At the annual computer graphics meeting Siggraph, EA’s chief visual and technical officer Glenn Entis laid the smackdown on the film industry, calling them out for rendering a few frames an hour when many games approach 60 frames per second. And then he addressed some of his own:
When a character’s visual appearance creates the expectation of life and it falls short your brain is going to reject that…and just adding polygons makes it worse.
He is, of course, referring to the uncanny valley where humans can look simultaneously too real and too fake. And while his game Crysis might have such issues, most console games really aren’t reaching that threshold yet—though Mass Effect may walk the line. It’s a bold challenge to realise human figures realtime, especially when the best animators in the world (Pixar) have lots more time to render and can cartoonise humans to avoid problems in uncanny valley.