Across the Uncanny Valley At Last?

By Stephen Cass | August 21, 2008 4:10 pm

Screenshot of computer generated actress EmilyVia Technovelgy, The Times Online has a report on a company called Image Metrics which has developed an animation technique that promises the most lifelike computer generated humans ever–good enough to finally get over the uncanny valley, which is responsible for that creepy feeling you get when you see an artificial face that is almost, but not quite, totally realistic.

The demo reel is pretty impressive–this is a creation whose eyes are full of life, not the gateways into zombie hell typical of many previous attempts at creating photorealistic images of humans. Still, the artificial Emily is a digital duplicate of a real actress (Emily O’Brien, shown at 1:30 in the reel) used for the image capture that drives the performance. What I actually find more impressive, if slightly less polished, is the demo on Image Metrics homepage that shows a synthetic character with a different face than the performer’s. It’s only a matter of time before someone puts together a prime time hit that, like The Simpsons, features no on screen real-life performances, but, unlike The Simpsons, has a cast of characters that wouldn’t be out of place on the Oscar red carpet.


Comments (4)

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  1. Across the Uncanny Valley At Last? | August 21, 2008
  1. Ian

    I’ve seen a few posts about this video around. I personally think it’s still pretty creepy. When her head is stationary, it’s great, but her eyes and mouth seem move oddly when she turns her head. The teeth are a bit off as well.

    Overall though, it’s pretty amazing. In a few years, I can imagine this technology being almost flawless.

  2. tk

    well put, agreed

  3. An interesting discussion is value comment. I feel that it is best to write more on this subject, it won’t be a taboo topic but generally individuals are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers


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