Friday, October 30, 2009

Some more Creepy

The Uncanny Valley is the observable revulsion that humans feel when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans just a little too well They become "too real" but there's something just a little off that squicks you out.

The best example I've seen is the live-type animation used in The Polar Express -- the characters looks real, but not real enough, and in fact (to me) resembled animated corpses. Your brain initially thinks "oh! person!" and then something subtle (or not so subtle) about the face starts to make you uncomfortable. New video games often have this problem - the characters are rendered close enough to humans that you begin to really notice the not-human twitches and tics and movements and it is unsettling.

There is a really good gallery of images that trigger the Uncanny Valley "ick" factor -- it's interesting ot see which ones really make you cringe. (nothing gross, just some weird and creepy faces, don't worry).

My first exposure to this sort of effect was when someone sent me the link to a child pageant photo retouching website -- weird zombified freaky kid pictures for pageants. Eeeu. The site is worth clicking through (keep clicking "more" on each page) just to see how totally bizarre they are.

And for some truly fantastic CGI art (that may or may not fall into the Uncanny Valley), check out the gallery here. WOW.

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