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  Next-Generation Haunted Portraits  
Posted 2007-08-08 by Tony Walsh
One of the main advantages of 3D characters (as opposed to 2D) is the ability to view the character from any angle. MotionPortrait technology and (as far as I know) unrelated service Gizmoz both map photos of human faces onto 3D models of human heads. Sure, heads can be made to turn slightly, eyes to blink and mouths to smile, but the technology can't be expected to invent features that weren't shown in the original photograph (such as the side of someone's head).

There are plenty of practical uses in games and chat software for two-and-a-half dimensional photos, but I find the constricted range of motion shown in MotionPortrait and Gizmoz characters goes beyond beyond the obvious "Uncanny Valley" effect to something even ghastlier--like a portrait in a haunted house that follows you with its eyes.

The trick with awkward technologies is to flip the constraint around into a feature. I can see 2.5D characters fitting into a haunted house game, or on digital trading cards, or maybe as part of an in-game communication system, but not as characters I can easily relate to.
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