The Uncanny Valley

Uncanny Vallley
I find the concept of the uncanny valley very interesting. Having worked with 3D modeling and design, treatment I’ve watched the work of people much more talented then myself create human like characters. I never knew there was a name for it before, but I’ve felt the instinctual feelings that something was wrong with the person in the image. Take the Miss Digital World Contest for example. If you follow the link and check out the images and videos you’ll start to get a feel for how visually they don’t really look right.

Some still image models have been done very well and they seem to cross the valley. I think the KAYA model is a good example of that (images here) However, if you watch the video, the animation makes the character slip right back in to bottom of the valley. I do think this is very subjective and observer based however fixing it by toning down the human like characteristics is fairly straight forward. The new movie Monster House uses stylistic human characters to a much stronger effect.

Robots have the same problem. Currently the most advanced looking human like robot is the Repliee Q1Expo. It sort of scares me. I’m excited about the progress being made in the area of more human like design, but I find that I have a stronger emotional association with the Aibo or QRIO. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to make the fully animated android / robot cross over that line, but when it does I think it will be exciting for sure. However until they do look like Daryl Hannah in Blade Runner, I think they need to keep the creepy zombie creatures (NSFW link) out of the public eye. It’s scaring people away from the whole study and development.

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4 Responses to “The Uncanny Valley”

  1. `:. I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information ..-

  2. How tall is Daryl Hannah anyway?-~”

  3. how tall is Daryl Hannah? she is a very tall lady isn’t it?:~,

  4. Daryl Hanna is a tall girl allright, i think she could have been a very famous fashion model,;~

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