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Lipstick evil power?

Striking car, bones, pale skin, bright red lipstick: Who creates the Computer virtually, a female rogue, lands usually close to the Image of the eccentric Cruella De Vil from disney’s “101 Dalmatians”.

No wonder, say researchers at the University of Stuttgart, which deal with the effect of virtual characters. The people would have to look like a very accurate idea of how a Hero, a villain, or a sinister figure in the digital world, says the research team led by Professor Niels Henze. Disney serves this image and fixing it.

Digital characters, you can always easier and more realistic design: for games, animation, movies, Apps, and Virtual Reality applications. However, as virtual people do not need to be designed so that they have a repulsive? Also such issues, the researchers try to go to the bottom of it. What are the Details avatars sympathetic or scary, sweet or evil, beautiful or ugly to work?

The phenomenon of the “uncanny valley”

More specifically, the scientists want to understand the phenomenon of the “Uncanny Valley”, of “the uncanny valley”. It States: figures, which appear quite realistic, but not completely human, to be perceived as off-putting. It helps, therefore, not necessarily avatars as realistic as possible. On the other hand: in Order to be accepted by the user can be aware of the abstract representation better than a nearly perfect realistic.

The Stuttgart-based researchers are currently experimenting with the representation and control of hands in the digital world. Especially women have problems with a very realistic Hand as her to accept. Men were less restrained, reported, doctoral student, Valentin Schwind. Both would prefer a more abstract Hand. “The Cartoon-Hand-but it is accepted by all.”

Big eyes, high forehead, in the animated film there is, with the effect of faces is affected. “The work of the world”, says Volker Helzle, lecturer in animation Institute, film Academy Baden-Württemberg. “A sad face that can read every man.”

Realistic depictions were not, meanwhile, often very convincing, he admits. “The quality is amazing, but it happens quite a lot.” The Hollywood Film “The curious case of Benjamin Button” with the aging Brad Pitt have set 2008 standards. How many images have been created digitally, not noticed by the viewers at all.

A Film, two opinions

A counter-example, see shrinkage in the Hollywood movie “The polar Express” Tom Hanks, who had not been accepted by the audience because the characters should be realistic. Hanks was real, and filmed his facial Expressions and Gestures to a digital character.

According to the shrinkage of the Film failed the Uncanny Valley, Animators Helzle defended, however, the “polar Express” by Robert Zemeckis as a pioneer, as there is a need for the industry to move forward. Finally, the Film was already 13 years old.

Schwind tells him: disney’s “Milo and Mars” from the 2011 count, in spite of the latest animation technology with 175 million US dollars of the biggest Flops in the history of film. “To identify with such characters, it is not enough to only look realistic.”

Lipstick makes evil

How you feel faces, try the researcher by means of electric to learn electroencephalogram RT (EEG). The electrical activity of the brain of subjects is measured, while you are watching virtual faces. In addition, there is online the so-called Face-Maker, where 800 participants in a study created virtual faces – beautiful, evil, repulsive.

Smooth, flawless skin had been to the participants is very important. The typical male villain has thick eyebrows and a strong jaw, the female villain was already mentioned, striking cheekbones and lipstick.

As a repulsive, unnatural proportions are perceived deviations from the average level. A lot of time the participants spent according to Henze, by the way, with the design of the hair. “They are obviously very important for the perception and design of the rest of the face.”

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