The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Gregory Bennett

On the edge of the uncanny cliff: motion capture and animation in recent 3-D computer-generated photorealistic films.

th reference to the films The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), A Christmas Carol (2009) and Avatar (2009), this paper considers how these most recent examples of photorealistic 3-D animation can be seen to enact the complex (and controversial) relationship between motion capture and animation. Drawing on phenomenology, motion capture’s complex relationship to ‘indexical’ reality, and the conception of the ‘uncanny cliff’, the paper examines key examples of observable ‘ruptures’ in perceptual verisimilitude, and aims to identify and account for these through the embodied spectator’s success or failure to resolve and/or synthesize a range of indexical and ontological instabilities.

Biographical statement:
Gregory Bennett is a senior lecturer in Digital Design at AUT University, New Zealand, specializing in 3-D animation and visual effects practice and theory, including developments in motion capture and 3-D stereoscopic projection. He is currently undertaking PhD research which explores issues of embodiment and mimesis in the simulation of perceptual reality in 3D computer animation which combines photorealistic aesthetics with motion capture and stereoscopic projection. This proposed paper is a direct outcome of his core PhD research which is informed by both theoretical and practical investigation.