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Conference Paper

Face Reality: Investigating the Uncanny Valley for virtual faces


Breidt,  M
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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McDonnell, R., & Breidt, M. (2010). Face Reality: Investigating the Uncanny Valley for virtual faces. In 3rd ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia (SIGGRAPH Asia 2010) (pp. 1-2). Nw York, NY, USA: ACM Press.

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The Uncanny Valley (UV) has become a standard term for the theory that near-photorealistic virtual humans often appear unintentionally erie or creepy. This UV theory was first hypothesized by robotics professor Masahiro Mori in the 1970‘s [Mori 1970] but is still taken seriously today by movie and game developers as it can stop audiences feeling emotionally engaged in their stories or games. It has been speculated that this is due to audiences feeling a lack of empathy towards the characters. With the increase in popularity of interactive drama video games (such as L.A. Noire or Heavy Rain), delivering realistic conversing virtual characters has now become very important in the real-time domain. Video game rendering techniques have advanced to a very high quality; however, most games still use linear blend skinning due to the speed of computation. This causes a mismatch between the realism of the appearance and animation, which can result in an uncanny character. Many game developers opt for a stylised rendering (such as cel-shading) to avoid the uncanny effect [Thompson 2004]. In this preliminary work, we begin to study the complex interaction between rendering style and perceived trust, in order to provide guidelines for developers for creating plausible virtual characters.