Video Game Characters Are Getting Too Freakishly Real For Me

Video Game Characters Are Getting Too Freakishly Real For Me

It’s easier to mindlessly blast away a room full of video game baddies when they look at you with dead eyes and zombie-like facial expressions. It’s a completely different challenge when they appear to be expressing actual emotions and pain, made all the more believable with this new advanced facial animation tool for the Unreal video game engine.

This character doesn’t quite escape the “uncanny valley”, the term used to describe computer-generated humans that ironically look fake as a result of being so close to photo-realistic. But the way the features on his face are able to flex and move, including how his skin stretches while still being constrained by simulated muscles, would freak me out if I ran into him in a video game. Game over, man, game over!

[Snappers via Prosthetic Knowledge]


  • the latest red dead trailer is exactly what youre after if video game characters are too expressive for you.

  • Realism is cool and everything, but I think chasing this intangible notion of photorealism has lead to some of the worst looking games in the grand scheme of things. Kingdom Hearts 1 still looks awesome because it never strove for that realism, whereas games like Modern Warfare never looked good to begin with.

    We’re going to look back and shake our heads at The Order because all it had was its photo-realism, and that feature is already eroding. There’s no replacement for good art direction.

    • Plenty of games would be much worse it they didn’t strive for photorealism. The Last of Us would not be nearly as good if the subtle performances didn’t come across because the character models were too basic. The Witcher 3 world wouldn’t feel as rich and dense if the photorealism didn’t sell it. And something like LA Noire would be a pointless exercise. While I agree that there’s no substitute for good art direction, photorealism is simply a tool in the designer’s belt – it’s up to the skill of the designer to use that tool wisely.

      The Order had many problems, but looks weren’t one of them. If it didn’t have photorealism it would have had nothing at all.

  • A lot of the problem with the uncanny valley isn’t the realism of the textures – it is the lack of overall humanity in the motion. The most realistic part of that demo was the slight eye tics, the breath. When the skin started deforming a lot of the reality was lost due to the isolation of movement – very rarely to people move only their eyeballs when following something with their eyes, for example.

  • I want to see a video where a real person acts out all these face changes exactly the same as this video

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