Face Textures Too Real?
March 3, 2005 11:38 PM   Subscribe

I saw a thread somewhere on a popular blog in the past year or so talking about how when the textures on the faces of video game characters (or possibly just CG) cross a line of looking too realistic, it actually causes people to dislike them or feel uncomfortable. Does anyone know what this is called, or can point me in the right direction to find out more?
posted by will to Technology (9 answers total)
It's the Uncanny Valley.
posted by benzo8 at 11:41 PM on March 3, 2005

Best answer: The uncanny valley.

This keeps getting asked here but because the phrase is never in the question itself it's tough to find in the archives. And of course, if you knew the phrase, you wouldn't be asking.
posted by melissa may at 11:41 PM on March 3, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks so much. AskMeFi rocks!
posted by will at 11:44 PM on March 3, 2005

Roger Ebert wrote a little bit about it last year in relation to Gollum from the LoTR movies.
posted by web-goddess at 12:29 AM on March 4, 2005

A tiny caveat: it's not just the textures, but also the shapes, movement, etc.
posted by signal at 4:03 AM on March 4, 2005

From now on, they ought to call this the Polar Express valley.
posted by jjg at 5:35 AM on March 4, 2005

Have you seen the puppet in Interpol's "Evil" video?
posted by putzface_dickman at 5:53 AM on March 4, 2005

It also applies to anthropomorphic robots as well.

(Fighting urge to use eschatfische's Uncanny Valley Ranch joke.)
posted by Gucky at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2005

Check out the book Mind Hacks for some more details on the Valley and a lot of other interesting stuff as well.
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 10:26 AM on March 4, 2005

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