Just noticeable life?

I read an interesting article on Kevin’s blog about Virtual Pets. see here: http://theory.isthereason.com/?p=1912

…you don’t need to replicate every aspect of an animal, to make it real, just the synthesis of it which makes it behave according to our perceived natural or social scripts.

I wonder if this rule applies to 2D animation.One of the most compelling banner ads I’ve noticed in recent times is the one developed by SitePal:


These “things” don’t look real, but they replicate aspects of human behaviour that they can do really well.

How does this animated talking-head compare to a real-life video talking head? see here:

Free Drum Lessons

SitePal’s talking head is ready for action once the page is loaded; heck, it even interacts with you as you move your mouse around the screen! Free Drum Lessons’s isn’t, and needs you to play to activate it.

SitePal’s talking head frees you from bad acting and concentrate only on your voice. Free Drum Lessons’s needs a good actor.I feel engaged by both types of talking heads, but SitePal’s seems to require much less subsequent effort to create.

And then there’s Slingbox.com: You really feel like there’s someone speaking TO you:


I really like the potential of SitePal’s talking heads. Imagine this: using interactive avatars on your Facebook profile (let’s call them Fii’s)! you could record your voice and script behaviours that represent you in real life! People would get that little bit more insight into who you are as a person, and its a whole lot more fun too (think Mii’s on the Wii where clicking on them evokes a response). Another app could even have your Fii’s in a Fii parade marching across cyberspace!


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