Climbing Out of the Uncanny Valley: Rockstar Shows Off Depth-Scanning Facial Tech

Human beings remain impressive organic technology; we’re gifted with extraordinary abilities to detect tiny variations in facial expression. But that minor miracle of perception can be an animator’s nightmare, once you edge into the realm of attempted realism. The key is to reach the other side of the so-called “uncanny valley.” Perhaps even more impressive as an application of depth sensing cameras than Microsoft’s Kinect, Rockstar is showing off the MotionScan technology employed in the upcoming video game L.A. Noire. The results, rather than uncannily poor, look uncannily good.

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Inside Beaterator, Rockstar Games’ New PSP Beat Maker, with Gory Technical Bits

What’s that? A full-blown synth interface on the PSP – in a title from the makers of GTA, with Timbaland’s named plastered all over it? Yep. That’s exactly what it is. As you may know, the creators of games like Grand Theft Auto have collaborated with Timbaland to bring a mobile music studio to Sony’s PSP (and later, the iPhone), based on an ambitious free Flash experiment on their Website. Now, it’s my impassioned belief that you shouldn’t need lots of canned loops or celebrity endorsements to make music fun, so normally I might actually run the opposite direction of …

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