Photorealistic Animation

I think we are on the verge of surpassing the what animators term as the ‘uncanny valley’:

For many years now, animators have come up against a barrier known as “uncanny valley”, which refers to how, as a computer-generated face approaches human likeness, it begins take on a corpse-like appearance similar to that in some horror films.

As a result, computer game animators have purposely simplified their creations so that the players realise immediately that the figures are not real.

The animation above is being done by Image Metrics (who are behind popular computer/video game Grand Theft Auto). We’re still not able to do this on-the-fly. Massive amounts of computations are required to calculate and control every little movement – every little twitch of the eye, the sneer, the muscles that contracts under the skin, etc.

But with chip technologies and architecture developing, it’s certainly not a pipe-dream to envision some day in the very near future where this becomes common place. What does it mean for us in the real world when we cannot distinguish the real from the fake? At a massive, ubiquitous level?

Really amazing animation – check out Times Online for a more comprehensive article.


4 comments so far

  1. Stephen Hill on

    Wow! This is truly amazing. It mustn’t be long until an entire film is made from photorealistic people.

  2. joshuacreative on

    Finally! Instead of complaining how bad today’s actors are we can just make new ones.

  3. Gems Sty on

    Haha, and complain instead how bad the animators are? 😛

  4. joe on

    amazing to someone with no understanding of this technology. this is nothing more than a traced face performance of a REAL actor face onto the video performance of the SAME REAL ACTOR body. by no means has the uncanny manner being surpasssed

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