Video Games and the Uncanny Valley

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by CptStern, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. CptStern

    CptStern suckmonkey

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    10,321
    Likes Received:
    46
    Video Games and the Uncanny Valley

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKTAJBQSm10

    I havent seen the video so I'll forego my usual snappy comments and in it's stead I'll use this space as word filler stupidmonkeyparrotfish


    ...discuss
     
  2. Acepilotf14

    Acepilotf14 Sucked so much dick for this title

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    13,013
    Likes Received:
    42
    ...I lieked that history lesson.
     
  3. Ennui

    Ennui The Freeman

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    22,653
    Likes Received:
    56
    Dammit, now all of you know about the uncanny valley and I can't reference it in discussions seeming all smart-like 'n such.
     
  4. Qonfused

    Qonfused Party Escort Bot

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    9,506
    Likes Received:
    5
    lol'd @ Keanu
     
  5. SimpleAssassin

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah me too
     
  6. ailevation

    ailevation Don't toke Sour Diesel

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    4,908
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very interesting and informative. The video kinda generalizes games into 2 separate categories, what about games that are "stylized-photo realistic"?
     
  7. Warped

    Warped Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    7,547
    Likes Received:
    0
    ummm I look at Gears of War and at the time and even today it looks very nice. but since its in a sci-fi universe and it still looks Earth like, the game did really well. Same as the Halo series. some games are very realistic, some are semi-realistic and others just look different (Kameo/Ratchet) and they're still pleasing. and yes when i play a game i generally want to get away from the real world for some time, so some days i want real and some days i want off the wall fake
     
  8. Laivasse

    Laivasse Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,813
    Likes Received:
    27
    You can't have a discussion about this on a HL2 forum without mentioning the standard that HL2 itself set nearly 5 years ago now - a standard which new games still consistently fail to live up to.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The fact that Valve made such a good job of the photorealistic approach so long ago - technologically speaking, at least, it's a long time ago - makes me think that slip-ups in photorealism are less a problem of technology than it is with the approach developers take with it. Granted, it's a 'stylised' photorealism like ailevation says, but it's still less stylised than, say, GTA4.

    Too many game characters feature only superficial verisimilitude - a human-looking face which only seems human until it moves, or speaks, or until you examine its features very closely. Valve on the other hand put a strong emphasis on genuine facial movements with very little exaggeration, then bolstered that with a good script and voice acting. They also managed to avoid giving their characters that shiny, covered-in-lacquer feel that so many less convincing NPCs have.

    EDIT: Speaking of Valve, one should also give them credit for showing the same attention to detail when they tried their hand at the stylised approach, in TF2. The facial technology, character design and the voice acting create some of the most believable unbelievable characters I've ever seen. Same goes for the 'Meet The...' vids, I see people comparing them to Pixar's work all the time.
     
  9. Russian Mafia

    Russian Mafia Vortigaunt

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    6
    I agree with Laivasse, and I am glad he typed that all out because I wouldn't have.
     
  10. Jintor

    Jintor Didn't Get Temp-Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Messages:
    14,783
    Likes Received:
    9
    Yeah what he said.
     
  11. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    I hate when people assume stylized art takes so much less time than realistic art. Thats not the case at all.
     
  12. Acepilotf14

    Acepilotf14 Sucked so much dick for this title

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Messages:
    13,013
    Likes Received:
    42
    Stylized art just takes more time in different areas, more of the fun or the challenge rather than trying to pull you into the game.
     
  13. Tyguy

    Tyguy Space Core

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    7,991
    Likes Received:
    6
    interesting.....but lets go for the curve
     
  14. morgs

    morgs The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,202
    Likes Received:
    309
    Stylization ftw. Very interesting video, it's true how game characters are photo realistic, made to be just like humans, just look so bad because they're let down by poor animation and voice acting. Like has been stated, HL2 actually managed to have very good looking character models and pulled off the rest quite well (go Valve!)

    The thing i like about stylization is that you can take it anywhere you want to. I also find that in trying to create a game with photo realistic visuals, it pushes so hard that some areas are sacrificed quality wise. e.g the inability to have HDR and AA on at the same time, or textures unloading etc.

    I play a game like Monkey Island and think Wow! Because it's set in a world so impossibly unlike ours, but then I play a game like Call of duty 4 and think "I see this in the news every signle night, I don't care how good it looks, it's just not interesting.

    Just my oppinion, I play games to get away from reality, not to simulate it.
     
  15. Dekstar

    Dekstar Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2004
    Messages:
    9,435
    Likes Received:
    11
    One thing GTAIV has gotten right with photo-realistic movement is that you don't just turn immediately. I see this happen in so many sports games too, where you just glide when turning or turn instantly.

    Also Laiv is right. If there were rep points I'd give him a bajillion and three.
     
  16. ThunderDawg

    ThunderDawg Newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think he meant that stylized is easier because you don't have to continuously break new ground trying to mimic real life, and instead get to use more creativity to generate and animate a stylized character. How old is Mickey Mouse? 80?

    In other words, we have a long way to go to achieve perfection in photo realism (the far peak in the valley), but stylized animation has been around for æons.
     
  17. MJ12

    MJ12 The Freeman

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,845
    Likes Received:
    16
    This thread should now be about posting the worst examples of the uncanny valley.
     
  18. ThunderDawg

    ThunderDawg Newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
  19. 15357

    15357 Companion Cube

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    15,217
    Likes Received:
    15
    Now that reminded me too much of TOEFL listening sections.
     
  20. MJ12

    MJ12 The Freeman

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,845
    Likes Received:
    16
  21. Lizardizzle

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    1
    Indeed, I was so put down how you just slide when you turn in Left 4 Dead and you look down at your feet.
     
  22. Eejit

    Eejit The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Messages:
    13,519
    Likes Received:
    174
    [​IMG]
     
  23. barbarbarbarbar

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    511
    Likes Received:
    0
    ZP anyone????
     
  24. taviow

    taviow Tank

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    3,171
    Likes Received:
    8
    [​IMG]
     
  25. Sledgehammer

    Sledgehammer Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also strongly recommend checking out many of the other videos from his channel, several which are better than this one.
     
  26. barbarbarbarbar

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    511
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's what i deserve for not watching it to the end. :(
     
  27. Kadayi

    Kadayi Newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    6,035
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seen this a while ago and its a good explanation as to the problems of the medium.

    I think Valve have broken good ground with Alyx in moving towards realism with the expressions and lipsynh etc, however the fact that she backs off constantly if you walk towards her, so she can be in full view all the time did break immersion for me a lot in the game tbh.

    Also I really do not understand what Bethesda were thinking when the unleashed the potato face maker with Oblivion. Did anyone ever make a nice looking person with that thing? were their any attractive NPCs in the game at all?
     
  28. kupocake

    kupocake Tank

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    6,137
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thoughts:

    - "Uncanny Valley" should be - if it isn't already - a slang term for Vaginoplasty.

    - The Final Fantasy characters he exemplified aren't in the least bit 'stylized' in the sense he was using. Just because they have outrageous anime haircuts and utterly nonsensical clothing doesn't mean that the character models aren't shooting for photorealism in terms of the visual. Perhaps he had another Final Fantasy in mind before the video was composed.

    - Overall, it's quite a good video about something everyone knows already, with fair delivery that is almost destroyed by the helium inhaled before each take.
     
  29. MultiVaC

    MultiVaC Tank

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Messages:
    2,856
    Likes Received:
    4
    I think this sort of thing is very much on the near side of the uncanny valley, and is just totally incompetent character modelling. I don't think we've reached the uncanny valley yet, since the characters that inhabit it are disturbing because they are "too close for comfort" to real humans, and would give you the feeling that you were watching a photorealistic animated corpse, for example. People wouldn't really be able to isolate what they didn't like about it, it would just "look wrong". I think we're a long ways away from it in gaming. I'm not sure if we'll ever even see it because games may simply sidestep it after CGI animators wrestle with it, while realtime graphics aren't even capable of it yet.
     
  30. Saturos

    Saturos Newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,076
    Likes Received:
    1
    Uncanny valley was originally a term derived from A.I. and robotics research wasn't it?

    In that field, supposedly the term meant that one day when androids reach the level of sophistication and inarguable likeness of a human being, people would feel uncomfortable because something about them is still just, "not quite right". This uneasiness people would feel is the uncanny valley in the robotics field anyways.

    BTW, I can't view the video, but I must say that videos games has come nowhere near uncanny valley yet no matter what games are on that video.
    A few games probably, like HL2 which I must concur, is probably the closest any game has come to this point.

    Also, stylized art is not any more difficult than photorealistic art and vice versa. Both has their own unique challenges I would imagine.

    The Mass Effect devs also did a pretty good job on character modeling and animations imo, although sometimes human skin can look plastic-ey.

    Futhermore, I'd say many games could come very close to "uncanny valley" if it were the environmental graphics we were talking about and not character models.
    If there was such a thing that is which there isn't. Far Cry 2's photorealistic portrayal of Africa was damn near shocking and realistic imo. Too bad that game was a tad on the boring side.
     
  31. the cow says moo

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    2,199
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's funny, I now know why I like stylized games more.
     
  32. Darkangel

    Darkangel Spy

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    411
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bethesda seems to be the king of messed up NPCs, I'm amazed that their animators haven't been fired yet.



    I've been watching the videos this guy has been making for a while, they're all pretty interesting.
    Here's his youtube channel

    As for the uncanny valley, this Cry-engine 2 screenshot always sort of creeped me out:

    [​IMG]
     
  33. CR0M

    CR0M Tank

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,965
    Likes Received:
    0
    The secret to lifelike human faces in games is so simple, it's just a basic anatomical principle - any artist will know what it is straight off. Yet most developers still don't do it - because it takes longer and thus costs more.

    Valve got it right. Crytech also got it right. I can't think of any other developers that have yet.
     
  34. DEATH eVADER

    DEATH eVADER Space Core

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2003
    Messages:
    8,147
    Likes Received:
    14
    We have many ways to extract information, just be thankful I didn't need to use the drill
     
  35. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Party Escort Bot

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,085
    Likes Received:
    18
    Huh? Whazzat?
     
  36. the cow says moo

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Messages:
    2,199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ya, I'm a bit confused too.
     
  37. MuToiD_MaN

    MuToiD_MaN The Freeman

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    4,511
    Likes Received:
    190
    Yeah, we're all ears. What is The Principle?

    Also HL2's shorfalls in leaping the U.V. are the improvised (non-scripted) behaviors of its NPCs. Though that's definitely more acceptable than disproportionate faces, creepy teeth or the like, it's definitely noticeable.

    Definitely a good video for gamer who's never heard of the Uncanny Valley to watch.
     
  38. Sheepo

    Sheepo The Freeman

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    10,576
    Likes Received:
    65
    It's wierd, I've definitely heard and known about this exact phenomenon, but I've never heard it referred to as the 'Uncanny Valley'. Though now I can't remember what I had heard it called.
     
  39. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    15,915
    Likes Received:
    326
    I think The Principle is that you're supposed to construct an NPC's face as if it's actually a face, with a skeleton and musculature underneath. You wouldn't model and animate a gun without knowing the precise size of the parts and how they move, why wouldn't you do the same for a human face?
     
  40. Sedako

    Sedako Chuck Steak

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,604
    Likes Received:
    2

Share This Page