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Realistic Human Graphics Look Creepy

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the talking-heads dept.

Graphics 650

WellHungMonkey writes "A really interesting read on Slate about how realistic human faces in games and on robots and so on, are not necessarily the way to go -- the brain isn't fooled, it attaches itself easier to Snoopy-like simplicity... Or Lara Croft attributes, but I'm not sure that's the brain talking."

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fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387089)

fp yeah! my first post on /. too

Well... (-1, Offtopic)

charlos (775798) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387099)

This is a test! :)

Offtopic: SCO Group Reports 2Q Net Loss (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387103)

The SCO Group, Inc. today reported [sco.com] revenue of $10,137,000 for the quarter ended April 30, 2004. While current quarter revenue is down from revenue of $21,369,000 from the comparable period of the prior year, this is primarily the result of a lack of SCOsource licensing revenue. SCOsource revenue was $8,250,000 in the second quarter of fiscal year 2003. Revenue for the first two quarters of fiscal year 2004 was $21,529,000 compared to revenue for the first two quarters of fiscal year 2003 of $34,909,000.

Conference Call

As previously announced, we will host a conference call at 11:00 a.m. EDT today, June 10, 2004, to discuss our second quarter 2004 results. To participate in the teleconference, please call (800) 795-1259 or (785) 832-0326, confirmation code 431766, approximately five minutes prior to the time stated above.

Curve (5, Insightful)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387107)

While simplicity is good, as far as mental-recognition goes, taking simplicity to the max is a bad idea, especially when we have the technology to produce quality-driven graphics. You have to stay around the current level of production quality or you will lose audience. A good example of over-simplification for graphics is demonstrated by the terrible reviews [avault.com] given Radical's [radical.ca] unsightly (cell shaded) The Hulk PS2 game. [radical.ca] So there's subject matter to consider, as The Hulk was a kind of wacky cartoon/comic, but there was always a darker side to it for me. I was disappointed with the semi-recent Hulk movie, but does that mean the game had to suck too?

For me, a balance of player control with appealing storyline is critical to any video game, and the lack of plausible graphics never helps. Perhaps this could be graphed on a curve or something, but I truly believe there is a balance between all elements of any game or CG film for that matter. Even in film there is still a kind of gameplay, in the physics used and the modes of operations designed to portray the story. Compelling writing fuels the arts, not parlor tricks, so this subject is not exactly cut and dry, by any means... it's very subjective and taste-driven. Another thing to consider is the date that media is designed, because we can all look back at early animation or even live-action special effects and think it looks fake, and the stuff created today will look fake tomorrow. Is there a ceiling to special effects?

Re:Curve (2, Funny)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387186)

I love simplicity... the www.roflcopter.com flash game proves that you dont need complexity to have a fun game.

Re:Curve (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387210)

> I was disappointed with the semi-recent Hulk movie, but does that mean the game
> had to suck too?

Yeah, they unfortunately planned that at a board meeting. A minority of the execs thought about making both good, then they tried to compromise on bad movie good game, then the CEO said "fuck it, they will both suck." And all the yes-men in the room agreed.

Mod Parent Up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387284)

Oh shit I spat cornflakes out of my nose when I read that!!!

I don't care how realistic the figures look... (5, Funny)

miroth (611718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387110)

...as long as the blood spatters are lifelike when I blow their heads off.

Re:I don't care how realistic the figures look... (4, Funny)

greechneb (574646) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387227)

And how do you know what realistic splatters look like?.... nevermind, I don't want to know.

Re:I don't care how realistic the figures look... (5, Interesting)

mrwonton (456172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387285)

This actually brings up a good point. Games like Postal 2 [gopostal.com] are full of brutal and bloody violence. In the article, Clive Thompson says the characters in games look like "animated corpse(s)." I for one would rather be brutally killing things that may try to be realistic, but are obviously not, than ones that actually come closer to fooling us into believing they're human.

Re:I don't care how realistic the figures look... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387324)

More blood!!! More blood!!!

Re:I don't care how realistic the figures look... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387380)

This would not be so funny if you have actually ever been in combat and seen just this thing happen. I've seen my share of combat, but stuff like this is disturbing as Hell and sticks with you for the rest of your life. In computer games, you are looking at vectors, wire frames, Gourard shading etc...etc...etc..., but the real life that you are "simulating" in games is represented by brain tissue, blood and human lives.

Semper Fi

Re:I don't care how realistic the figures look... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387452)

You act all macho now, but the only 'blood spatters' you see are when you imagine that your spunk is red, not creamy yellow/white. And blowing heads off is quite an exagerrating. More like just a little dribble onto your feet.

Check out these graphics... (1)

Big Troller (651808) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387111)

Re:Check out these graphics... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387184)

butt head

sorta like... (5, Funny)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387118)

The once-cute robot now looks like an animated corpse. Our warm feelings, which had been rising the more vivid the robot became, abruptly plunge downward.

Michel Ja...uh...Jefferson.

Re:sorta like... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387205)

thats just ignorant... you're all just ignorant

Re:sorta like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387386)

Someone apparently didn't catch AC's reference there.

Yes (1, Insightful)

slow train (683508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387122)

This is very true. Ventriloquist dummies are the worst.

Uncanny Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387123)

Haven't we already discussed the Uncanny Valley before?

Umm. They aren't *that* realistic. (4, Insightful)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387135)

If they were, they wouldn't be creepy. That whole sentence about how the brain knows the difference... doesn't that make them not-so-realistic? I mean, I understand that realism is what they're going for, but the tech isn't there yet. I think we all knew that already.

Re:Umm. They aren't *that* realistic. (5, Insightful)

surreal-maitland (711954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387206)

exactly. they even say that eyes and mouths don't move correctly when the characters speak. the article is very self-contradictory in the sense that it continues to claim that as graphics get more humanlike, they get more creepy, but the creepiness is due to the differences, not the similarities.

but really, are very realistic paintings of people creepy? (and paintings as realistic as photographs *do* exist) no! why? because they're *realistic*.

oh, and the author thinks his roomba is cute because it acts sort of like a *pet*. a very stupid and clean pet, but a pet, not a human.

Re:Umm. They aren't *that* realistic. (4, Insightful)

MyHair (589485) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387455)

but the creepiness is due to the differences, not the similarities

I haven't RTFA, and I took the quote out of context, but that's par for the course.

Actually I think this similarities make the differences more noticable. It's like if you play two musical notes together, but one is a half-note out of tune it sounds incredibly awful...way more awful than if the notes were a quarter-octive apart and one was out of tune by a half note. Or if you're wearing a red shirt and red pants, but they aren't quite the same color red it's very distracting and annoying.

I think as the overall effect looks more realistic the tiny differences sour the effect more than they normally would because instead of our imagination filling in the gaps our perceptions keep warning us something ain't right.

But I'm probably just nitpicking semantics....

Re:Umm. They aren't *that* realistic. (5, Insightful)

haystor (102186) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387336)

That's kind of the point. As they become more realistically human, they require a higher standard for the brain to accept them. The fact is, humans aren't any harder to animate but the brain is much better at noticing the differences. Spaceships look good because the brain doesn't intrinsically recognize the proper shape for a spacehip.

I'm sure that to pilots a lot of the plane animations in Pearl Harbor looked just wrong. If someone drew a dragon with the ears tapered back along the top of the head instead of out to the side would you immediately notice that as wrong? Now draw a human and move any feature around by half and inch and see what a difference it makes.

Re:Umm. They aren't *that* realistic. (2, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387436)

This is slashdot, I'm sure I am not alone in measuring every space ship up against Enterprise.

Shrek (3, Interesting)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387473)

This story reminds me of an interview I read in, I think, Wired about the making of Shrek. They made the princess as realistic as possible, but it was looking like an animated corpse. They said something along the lines of "until we have the ability to cross the last 1% of realism, we need to step back a bit".

Or something.

Ever peed in a cup for a job? (-1, Offtopic)

Marijuana al-Shehi (609113) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387136)

If you have, thank Ronald Reagan, the Best President Ever!!!

The C.L.I.T. owns, but the GNAA writes much better manifestos.

examples? (5, Funny)

nycsubway (79012) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387138)

I'd like to see some examples of these pictures. Sure they are creepy, sometimes people can be fooled though. I had a picture of Aki in a bikini from the Final Fantasy movie on my computer. My girlfriend found it and wanted to know why I had it. She didn't beleive me that it wasn't a real person.

Re:examples? (2, Insightful)

Shinglor (714132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387217)

That is a real person. That model would have been body scanned.

What makes body scanned CG characters so different to a photo of someone?

Re:examples? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387233)

Maybe she just wanted to know why you had a picture of an animated character in a bikini? Maybe she found that a little odd?

Or maybe she's just one of those girls that objects to their SO's having any sort of even vaguely titillating material hanging on their wall, no matter how tame it is. Does she get pissed at you if you glance at other women when you're out together too?

Re:examples? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387469)

Gee, you seem to know so much about girls, you should team up with mercatur [mercatur.net] , because she knows all about boys.

Re:examples? (0, Troll)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387253)

' I'd like to see some examples of these pictures.'

They have one [msn.com] right on the page.

Re:examples? (1)

ruprechtjones (545762) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387302)

How about Shrek 2 (the movie, not the game)? Man, some of those faces freaked me out. At least an ogre and a donkey were there to balance out the creepy human-looking characters...

Re:examples? (4, Interesting)

fireduck (197000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387338)

Interesting that you bring up Aki. I have a silk screened wall hanging of the same image that a friend picked up at E3 several years ago. My feeling about the Final Fantasy movie was that the characters were amazingly life like, *until* they started talking. The animators didn't have a good grasp on (and probably didn't have the technology to model) realistic facial movements They didn't convey a great deal of emotion. No light in their eyes, or any of the other subtle facial clues we look for when talking to someone. Beautiful when rendered static, but wrong and a bit creepy when in action.

I wonder if WETA tried to re-model Gollum as a human how realistic it would be. The technology has clearly advanced to the point where they can pick up many of those subtle clues, but since it was still non-human, I wonder how much of that is our projection of emotion into it.

Re:examples? (4, Informative)

finkployd (12902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387355)

I had a picture of Aki in a bikini from the Final Fantasy movie on my computer. My girlfriend found it and wanted to know why I had it. She didn't beleive me that it wasn't a real person.

In case (like me) you feel the need to find this picture, I think the one the parent poster is talking about is here [game-server.cc]

Finkployd

Re:examples? (5, Interesting)

alnya (513364) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387410)

I find this [raph.com] to be a good example of being "nearly-there".
Didn't Freud talk about this in his examination of the unheimlich? We're freaked out by stuff thats almost-but-not-quite human.

Add your own jokes here

Re:examples? (4, Insightful)

pomakis (323200) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387446)

I'd like to see some examples of these pictures. Sure they are creepy, sometimes people can be fooled though. I had a picture of Aki in a bikini from the Final Fantasy movie on my computer. My girlfriend found it and wanted to know why I had it. She didn't beleive me that it wasn't a real person.

I think that creating a still image realistic enough to fool the human brain is a lot easier than creating an animated image realistic enough to fool the human brain. The article's statement that "Neuroscientists argue that our brains have evolved specific mechanisms for face recognition, because being able to recognize something 'wrong' in someone else's face has long been crucial to survival" is a gross understatement. A considerably large amount of the brain is specifically dedicated to recognizing facial expressions. This includes all of the subtle movements that are involved in facial expressions. It's these subtle movements that are very difficult to artificially animate accurately enough to fool the human brain. That's why the article uses the term "animated corpse". Even something as 'trivial' as a slightly unnatural pertubation of one small cheeckbone twitch is enough to tell the human brain that something is wrong.

Re:examples? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387484)

"I had a picture of Aki in a bikini from the Final Fantasy movie on my computer. My girlfriend found it and wanted to know why I had it."

LOL... yeah, I forgot to turn off that Aki desktop image when my GF came to visit. Fortunately she noticed that Aki actually looks a lot like she does, so I got away with it :).

Realistic Human Graphics? (5, Interesting)

illumina+us (615188) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387140)

If you are refering to games such as UT2k3/UT2k4, Doom III, Deus Ex: Invisible War, etc. I am wondering what you are referring to as realistic human graphics? Since when did human skin look like it was gone over with mop and glo a few times? All new video game engines for some reason or another want to make evey damn thing in the game shiny!

DNF (0, Redundant)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387334)

I think the original article was referring to the release of Duke Nukem Forever - they probably have some wicked graphics that look just like real people...

Here's another take on Dr. Mori's paper... (4, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387143)

...right here [arclight.net] .

There's a bit in there about how Aesop's fables are more effective because he used animals rather than people for his characters... interesting stuff.

Re:Here's another take on Dr. Mori's paper... (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387191)

Er, I should be more clear. The link in the parent post is also contained in the original Slashdot article; just wanted to bring it to the forefront....

Creepy? (1)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387153)

Realistic human graphics? You mean pornography?

Virtual Valerie? (1)

Tree131 (643930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387168)

I think the reverse would be true of the porn games. The more realistic it is, the better....
I've stopped playing games a few years ago, so this is just a hypothetical opinion.

here are the pictures (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387170)

scary pictures in case of slashdot effect

:-)
:-|
:-(

That'd explain... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387173)

This would explain the success Japanese-style anime has. People complain about how the characters have no nose or unrealistic eyes, but it's all symbolic anyways.
Look at the South Park show! The characters are like 3 inches tall, but people watch it for the slapstick humor and such.

Reminds me of another article (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387183)

Also from Slate, about high-definition TV being bad for porn [msn.com] , because it's just too clear. Everything looks better in porn when it's a bit blurry.

Re:Reminds me of another article (5, Funny)

TheLoneCabbage (323135) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387428)


This has got to be the first time in history that a new technology CANT be used for porn!

Mod this up, this is brilliant!

Tux Racer (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387196)

What does this mean for tux-racer? Will hardcore linux advocates be freaked out by his penguin-like qualities?

Robot people (1)

mikael (484) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387199)

I had a look at the paper [arclight.net] , and noticed they didn't include those robot impersonators, which were the really in-thing back in the late 80's/early 90's.

I wonder where which side of the valley the mimes would be placed?

testing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387218)

TESTING. reply if you can read this. i need to know if people can read my post being my frist post and all. testing

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Similar Story on Discovery Channel (2, Interesting)

Sir dies alot (782598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387224)

Just thought I'd point out that the Discovery Channel has done a story on this in the past, specifically when referring to robot appearance. There is an actual graph of how realistic the face is vs the attitude people take towards it. Though I can't seem to find the link, if I remember correctly it rises steadily until a little bit past "75% realistic", at which point it drops to next to nothing until about "97% realistic" in which it rises back to the top. If someone could find a link to this, that would be great. It may also have appeared sometime on TechTV.

I thought the same (2, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387230)

Recently, Ive thought the same thing. I think it ultimately has to do with how they get thier models. A lot of people dont actually realize that these charactors arent just made up from scratch, throwing together millions of polygons, but rather, they take the subject and put them in a precision 3d scanning device which constructs the model for them. At that point, the facial expressions are largely left up to the development team to take care of, and thats where it all falls apart.

This might seem a bit bizaar, but disney's anamatronics, while always looked fake, had UNCANNY mouth movements and facial expressions. They were so on par, to this day I am still amazed... and wonder why no one else can get that close.

Re:I thought the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387288)

"This might seem a bit bizaar, but disney's anamatronics, while always looked fake, had UNCANNY mouth movements and facial expressions. They were so on par, to this day I am still amazed... and wonder why no one else can get that close."

On that note, at Disneyland they have a show called great moments with Mr. Lincoln. There's an animatronic Lincoln on the stage, at sitting about 15 feet away from it the movements are very fluid and lifelike. He even sits and stands in a lifelike manner. Very impressive.

I noticed it in the Dreamcast. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387439)

I first experienced this "these graphics are just good enough to freak me the hell out" effect when playing whatever the flagship basketball game was for the Dreamcast last century. The graphics were great, but the faces and joints looked "off".

The "Uncanny Valley" has appeared on /. before, but who cares?

True of physics engines as well (3, Interesting)

saddino (183491) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387235)

I've read in a number of places that game developers have discovered that the more "real" the physics engine, the less "fun" a game feels. Of course, for simulations, you do want accuracy. But for other games, you want "just the right amount" of realism to envelop the user in a believable environment, but not so much so that it mimics the somewhat boring constraints of real-life.

Re:True of physics engines as well (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387408)

I wanted to put rudimentary FEA in the Quake engine...imagine causing the opposing team's fort to collapse.

Unfortunately, I lacked the programming skills--and still lack the mathematics skills--to do it.

Re:True of physics engines as well (2, Interesting)

kcornia (152859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387430)

Yeah, as a Links 2003 player (golf sim), if their physics made my game in Links as bad as my game on the real golf course, I'd be PISSED!

Americas Army (4, Interesting)

Zelet (515452) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387236)

The developers have changed Americas Army recently to include realistic "death drops." It is actually VERY creapy to watch someone shot in the head snap back and collapse and then roll down a hill. It really makes you not want to play anymore.

Re:Americas Army (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387321)

If you dont like it don't play it.

Re:Americas Army (5, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387326)

Since America's Army is supposed to be at least partly a recruiting and pre-training tool, as a former medic, I say: GOOD. Anyone who wants a realistic combat experience in a video game ... should get exactly that.

Re:Americas Army (1)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387368)

Speak for yourself! *grin*

Re:Americas Army (2, Insightful)

Tuvai (783607) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387370)

When games finally cross the final borders into photorealism, it will become interesting to gauge the publics reaction to games that become truly realistic in their depiction of violence and death.
Americas Army will get away with this under the banner of the "fight for americas omnipotent and brave armed forces and kill a few towelheads" banner. But when the next generation Grand Theft Autos and Manhunts allow the gamer a criminal/malevolent experience that is hard to differentiate from reality, will it merely be an act of harmless escapism, or something entirely more desensitising?
It would only take one high-profile school shooting or kidnap/murder/suicide to get the tabloid media attacking the games industry with a ferocity unseen since the days of the staggeringly shit Mortal Kombat.

Re:Americas Army (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387373)

I had the same feeling when playing "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time". I just could never have the heart to empty a jar containing a goldfish onto the ground - it would just flop about helplessly - putting it back in a pond was the only thing I could do.

Re:Americas Army (5, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387445)

The developers have changed Americas Army recently to include realistic "death drops." It is actually VERY creapy to watch someone shot in the head snap back and collapse and then roll down a hill. It really makes you not want to play anymore.

That's one thing I've always liked about America's Army. The developers are constantly pushing to move the game towards realism. It keeps away the "haha! you sux0rz, you n00b!" bunnyhopping jerkweeds you find in games like CounterStrike. Usually I can't play for more than about 45 minutes before I need to go do something else less stressful. This is as it should be because, ultimately, what they're simulating isn't a game. I think it's been an instructive tool for showing some of these kids that it isn't like it is in movies.

In movies too (5, Insightful)

Jonny_eh (765306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387240)

It seems as though that 'the movies' have been in the uncanny valley for a little while. I thought that "The Hulk" was very realistic, but it was missing 'something'. I didn't care too much about that but it seems as though most people instantly pointed and said "FAKE!". It's like the 90/90 rule. "The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time". We are now in the last 10% of making realistic CGI humans, and it isn't easy!

Re:In movies too (2, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387409)

"The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time".

Was this supposed to be a joke, or just yet another product of the stellar American education system?

Re:In movies too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387480)


Somebody's not a programmer.

What about art? (4, Insightful)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387259)

If this was true then I really wonder why this doesn't apply to classical art. I mean, if I visit a gallery of the great masters and look into the faces on the paintings I can really attach to it. And so can millions of people. You can see the love, the fear, the hate in these paintings. I know it is not animated but still, humans seem to be capable of creating artificial pictures of themselves. The point, as I see it, is that game developers are just particulary bad at it.

Re:What about art? (2, Insightful)

lildogie (54998) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387375)

> I really wonder why this doesn't apply to classical art...
> The point, as I see it, is that game developers are just particulary bad at it.

I think you hit it on the head, considering that some artists are also particularly bad at it. (And you typically won't find many paintings by bad artists in the museums. Mostly you see them in the homes of the artists.)

Re:What about art? (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387399)

ROFL, yeah. You have a point there. ;-)

Re:What about art? (2, Insightful)

banzai51 (140396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387401)

Easy. Classical art is static. The art isn't reacting to anything or moving.

Re:What about art? (4, Funny)

Joseph Vigneau (514) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387489)

Leonardo da Vinci had a pretty bad frame rate though: the Mona Lisa took about three years [wikipedia.org] to complete, which gives .00000001FPS (1 frame / 3 years).

R2-D2 is humanlike?? (5, Funny)

SkankhodBeeblebrox (581971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387264)

From the article:

When an android, such as R2-D2 or C-3PO, barely looks human, we cut it a lot of slack. It seems cute. We don't care that it's only 50 percent humanlike.


If you know ANYONE who even VAGUELY resembles R2-D2, I want to see pictures!! (yes, I know they were using them as examples of androids, but jesus... I think using C3PO alone would have sufficed :P

Re:R2-D2 is humanlike?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387349)

R2-D2 is Buddah!

You can't tell me that you can't see the resemblance.

Re:R2-D2 is humanlike?? (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387360)

C3PO is already in the uncanny valley. He looks too lifelike. When I was a kid I would have killed to have my own R2-unit. I never even cared about C3PO.

Re:R2-D2 is humanlike?? (3, Funny)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387402)

If you know ANYONE who even VAGUELY resembles R2-D2, I want to see pictures!

Oh, I don't [imdb.com] know [imdb.com] ...

Realistic faces ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387270)


don't flatter yourself

The same thing happened in Japanese Anime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387299)

I've observed the same thing in Japanese anime. There was a phase a couple of years ago when everyone tried to make their characters as realistic and human-looking as possible, but these series just didn't do very well. If you look at some current anime now, you'll notice that they have gone back to the "big eyes, small mouth" style in a big way.

I am not at all sure about this... (1)

vitalyb (752663) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387312)

Take the Final Fantasy movie was example. The main character, Aki, was voted in some magazine in a top 100 sexiest women.

Yet, Aki is 100% computer generated women and she is doubtlessly looks VERY real-like. In fact, I believe it is the closest we ever got to replicating humans in computer graphics.

Uncanny Valley (3, Interesting)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387313)

This [arclight.net] appeared on Slashdot a while ago.

The general premise is that has things move towards looking more life like, at a certain point they end up in the "uncanny valley" if they aren't perfect. This is where things look real enough, but the brain sees something wrong with it.

The human brain (and I'd suspect a lot of other species) is very good at picking up the "attractiveness" of something and a lot of it is subconcious. This obviously has developed for mating as a way of choosing the best possible mate. An example would be looking at a girl, being attracted to her and having no idea why i.e what specific features makes her attractive to you?. The counter example would be looking at another girl and finding her repulsive for one little flaw , say a limp or a mishapen nose, even though the rest of her is fine.

The reason cartoons and classic animation don't cause this is because we don't take them seriously.

Yet More Predictions about What Computers Can't Do (5, Insightful)

Badam (222642) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387315)

I read the article, and came away unconvinced.

I buy the starting premise of the article: that as computer render figures get more human, viewers become harsher judges of the figures. Mario was cute, while the much more lifelike CGI Neo, in the Matrix Reloaded, was stiff and zombielike.

Since this becomes more true the better the rendering, the Slate writer concludes that computer rendered humans will always look creepy.

I suspect this is another one of those computers-will-never-be-able-to-act-human arguments. Most people want to reassure themselves that there's something inherently irreproducible about life, and humanity. This desire leads us to predict that computers won't be able to render convincing humans, beat a person at chess, or ever create art.

My guess is that a decade from now, people will look at predictions like those in the Slate article, and laugh.

I've seen paintings that look intensely lifelike, so why should such representations be beyond the capabilities of future computers?

The problem is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387320)

Most humans are inherently creepy.

Why would machine replicas be any different?

Dunno (4, Insightful)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387323)

Guess there'd be a market for both realistic and unrealistic human characters in games. Clearly, realistic characters would do very well in RPGs and simulation games like The Sims. Try out the "The Sims 2 Body Editor" for some sense of what to expect from EA soon. It's not bad, nice and realistics. On the other hand, there are games where realistics characters aren't as important, such as FPS games. Who cares about a realistic chin lines on the enemy soldier if you're a few mouse clicks away from turning said realistic character into a corpse with a lovely ragdoll physics system?

Same thing with movies, some will obviously develop more on a "cartoonish" look, such as anime gone 3d. No matter how hard they try, they can never make a 16 year old school girl with blue hair that can handle a 300 foot robot come over as realistic. Then again, eventually, there will be serious movies with close to no real actors in it. It will all be rendered because having a large cluster is cheaper then having Keanu Reeves ruin your movie with some atrocious acting...

testing test (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387325)

i wanted to do a anoter test post just in case my frist test post didnt go threw. please respond.

testing
test

testing!

Similar Story on Discovery Channel (Score:2, Interesting)
by Sir dies alot (782598) on Thursday June 10, @10:54AM (#9387224)
Just thought I'd point out that the Discovery Channel has done a story on this in the past, specifically when referring to robot appearance. There is an actual graph of how realistic the face is vs the attitude people take towards it. Though I can't seem to find the link, if I remember correctly it rises steadily until a little bit past "75% realistic", at which point it drops to next to nothing until about "97% realistic" in which it rises back to the top. If someone could find a link to this, that would be great. It may also have appeared sometime on TechTV.
[ Reply to This ]

I thought the same (Score:2)
by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Thursday June 10, @10:55AM (#9387230)
(http://www.mindchild.net/ | Last Journal: Thursday March 04, @11:35PM)
Recently, Ive thought the same thing. I think it ultimately has to do with how they get thier models. A lot of people dont actually realize that these charactors arent just made up from scratch, throwing together millions of polygons, but rather, they take the subject and put them in a precision 3d scanning device which constructs the model for them. At that point, the facial expressions are largely left up to the development team to take care of, and thats where it all falls apart.

This might seem a bit bizaar, but disney's anamatronics, while always looked fake, had UNCANNY mouth movements and facial expressions. They were so on par, to this day I am still amazed... and wonder why no one else can get that close.
[ Reply to This ]
Re:I thought the same by Anonymous Coward Thursday June 10, @11:00AM

True of physics engines as well (Score:2)
by saddino (183491) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387235)
(http://www.mesadynamics.com/)
I've read in a number of places that game developers have discovered that the more "real" the physics engine, the less "fun" a game feels. Of course, for simulations, you do want accuracy. But for other games, you want "just the right amount" of realism to envelop the user in a believable environment, but not so much so that it mimics the somewhat boring constraints of real-life.
[ Reply to This ]

Americas Army (Score:2)
by Zelet (515452) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387236)
(Last Journal: Tuesday October 14, @02:25AM)
The developers have changed Americas Army recently to include realistic "death drops." It is actually VERY creapy to watch someone shot in the head snap back and collapse and then roll down a hill. It really makes you not want to play anymore.
[ Reply to This ]

In movies too (Score:1)
by Jonny_eh (765306) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387240)
It seems as though that 'the movies' have been in the uncanny valley for a little while. I thought that "The Hulk" was very realistic, but it was missing 'something'. I didn't care too much about that but it seems as though most people instantly pointed and said "FAKE!". It's like the 90/90 rule. "The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time". We are now in the last 10% of making realistic CGI humans, and it isn't easy!
[ Reply to This ]

What about art? (Score:2)
by Lispy (136512) on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387259)
(http://www.blissx.co.uk/)
If this was true then I really wonder why this doesn't apply to classical art. I mean, if I visit a gallery of the great masters and look into the faces on the paintings I can really attach to it. And so can millions of people. You can see the love, the fear, the hate in these paintings. I know it is not animated but still, humans seem to be capable of creating artificial pictures of themselves. The point, as I see it, is that game developers are just particulary bad at it.
[ Reply to This ]

R2-D2 is humanlike?? (Score:1)
by SkankhodBeeblebrox (581971) on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387264)
From the article:

When an android, such as R2-D2 or C-3PO, barely looks human, we cut it a lot of slack. It seems cute. We don't care that it's only 50 percent humanlike.

If you know ANYONE who even VAGUELY resembles R2-D2, I want to see pictures!! (yes, I know they were using them as examples of androids, but jesus... I think using C3PO alone would have sufficed :P
[ Reply to This ]

Realistic faces ? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387270)

don't flatter yourself

Similar Story on Discovery Channel (Score:2, Interesting)
by Sir dies alot (782598) on Thursday June 10, @10:54AM (#9387224)
Just thought I'd point out that the Discovery Channel has done a story on this in the past, specifically when referring to robot appearance. There is an actual graph of how realistic the face is vs the attitude people take towards it. Though I can't seem to find the link, if I remember correctly it rises steadily until a little bit past "75% realistic", at which point it drops to next to nothing until about "97% realistic" in which it rises back to the top. If someone could find a link to this, that would be great. It may also have appeared sometime on TechTV.
[ Reply to This ]

I thought the same (Score:2)
by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Thursday June 10, @10:55AM (#9387230)
(http://www.mindchild.net/ | Last Journal: Thursday March 04, @11:35PM)
Recently, Ive thought the same thing. I think it ultimately has to do with how they get thier models. A lot of people dont actually realize that these charactors arent just made up from scratch, throwing together millions of polygons, but rather, they take the subject and put them in a precision 3d scanning device which constructs the model for them. At that point, the facial expressions are largely left up to the development team to take care of, and thats where it all falls apart.

This might seem a bit bizaar, but disney's anamatronics, while always looked fake, had UNCANNY mouth movements and facial expressions. They were so on par, to this day I am still amazed... and wonder why no one else can get that close.
[ Reply to This ]
Re:I thought the same by Anonymous Coward Thursday June 10, @11:00AM

True of physics engines as well (Score:2)
by saddino (183491) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387235)
(http://www.mesadynamics.com/)
I've read in a number of places that game developers have discovered that the more "real" the physics engine, the less "fun" a game feels. Of course, for simulations, you do want accuracy. But for other games, you want "just the right amount" of realism to envelop the user in a believable environment, but not so much so that it mimics the somewhat boring constraints of real-life.
[ Reply to This ]

Americas Army (Score:2)
by Zelet (515452) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387236)
(Last Journal: Tuesday October 14, @02:25AM)
The developers have changed Americas Army recently to include realistic "death drops." It is actually VERY creapy to watch someone shot in the head snap back and collapse and then roll down a hill. It really makes you not want to play anymore.
[ Reply to This ]

In movies too (Score:1)
by Jonny_eh (765306) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387240)
It seems as though that 'the movies' have been in the uncanny valley for a little while. I thought that "The Hulk" was very realistic, but it was missing 'something'. I didn't care too much about that but it seems as though most people instantly pointed and said "FAKE!". It's like the 90/90 rule. "The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time". We are now in the last 10% of making realistic CGI humans, and it isn't easy!
[ Reply to This ]

What about art? (Score:2)
by Lispy (136512) on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387259)
(http://www.blissx.co.uk/)
If this was true then I really wonder why this doesn't apply to classical art. I mean, if I visit a gallery of the great masters and look into the faces on the paintings I can really attach to it. And so can millions of people. You can see the love, the fear, the hate in these paintings. I know it is not animated but still, humans seem to be capable of creating artificial pictures of themselves. The point, as I see it, is that game developers are just particulary bad at it.
[ Reply to This ]

R2-D2 is humanlike?? (Score:1)
by SkankhodBeeblebrox (581971) on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387264)
From the article:

When an android, such as R2-D2 or C-3PO, barely looks human, we cut it a lot of slack. It seems cute. We don't care that it's only 50 percent humanlike.

If you know ANYONE who even VAGUELY resembles R2-D2, I want to see pictures!! (yes, I know they were using them as examples of androids, but jesus... I think using C3PO alone would have sufficed :P
[ Reply to This ]

Realistic faces ? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387270)

don't flatter yourself

Similar Story on Discovery Channel (Score:2, Interesting)
by Sir dies alot (782598) on Thursday June 10, @10:54AM (#9387224)
Just thought I'd point out that the Discovery Channel has done a story on this in the past, specifically when referring to robot appearance. There is an actual graph of how realistic the face is vs the attitude people take towards it. Though I can't seem to find the link, if I remember correctly it rises steadily until a little bit past "75% realistic", at which point it drops to next to nothing until about "97% realistic" in which it rises back to the top. If someone could find a link to this, that would be great. It may also have appeared sometime on TechTV.
[ Reply to This ]

I thought the same (Score:2)
by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Thursday June 10, @10:55AM (#9387230)
(http://www.mindchild.net/ | Last Journal: Thursday March 04, @11:35PM)
Recently, Ive thought the same thing. I think it ultimately has to do with how they get thier models. A lot of people dont actually realize that these charactors arent just made up from scratch, throwing together millions of polygons, but rather, they take the subject and put them in a precision 3d scanning device which constructs the model for them. At that point, the facial expressions are largely left up to the development team to take care of, and thats where it all falls apart.

This might seem a bit bizaar, but disney's anamatronics, while always looked fake, had UNCANNY mouth movements and facial expressions. They were so on par, to this day I am still amazed... and wonder why no one else can get that close.
[ Reply to This ]
Re:I thought the same by Anonymous Coward Thursday June 10, @11:00AM

True of physics engines as well (Score:2)
by saddino (183491) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387235)
(http://www.mesadynamics.com/)
I've read in a number of places that game developers have discovered that the more "real" the physics engine, the less "fun" a game feels. Of course, for simulations, you do want accuracy. But for other games, you want "just the right amount" of realism to envelop the user in a believable environment, but not so much so that it mimics the somewhat boring constraints of real-life.
[ Reply to This ]

Americas Army (Score:2)
by Zelet (515452) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387236)
(Last Journal: Tuesday October 14, @02:25AM)
The developers have changed Americas Army recently to include realistic "death drops." It is actually VERY creapy to watch someone shot in the head snap back and collapse and then roll down a hill. It really makes you not want to play anymore.
[ Reply to This ]

In movies too (Score:1)
by Jonny_eh (765306) on Thursday June 10, @10:56AM (#9387240)
It seems as though that 'the movies' have been in the uncanny valley for a little while. I thought that "The Hulk" was very realistic, but it was missing 'something'. I didn't care too much about that but it seems as though most people instantly pointed and said "FAKE!". It's like the 90/90 rule. "The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time". We are now in the last 10% of making realistic CGI humans, and it isn't easy!
[ Reply to This ]

What about art? (Score:2)
by Lispy (136512) on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387259)
(http://www.blissx.co.uk/)
If this was true then I really wonder why this doesn't apply to classical art. I mean, if I visit a gallery of the great masters and look into the faces on the paintings I can really attach to it. And so can millions of people. You can see the love, the fear, the hate in these paintings. I know it is not animated but still, humans seem to be capable of creating artificial pictures of themselves. The point, as I see it, is that game developers are just particulary bad at it.
[ Reply to This ]

R2-D2 is humanlike?? (Score:1)
by SkankhodBeeblebrox (581971) on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387264)
From the article:

When an android, such as R2-D2 or C-3PO, barely looks human, we cut it a lot of slack. It seems cute. We don't care that it's only 50 percent humanlike.

If you know ANYONE who even VAGUELY resembles R2-D2, I want to see pictures!! (yes, I know they were using them as examples of androids, but jesus... I think using C3PO alone would have sufficed :P
[ Reply to This ]

Realistic faces ? (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @10:58AM (#9387270)

don't flatter yourself

We've talked about this before (5, Informative)

Aaron_Pike (528044) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387330)

This isn't exactly a repost, but we have discussed this before. The only article I could find in the /. archive was this one [slashdot.org] . There was another one that lead me to this very nice paper on the Uncanny Valley [arclight.net] , which is the area of resemblance to human features that is not quite realistic enough and not abstract enough for people to feel comfortable with; it resembles more closely a corpse than a living being.

Too symetrical (4, Interesting)

xyote (598794) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387339)

Real humans don't have such perfect symetry. It's true that better symetry is considered more beautiful but nobody has perfect symetry. And people who look too good, ie. too symetrical, do look sort of creepy.

Re:Too symetrical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387411)

Interesting point...that people who are too perfectly symmetric are somewhat artificial looking. Beautiful in a visual sense, but not quite a human one. There seems to be some truth to that, come to think of it.

Shrek (4, Informative)

jobugeek (466084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387342)

I remember watching a 'making of' show about the first Shrek movie and they said they purposely made the girl less human-like for the same reason. That she got to a point were it was freaky to have her look that human.

Speilberg's AI would happen? (3, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387347)

I thought about this very thing watching Jude Law play a robotic gigalo. Unless STDs and the fear of AIDS became rampant, would women really want this? Law's makeup was pancaked to show he was not the generation of Haley-Joel.

This is an interesting problem, if we don't continue to attempt to get to 100%, we will never get there - yet going through the 80th to 99th percentile will be creepy.

I don't have any issues doing it in computer gfx. Some of the new techniques used in Pixar's The Untouchables, such as the way hair moves in water - go towards the overall body of knowledge of how to create actors on screen that you don't know are real. The new Spiderman seems mostly CGI, or motion captured and sped up. This eventually makes for better movies, and games in which the protaganist NEEDS to be human is essential.

But in robotics, I even think the face in the new adaptation of Asimov's "I, Robot" is really sinister. I don't see society even accepting that in robotics. I think the farthest people will go is C-3P0.

Re:Speilberg's AI would happen? (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387457)

Men would [realdoll.com]

Need more power, that's all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387357)

Don't worry, this problem will be remedied by better graphics cards. People won't be grossed out when they can render Shrek and Gollum in real time. Right now we just don't have the power we need, so I guess the faint of heart will just have to play Mario and Zelda games for the time being.

Most realistic looking render you've seen? (1)

Andorion (526481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387364)

Anyone care to post some links to the most realistic looking renders you've seen (specifically, of people)?

Just curious, haven't seen what "state of the art" is nowadays.

~Berj

He's wrong. (2, Funny)

hkb (777908) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387369)

Just Ask Slashdot. Hundreds of Slashdot readers and their ethernet-connected RealDolls(tm) can't be wrong.

Sad case (5, Insightful)

thpdg (519053) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387417)

Is this why burn victims strike people so oddly? Everyone reacts differently to them, but not usually in a normal way. Once these poor people loose their identities, they become something else, to everyone else. It's not fair to them, they're still them!

That cusp (1)

CmdrMooCow (213594) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387424)

Someone already said it here about the report... where it goes up to 75%, drops way down until it reaches 97% lifelike.

right now, the real-time rendering is getting to that 75 - 90% mark, so things are looking a bit creepy, but give it a few months or years, and it'll then start to look very, very odd...

A great use of simplicity.. (1)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387431)

...is World of Warcraft. [blizzard.com]

Blizzard is applying a very stylized cartoonish look to the game, and I think it's much more attractive than the other online games that attempt to be as real as possible.

Of Course They Do! (4, Funny)

Jameth (664111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387463)

I'm glad the rest of the world realizes it. I've known I hated looking at people for years now.

What about hollywood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9387476)

I don't think many actors in hollywood look very realistic either. Why, some of them have more plastic surgery than barbie. And yet people still go to watch these movies and idolize these actors who don't even look anywhere near what a normal person looks like. I suppose it's some subconcious idea of unobtainable perfection?

Not quite there yet... (2, Insightful)

rainwadj (58293) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387482)

The reason the "realistic" human graphics are "creepy" is that they aren't quite real enough yet. The brain perceives them as looking human, but their actions/reactions are off, and the characters typically aren't very deep intellectually. Once these obstacles are overcome, bridging the uncanny valley, maybe some of the "creepiness" will go away.

For now, it still looks cool though. :-)
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