Revisiting the Uncanny Valley

CG Emily

The UK Times got duped into running an article about one company’s claims that their animation has leapt the Uncanny Valley. The video sample accompanying the piece however fits so comfortably into Uncanny Valley territory that it makes one wonder why the Times felt this was worthy of media attention. The best response about the unconvincing human quality of the animated female comes from this MetaFilter discussion in which one user commented, “Yeah, not getting a boner over here. Fail.”

It’s also worth noting that only the face of the character is CG; the hair and body are those of a live-action actor (shown at left in the image above). There’s also an extended, higher-res version of the facial animation on AWNtv. While this piece of animation misses the mark, the reality is that sooner or later somebody’s going to come up with believable photorealistic animation. Time will tell though whether anybody will actually use the technology towards an artistic end or if photorealistic animation will remain the cost-cutting measure for entertainment producers that is driving its current development.