3D Technology Advancements and New Animation Possibilities Essay

Submitted By TigerClaws12
Words: 1906
Pages: 8

By: H** Nguyen
Over the years, especially in the early 2000s, we have seen a lot of improvements being implemented on animations. One of the most impressive animations on a cinematic level that creates feature length films have been 3D movies. Squaresoft, a video game company decided to take their first step into this new industry and genre by making their first feature length 3D animation titled Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The 2001 release was among the first 3D animations to aim at photorealism and was aiming to make us experience a spectacle filled with incredible visual presentations. Now, after 11 years by the time this paper is being written, 3D technology is so advanced and and improved that animations like The Spirits Within are more accessible. So how can new 3D technologies help the new generation of movie makers in creating a masterpiece efficiently?
The concept of the uncanny valley in this field and how we’ve passed it:
The uncanny valley is a concept that’s been keeping big animators away from this particular field for a decent amount of time. Let’s do a crash-course, what’s the uncanny valley? It was first introduced in the 70s by a Japanese roboticist named Masahiro Mori. Mori loves to build robots a lot. Over time, he started to make his robots increasingly human-like; the more human qualities he gave to his robot, the more people liked them. People thought that their vaguely human characteristics were charming. The robots looked like big bolted awkward childrens and everybody loved them. But the more Mori continued to improve his humanoid robots such as adding new synthetic skins and facial expressions etc., he discovered a strange development. He was surprised that people didn’t respond to these new robots that well. Sure, his co-workers might applause him for his advancements but just being around these robots made people uneasy. This led Mori to his discovery of the uncanny valley. The concept is simple, if something that is clearly not a human and is given human qualities, we find those qualities endeering. When given too many human characteristics, then it becomes some imperfect simulations, which we find it kind of uneasy or even revolting. But once you get past that and make the object acts and looks like a normal human being, we start to accept them again. The chart shown depicts his theory. At the beginning of the curve, the object is not like a human at all, and people doesn’t respond to it positively. But if we add some human characteristics to it, suddenly it’s more appealing, the thing has some personality. People would say that it’s cute, examples are the main characters of Wall-E. But when we keep adding a certain amount, we are met with this huge drop in appeal. Suddenly the object isn’t cute or as remotely loveable as before. But once we’ve pushed far enough, we’ll eventually reach the far end of the curve. The middle part is the uncanny valley.
The 3 main points on the uncanny valley curve: Wall-E (Wall-E) (left), “Sonny” (i, Robot) (middle), T-800 (Terminator) (right)
The 3 main points on the uncanny valley curve: Wall-E (Wall-E) (left), “Sonny” (i, Robot) (middle), T-800 (Terminator) (right)
D artists and animators have been fighting the uncanny valley for a long time. And over the years, they have made a lot of progress. Theoretically, we want our characters to be visualy appealing meaning we’re aiming for the 2 peaks, before and after the valley. So we have two options, photorealism and stylization. Nowadays, we tend to aim at photorealism; it’s amazing to look at, blends itself well into the reality it’s being simulated in a visualy beliveable way. It’s being good for many concepts but we weren’t quite there yet and it shows. The fight to create these achievements is a huge money sink and it is an easy battle to lose. Remember the movie mentioned earlier, The Spirits Within? Square tried to make CG