Video game developers continuously increase the degree of details and realism in games to create more human-like characters. But increasing the human-likeness becomes a problem in regard to the Uncanny Valley phenomenon that predicts negative feelings of people towards artificial entities.
This article explores the hitherto little-discussed historical emergence and contemporary impact of the Uncanny Valley and shows that it is strongly connected to intentions, aesthetics, and cultural aspects of artificial figures.
We (Solveigh Jäger and me) cut, edited and partly recorded* some nice research videos for the CHI2014 in Toronto, Canada. The most important video is the CHI2014 promotional trailer for the human-computer interaction conference itself:
After the last half year full of trouble and many events, I’m beginning with my doctoral studies at the University of Stuttgart. It is a great honor for me to be in the research group of doctoral students in the collegue “Digital Media” and be part of a scholarship for three years. Subject of my research is the Uncanny Valley and writing a thesis in the next 3-5 years. Unfortunately, I must reduce my freelance work and academic employment at the Stuttgart Media University of course.
This semester the computer science departement of the Stuttgart Media University starts a common computer animation under the working title “Ascension” – a short movie about a little girl waking up on a flying crystal. 5 bachelor and 2 master students, 1 alumni, 3 external students and 2 acedemic assistants work on this common computer animation project. More about this short: https://blog.hdm-stuttgart.de/cg/category/ca/ascension/
One of the most complicated shader types in cg are the earth shaders. Although there are only a few 3d spheres with textured surfaces and one sunlight you have to choose unlimited opportunities to design a performant, realistic and detailed scene of the earth, the moon and the sun. There are many different techniques and material properties to design an earth surface model – realistic or abstract. I’ve created a photorealistic earth & moon shader for V-Ray Renderer based on the NASA Blue Marble Earth Maps. You can download this models here.
In May 2011 I was commissioned by the Film Academy Ludwigsburg and Korion GmbH for a computer game to visualize a high-rez model of an explorer’s ship. The first thing I thought of this was the “Santa Maria” of Christopher Columbus, who reached America in 1492. For a game trailer I’ve rendered a ship and a few additional models for four CG sequences.
The freehand modeling of three-dimensional human faces with an usual 3D-animation software is still a big challenge for many CG Artists. A problem during the modeling process of real, human-like characters is the observance of certain natural proportions. An important role plays the famous Golden Ratio, which is difficult to be applied in many ways.