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View Poll Results: How are you affected by the "uncanny valley" in watching an anime series?
I'm affected, to the point that it affects how I see a series as a whole. 3 7.32%
It depends on the story. Story or superior aspects may sway me into proceeding regardless. 15 36.59%
Character designs do matter, but it doesn't undermine my enjoyment of the series. 13 31.71%
It doesn't affect me at all. 10 24.39%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2013-04-07, 18:44   Link #21
Ithekro
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It would be if something is trying to be realistic but come of in a disturbing fashion. Sort of like if a human was wearing a human suit and trying to act naturally while his face was slightly off center or his eyes didn't blink often enough.
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Old 2013-04-07, 20:00   Link #22
Marcus H.
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I heard about the Uncanny Valley in reference to The Hobbit's higher framerate. That seemed to make some sense to me, but I don't understand the premise of this 'too realistic' animation version of the Uncanny Valley. Why are the hyper-realistic graphics in modern video games exempt?
There are reasons why, but there may be a different scale for games.
For example, it's okay to see a realistic Lara Croft, but it is also okay for people to see a blocky Minecraft avatar at work. However, seeing a shitty 3D render is off-putting to say the least.
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Old 2013-04-07, 20:59   Link #23
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
I heard about the Uncanny Valley in reference to The Hobbit's higher framerate. That seemed to make some sense to me, but I don't understand the premise of this 'too realistic' animation version of the Uncanny Valley. Why are the hyper-realistic graphics in modern video games exempt?
I think the same term is being used to describe different things.

The definition of "uncanny valley" given in the OP uses the word "revulsion". But, typically, that isn't necessarily in the sense of "it's crossed this line where it suddenly looks ugly". It's more that it gives a subtle unsettling feeling that's hard to put your finger on. It just bothers you because something's just "off". I remember that comment being used most with, say, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within -- the CG was very pretty and well-made (I don't think most would actually cause it "revolting" literally), but many found the CG characters unsettling and hard to accept.

But I think the example being provided here is instead going with the other meaning; that in trying for a different style of presentation (rotoscoped from real-live actors and scenes), the resulting product just doesn't look visually appealing to some people. It doesn't use either the benefit of live-action or the benefit of animation, in the traditional senses. I actually don't think this is really what was meant by "uncanny valley" originally. It's more like "the pursuit of realism doesn't necessarily result in a more visually-appealing product". Then again, I think they were going for something quite different in the first place.

I think hyper-realistic videogame graphics can have the same problem, but more in the first sense of the word.
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Old 2013-04-07, 21:20   Link #24
creb
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I strongly believe the "uncanny valley" is an artifact of the late 90s/early 2000s, where the technology made it feasible to try to make realistic faces, but it wasn't nearly good enough to actually make them, creating some seriously hideous works of "art".

I don't think it really exists with modern technology. There are tons of hyper-realistic faces in video games today that don't disgust/horrify/distrub/etc me.

/shrug
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Old 2013-04-07, 21:25   Link #25
Dark Faith
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Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
How about you guys? Are you just as affected as I am when it comes to the uncanny valley in anime to the point of dropping or not enjoying the series? I'd also like to learn about how character designs in general affect the viewer's insight of the series.
I don't know about uncanny valley, since it's still pretty much foreign territory to me (this thread's the first time I've heard of the concept!), but character designs have a pretty big impact on my enjoyment of a show.

According to people (this is a common comment I see through the internet) character designs have been getting increasingly more moe the past few years, to the point where I've gotten so used to it that I felt some kind of shock when I recently decided to re-watch Banner of the Stars. It's not that the designs are bad, but they look different from what we commonly see today that it took me several episodes until my brain decided I could watch it in peace.
Don't even get me started on Record of Lodoss War.. or as a friend of mine calls it, "that time on anime where everyone had huge noses".

Different approaches at art styles can get in the way of my enjoyment. I think that the most glaring example was Kingdom, which had me cringing in front of the screen at the awful use of CGI in the first episodes, to the point I actually dropped the show and only watched the rest of it after someone in these forums told me to start at a later episode instead.

As for Aku no Hana...it weirds me out for some reason. Mostly because it seems to be stuck in limbo between being anime and live action. But as long as the story is good, I'll watch it.
Kinda like videogames... even if the graphics are bad/dated, people will play the game as long as the gameplay's enjoyable.
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Old 2013-04-08, 12:27   Link #26
4Tran
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Most anime don't look anything near enough like real people to trigger any kind of uncanny valley effect. I find that it's really other things about the way characters are drawn that disturb me. For example, look at the character design from Tamako Market:



It's a pretty good design overall, but there's things about it that draw me away from the show while watching it. The biggest factors are the hands and feet. Not only are they proportioned smaller than they should be, but the way they're drawn is meant to accentuate that. The effect is most clearly seen with the hands: shirtsleeves will be drawn to cover the wrist and part of the hand to accentuate their smallness. For feet, the girls will often have their toes pointed inward, again accentuating smallness. I don't like the designs of the faces either, the way the eyes and eyebrows are set doesn't work for me, and the no-nose society has gone too far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninryu View Post
WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?! The manga designs were more than good enough and fit the story. Just why?!
I haven't watched Rotoscope: the Anime yet, and I'm sure the artwork looks hideous in motion. However, I think that the character design is fine - sure it doesn't look particularly attractive, but I sort of like the fact that the production isn't interested in making the characters look as attractive as possible. It's obvious that the anime is trying to do something different from what the manga did, and I think that there's some potential in that. Didn't the director originally think that it'd have been pointless to make a standard adaptation anyways?
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Old 2013-04-09, 05:06   Link #27
sa547
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The unorthodox decision to use rotoscoping forced me to focus much on the story than to be concerned with character design.
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Old 2013-04-09, 21:34   Link #28
Dahak86
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Why are the hyper-realistic graphics in modern video games exempt?
Hyper-realistic is kind of an exaggeration. I've been playing some of the most recent titles for pc and all of them failed to strike me as hyper-realistic. "Decently-realistic" would be a much more fitting term.

As for anime/hentai/manga, it is kind of obvious that "the more realistic they get, the less enjoyable they become". Reality's usually fairly boring after all, which is then why entertainment was born.
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Old 2013-04-10, 20:15   Link #29
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by Dahak86 View Post
Hyper-realistic is kind of an exaggeration. I've been playing some of the most recent titles for pc and all of them failed to strike me as hyper-realistic. "Decently-realistic" would be a much more fitting term.

As for anime/hentai/manga, it is kind of obvious that "the more realistic they get, the less enjoyable they become". Reality's usually fairly boring after all, which is then why entertainment was born.
Nah, I don't agree. "Decently-realistic" is N64 or Playstation level. We're at a very high pinnacle of realism right now. Perhaps you're jaded from being used to them. I don't really play video games anymore, but when I do on the rare occasion, I tend to be floored by how realistic the graphics have become. Then again, this also ties in to our own semantical interpretation, so whatever.

Going by relentless's elaboration on the uncanny valley, I can safely say I've never experienced it with anime (nor have I with games or any other similar medium for that matter). I think I may have fallen prey to it when viewing The Hobbit, however, as that higher framerate did seem to somehow take me out of the mindset of "I'm watching a movie" and it was too realistic in a bizarre way. It detracted from the experience (though there were myriad other problems I had with the movie anyways).
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Old 2013-04-11, 11:34   Link #30
Akka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
I heard about the Uncanny Valley in reference to The Hobbit's higher framerate. That seemed to make some sense to me, but I don't understand the premise of this 'too realistic' animation version of the Uncanny Valley. Why are the hyper-realistic graphics in modern video games exempt?
I think there is two (rather interwined) reasons for this :
- Different expectations. You don't use the same criteria, so you're not paying attention to the same details, and many get a free pass.
- Focus : video game tend to focus on action, not really on close-up dialogues. Also, in a blend with the previous focus, you don't expect, and the developpers don't attempt, to do anything but a very rough lip service to facial expressions.
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Old 2013-04-11, 13:15   Link #31
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think the same term is being used to describe different things.

The definition of "uncanny valley" given in the OP uses the word "revulsion". But, typically, that isn't necessarily in the sense of "it's crossed this line where it suddenly looks ugly". It's more that it gives a subtle unsettling feeling that's hard to put your finger on. It just bothers you because something's just "off". I remember that comment being used most with, say, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within -- the CG was very pretty and well-made (I don't think most would actually cause it "revolting" literally), but many found the CG characters unsettling and hard to accept.

But I think the example being provided here is instead going with the other meaning; that in trying for a different style of presentation (rotoscoped from real-live actors and scenes), the resulting product just doesn't look visually appealing to some people. It doesn't use either the benefit of live-action or the benefit of animation, in the traditional senses. I actually don't think this is really what was meant by "uncanny valley" originally. It's more like "the pursuit of realism doesn't necessarily result in a more visually-appealing product". Then again, I think they were going for something quite different in the first place.

I think hyper-realistic videogame graphics can have the same problem, but more in the first sense of the word.
I think this clarifies a point of confusion with this thread. Based on the poll it seems like we're talking about whether we prefer our anime to be more anime-like or more realistic (huge anime eyes vs. more realistic proportioning, for example). This doesn't really have anything to do with being difficult to discern from reality, which is what the "uncanny valley" sort of gets at.

At least, I have not yet encountered any anime series that triggered an "uncanny valley" sort of unease.

As far as character designs and artwork go, they matter. I don't know that I've ever avoided a series because of its artwork, but I know that there have been some series where my enjoyment of the series was made a bit more difficult by what I viewed as unappealing artwork. Usually it just required a period of adjustment, as I could watch a few episodes and then find the character designs appealing. This is usually more of a problem for series that go with more original character styling. The most recent example I can think of was Kemono no Souja, which had flatter character designs (in terms of coloring and shading) and which didn't detail the eyes as heavily as modern anime series do.
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Old 2013-04-11, 19:18   Link #32
Tougarashi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
As a sneak peek, here are the designs for the Aku no Hana manga (left) and anime (right).

Images
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
I think there is uncanny valley effect is exist in here because it used human texture in a face that is not so human-like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
An interesting use of Uncanny Valley for me was the way the cyborg from psycho pass was designed and animated, something just felt off about him and that was a sign he wasn't quite human
Sure, he looks almost human but his appearance of human does not match his cyborg like jerkiness. That is eliciting the creepiness to the viewer.


What I think is above instances violated the design principle and thus producing uncanny valley effects. By the way this discussion made me read a few knowledgeable thing and I'm thankful for it.
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Old 2013-04-12, 11:16   Link #33
Eclipze
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Sorry, but that face is in no way "realistic". To say that it is would be a clear indication that you are uninformed of the human face proportion.

The proportions are clearly off. This bothered me more than their decision to use rotoscope for the animation. The actress that played this character clearly looks nothing like this.

Spoiler for comparison:


Look at the position of the nose. This gets worse when you try to scale up the set of black lines to fit the mouth and eyes in (for the original frame). Sorry, but "average" people simply don't look like that. Even the manga design is better proportioned.
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Old 2013-04-29, 21:35   Link #34
Urzu 7
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The animation style of Aku no Hana is rather unsettling. I bet the hentai for it would be creepy.
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Old 2013-04-29, 22:47   Link #35
Marcus H.
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Old 2013-04-30, 09:50   Link #36
Vexx
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It's like those awful financial services advertisements from a few years ago where they have "painted an animated character" over a real person as they talk about the products. It isn't really the "uncanny valley" so much as it just looks *lousy*.

Uncanny valley problems are like what one might see in the old Final Fantasy movie.

http://www.damninteresting.com/a-wal...f-the-uncanny/
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