Tuesday, October 24, 2006

3D Gets Creepy

Daniel Terdiman at CNet talks about trying out the Sony PS3 console at a press event in San Franciso, and remarks on the creepiness factor inherent in some titles:
The graphics are beautiful -- as should be expected. But as I've written before, the problem with such realistic graphics is that anything unrealistic stands out. And in every next-generation sports game I've
seen where the realism is so good that you can see muscles rippling, the players' ghostly, vacant eyes leave me feeling so creepy I just want to slink away.

I wish there was something that could be done about this. But this is the concept of the 'uncanny valley', which, to paraphrase, states that the more realistic something seems to people, anything that stands out as not being so makes us uneasy.
Sound familiar? It should. Web3Dnews first started seeing "creepy" references in coverage of The Polar Express movie.

And last week, Web3DNews pointed to "Cyberface", which duplicates facial movements -- including eyes -- which the New York Times also found "creepy."

Will this turn off users too much, or will people eventually get used to ultrarealism in 3D graphics technology? Or, will there be a technological fix?

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