CGInsider Podcast. In it, we’ll be answering many questions that our fans have been asking. We will also discuss trends and relevant topics about computer graphics imagery, jobs in the video industry, animation, gaming, and much more. Check it out!

Upcoming Podcasts:

This Month’s Schedule:

  • 2331 – 08/01/23 What Is Deep Compositing?
  • 2332 – 08/08/23 How We Select A CGI Short For TheCGBros?
  • 2333 – 08/15/23 What Is Matchmoving?
  • 2334 – 08/22/23 What is Skeuomorphism?
  • 2335 – 08/29/23 What Makes VFX Breakdowns So Interesting?

Next Month’s Schedule:

  • 2336 – 09/05/23 How Is Photogrammetry Used In CGI?
  • 2337 – 09/12/23 How Is Simulation Used In Character Animation?
  • 2338 – 09/19/23 How Is Rendering Used In CGI?
  • 2339 – 09/26/23 How Are 3D Scans Used In CGI?