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Thread: Siren: The embodiment of everything right and wrong with computer animation

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    Default Siren: The embodiment of everything right and wrong with computer animation



    I'll say this much: Unreal Engine has presented the most convincing computer animation I've ever seen to date, and I did find the presentation to be quite impressive in many respects. They at least deserve credit for giving a damn about computer animation as much as computer graphics, and about time too.

    However, my criticism is not particularly directed at Unreal Engine, but rather, the context-barren and predictable slew of negative comments about "Siren" herself. Not that I think they are totally baseless, but they seem to be missing the point. Sure, Siren is not perfect; but nonetheless, she does demonstrate how far computer animation has come.

    My personal gripe is about the way Siren introduces herself. Perhaps I'm asking too much of what is essentially a tech demo, but when it comes to convincing viewers that computer animation is approaching that of reality, Siren does a piss-poor job.

    Sadly, my sense of Siren being indistinguishable from a real human was diminished the moment she spoke. Never mind her animation or appearance; within the first five seconds Siren straight up discloses the fact that she's a "digital human" *facepalm*, thereby giving me no opportunity to ascertain whether she was real or not. Thanks to that unhelpful revelation, instead of appreciating her design as a whole, my senses would instead go out of their way to spot her digital flaws, and consequently I found it difficult to be objective about her animation or appearance.

    I suppose the presentation might have drew less criticism had Unreal Engine published it anonymously (i.e. not under the Unreal Engine brand) and just had Siren engage in some forgettable conversation and not come off as someone promoting, well, herself. But presented as she is, if I were to believe that she was real in any sense of the word then I'd have to believe that I'm looking at a hybrid, child-like woman whom has had some work done in an attempt to transform herself into a plastic doll. I'd say that her smile looks forced too, but to be fair it's no worse than the typically pretentious smiles of presenters in general. At least her head looks believable when viewed in isolation and there are some nice organic details: the translucency of the skin is spot on, her teeth are not perfectly symmetrical nor overbearingly bright, and when she speaks the muscle groups around her nose and mouth move such that her skin creases just a little more on one side of her face than the other. The big problem surfaces when her entire body is in view, at which point I can only think of her as "real" in the idealised, super-model sense. It doesn't help that she speaks in a voice resembling a 12 year old girl either, or to be more specific, Hermione Granger from Harry Potter.
    Last edited by .:neuko:.; 07-30-2018 at 01:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Siren: The embodiment of everything right and wrong with computer animation

    I am a bit dubious as to the authenticity of this video.

    Either way, it is a violation of the Ray Harryhausen rule of not making it too realistic, as that destroys the illusion of fantasy. And fantasy is the key element of animation, is it not?


    If you want realism, use a real actor. They are more creative than your computer.

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