Facial animation video from Pendulum Studios

When it comes to realistic animations of human beings, there’s a problematic point where the faces or bodies we see aren’t looking realistic or alive at all. It’s very easy to see that the characters in more than a few current-gen videogames are looking like lifeless dolls. But it seems as if we are really starting to see examples where we have passed that “dead spot” and are making our way into the era where animations of faces and bodies are indeed looking alive. Remember the video of G-Man doing facial expressions prior to the release of Half-Life 2? It almost felt like that was as good as it was going to get for a while, but fortunately, that has not turned out to be the case.

If you look at the video above from Pendulum Studio’s newly opened facial animation division, Alter Ego, or the newly released video and images from Heavy Rain, you are bound to get amazed in a whole different way. But even though it looks absolutely amazing, there’s still this (although more subtle than before) feeling of ‘plastic’ about it. And that brings up an important question; how will the next generation of facial animations look like? Will it be just as psychologically easy to point your gun at that face and pull the trigger?