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#395041 - murrlogic (03/30/2013) [-]
www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112813015/video-game-characters-come-to-life-activision-032913/

This week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) some of the new video game animations looked a lot less like video games and a lot more real. Activision Blizzard offered a demonstration on Wednesday, which included next-generation rendering of characters that featured skin, facial expressions and eyes that were incredibly detailed and convincing.

Part of the reason for this is that the characters’ designs feature those flaws that exist with most people, and thus the designs are actually less than perfect, which in turn could make them all the more realistic looking.

“In the real world, nothing is perfect,” Javier van der Pahlen, Activision Blizzard director of graphics research and development told Polygon.

These character designs could also be the first to actually break past the so-called Uncanny Valley, a term coined by early robotics designer Masahiro Mori in 1970. It essentially describes the range of sophistication in animated graphics, where as human figures at one end look unrealistic and much more like cartoon characters.

As animation or rendering moves to the middle it becomes just realistic enough to seem real, but off-putting at the same time for its level of creepiness. Activision Blizzard may have successfully crossed to the other end with animation that is essentially indistinguishable from reality. Mashable explains that the 2004 movie Polar Express is often evoked as an example of animation that is squarely within the center of the Uncanny Valley. A lot has happened in the eight years, including greater computing power and developments with graphics technology.

What has also happened is that greater understanding of creating the “less than perfect” animated character. This includes animating facial movement in a more realistic way, but also breaking up uniform surfaces and refining the way light plays off of skin surfaces.
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