Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"

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NickSCFC
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PostAre we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by NickSCFC » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:25 pm

This is something we saw glimpses of towards the end of last generation with games like LA Noire and Beyond: Two Souls employing face scanning and animation techniques, however the results often ended up looking creepy and were often detrimental to the immersion.

This generation games have caught up with the above, but haven't really progressed.

At E3 I've spotted several games where characters, during cut scenes, are incredibly life-like.

What do you guys think?


Death Stranding
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The Last of Us: Part II
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Devil May Cry 5
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Resident Evil 2 Remake
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Last edited by NickSCFC on Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Cheeky Devlin » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:31 pm

I would say we're descending deeper and deeper into it.

Yes they look more realistic than ever (Both in animation and appearance), but they're all still obviously not real.

Especially the Death Stranding stuff.

Something looks "off" with them. I'm not sure we'll ever truly get there, but over time it will be harder and harder to tell.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Tafdolphin » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:32 pm

Although Ellie looked great, the dude talking with her at the start of that trailer was definitely uncanny, as is the last lady there from Devil May Cry.

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NickSCFC
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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by NickSCFC » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:38 pm

I know it's from last year but Injustice 2's characters look incredible too, especially Harley.

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Last edited by NickSCFC on Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oblomov Boblomov wrote:I remember playing through one of the female character's campaigns in Tekken 2 just so I could desperately try and fit in a wank for the ending video
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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Ironhide » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:11 pm

The main issue with all those examples is that they look too perfect, there's no skin imperfections or slight facial asymmetry that real people have.

Plus the animation, while realistic due to mo-cap, still lacks a lot of the minor nuances of real human movement. real life doesn't run at 60fps and no current graphics tech can even begin to replicate all the tiny almost unnoticeable details that make up living beings.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by KK » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:16 pm

A lot of games still suffer from WWF SmackDown hair. It doesn’t react and sway properly, it’s jagged, and it clips constantly (recent E3 offender: Assassin’s Creed).

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by NickSCFC » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:21 pm

Ironhide wrote:The main issue with all those examples is that they look too perfect, there's no skin imperfections or slight facial asymmetry that real people have.

Plus the animation, while realistic due to mo-cap, still lacks a lot of the minor nuances of real human movement. real life doesn't run at 60fps and no current graphics tech can even begin to replicate all the tiny almost unnoticeable details that make up living beings.


Hmm, Nico from DMC5's cutscenes model seems to tick those boxes

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Oblomov Boblomov wrote:I remember playing through one of the female character's campaigns in Tekken 2 just so I could desperately try and fit in a wank for the ending video
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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by the eponymous bollock » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:36 pm

Cheeky Devlin wrote:I would say we're descending deeper and deeper into it.

Yes they look more realistic than ever (Both in animation and appearance), but they're all still obviously not real.

Especially the Death Stranding stuff.

Something looks "off" with them. I'm not sure we'll ever truly get there, but over time it will be harder and harder to tell.


This. I’d say we’re a way off actually getting into it rather than coming out of it. I can’t think of much in games from this gen that has made me feel it like the digital characters in films for example.

We’re a way of the below in games and this I find very unpleasant...


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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by NickSCFC » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:40 pm

the eponymous bollock wrote:We’re a way of the below in games and this I find very unpleasant...


I don't think we actually are, if you compare Uncharted 3/Last of Us to Uncharted 4/Last of Us 2 and project that forward another 6 or 7 years then you can see the above video becoming very achievable.

The images on the left are much closer to that video than they are to the images on the right.

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Oblomov Boblomov wrote:I remember playing through one of the female character's campaigns in Tekken 2 just so I could desperately try and fit in a wank for the ending video
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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by the eponymous bollock » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:47 pm

Images yes, in motion, no

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Karl » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:57 pm

I think we are leaving the uncanny valley. I don't think we have left it yet, and I'm not sure we will leave it on the PS5 either, but have a feeling we might finally get there on the PS6.

The "Siren" thing posted above seemed almost-good-enough to me. You can tell it's artificial if you're paying attention, and maybe it feels a little off, but I don't think you have to make much of an advance on that for it to feel really 'real'.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Moggy » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:09 pm

If anything the uncanny valley effect is getting worse as they get closer to photo realistic. Characters look so close to real, but are ever so slightly off.

I think they’ll get to a stage in the next few generations where we leave the uncanny valley effect behind, but we’re not there yet.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Kriken » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:33 pm

I think attempts at photorealistic graphics are becoming a lot better, yeah. I liked the aesthetic of GCN/PS2/Xbox games, but found the following generation's attempt at realism ugly and kind of cringy in a lot of games. Although in the latter case it was also partly to do with games emulating movies more and more.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by NickSCFC » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:46 pm

Kriken wrote:I think attempts at photorealistic graphics are becoming a lot better, yeah. I liked the aesthetic of GCN/PS2/Xbox games, but found the following generation's attempt at realism ugly and kind of cringy in a lot of games. Although in the latter case it was also partly to do with games emulating movies more and more.


The PS360 era was the worst for me, everything was drenched in piss filter and bloom.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by smurphy » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:47 pm

Cheeky Devlin wrote:I would say we're descending deeper and deeper into it.

Yes they look more realistic than ever (Both in animation and appearance), but they're all still obviously not real.

Especially the Death Stranding stuff.

Something looks "off" with them. I'm not sure we'll ever truly get there, but over time it will be harder and harder to tell.


I agree with all of this.

In addition, almost all of the examples in this thread are from cutscenes. We're talking about games here. Until characters look and behave in a realistic manner in a way that is actually interactive, I don't give a gooseberry fool. If I wanted true to life video played back to me I'd just watch a film, and get 10x better writing while I'm at it. Naughty Dog are particularly bad for this, where the game and story don't mesh in any way at all.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by NickSCFC » Sun Jun 17, 2018 5:54 pm

smurphy wrote:In addition, almost all of the examples in this thread are from cutscenes. We're talking about games here. Until characters look and behave in a realistic manner in a way that is actually interactive, I don't give a gooseberry fool. If I wanted true to life video played back to me I'd just watch a film, and get 10x better writing while I'm at it. Naughty Dog are particularly bad for this, where the game and story don't mesh in any way at all.


This makes no sense, in Uncharted 4 and Last or Us 2 the gameplay and cut scenes blend into each other.

Also...

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The fact that you're singling out one of just a handful of developers who seemlessly blend cutscenes with gameplay without cutting is baffling.

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Oblomov Boblomov wrote:I remember playing through one of the female character's campaigns in Tekken 2 just so I could desperately try and fit in a wank for the ending video
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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Lotus » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:25 pm

It's getting a lot better for sure, but it's still relatively easy to tell what's fake and what isn't. As others have said, things look too perfect; flawless, shiny, etc. It used to be the eyes that were the big giveaway, but they've fixed that at least. And it's one thing to have a pre-rendered CGI model of something looking good, and another to have something in-game looking the same.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by KK » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:02 pm

Chris Tarrant in the PS2 version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire 2 surely has to be one of the best (worst) examples of uncanny valley ever. It was like a zombie with a nervous twitch.

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Jenuall » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:35 pm

Yeah I think we are still heading deeper into the valley if anything. The closer you get to real, without ever quite becoming truly convincing, then the more "off" it looks to people and the harder it is for them to emotionally connect to it.

I think if anything the current generation is worse as before things were still so obviously fake that it didn't trigger the valley whereas now we've really tripped over into it.

It's surprising how wooden and fake so many games still look as well even now. I still think Alyx from HL2 is far more impressive than lots of what is around now!

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PostRe: Are we finally leaving the "Uncanny Valley"
by Yubel » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:18 pm

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