For those of you not nerdy enough to have heard of the “uncanny valley”, let me crack an egg of knowledge all over your head. The “uncanny valley” is the point at which animation becomes just lifelike enough to be creepy as hell. We have seen this recently in movies such as “Avatar”, and in “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” before that. The special effects and fully animated characters in those films were to the point of near realism, but still just that little bit creepy. Well you can take comfort in the fact that the post production rendering power used to create those films only a few years back is contained within the latest generation of game consoles, those of course being the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Microsoft Xbox 360.
Creator of movie-game Heavy Rain has produced a digital short that was fully created and rendered for the PS3 as a technology demo for a new game engine. The power of the technology to render the character, background, and multiple lighting sources in real-time is quite impressive. Even more impressive is that less than 10 years ago that the video below would have taken a computer hours if not days to produce.
The digital short is titled “Kara”. It is a story about an android that becomes self aware… and then needs to be destroyed!!! The performance capture is actually quite impressive and the entire short is firmly within the uncanny valley.