near real-life 3D avatars: killer application or virtual scarecrow?

3D animations from photos by motion portrait

We have already covered the subject of 3D avatars aka IVA’s (Intelligent Virtual Agents) for business on this blog.

Motion Portrait in Japan is taking this one step further with the ability to turn a 2D picture into a fully-fledged 3D intelligent animation. The result is awesome and can be seen on their home page at  http://www.motionportrait.com/e/. If you refresh that page you’ll see different versions of the same avatar, with different accessories (fuzzy-haired wig, moustache and thick eyebrows,  spectacles or plain 3D animation).

Very impressive indeed, and also a bit weird to a certain extent in so far as it is very close to a real person and therefore very strange. Motion Portrait also offer manga-style IVA’s or other formats. Their IVA’s aren’t just made for web pages but can be adapted for mobile phones, TV programmes and game consoles.

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Yann Gourvennec

CEO & Founder at Visionary Marketing
Yann has a long-standing experience in marketing, information systems and Web marketing. He created visionarymarketing.com in 1996 and since then, he has practiced Web strategy, e-business and Web communications in the field. He was a member of socialmedia.org from 2008 till 2013. He is a lecturer, a keynote speaker, an author and blogger. In early 2014, he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur when he founded his digital marketing agency Visionary Marketing.
Yann Gourvennec
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3 thoughts on “near real-life 3D avatars: killer application or virtual scarecrow?

  1. Nice post. saw this on digg. Would you like to join me in my blogging team?

    I usually compensate with paypal cash.

    I am looking for tech bloggers, who can blog on industry news, gadgets reviews, web 2.0, apple

  2. Wow.. that IS life-like.. But if you spend a few seconds looking at the animation intently the ‘Uncanny Valley’ effect pops out almost immediately. A big step, but at this point the smallest detail makes a big difference…

    I wonder if there are any case studies of using similar life-like agents and their effect on customer satisfaction, lead conversions, etc. If the Uncanny Valley plays its role as predicted, then the use of such agents – at least for now – is a bit of a risk for companies relying heavily on their online portals. What do you think?

    Nik – Big Click Studios
    @BigClickStudios

    1. Thanks Nik for mentioning the “uncanny valley” phenomenon. I didn’t know the concept although I had almost unconsciously felt that there was something wrong in having a near-life robot behave almost as a human which is exactly why we feel uneasy about it.

      As to your question, although I would tend to agree with your statement point blank, on second thoughts, I’m not sure that users don’t like it though. I submitted a poll on the French version of the post and I got a lot of feed back which was very different from what I expected. On average people seemed to like them.

      I have therefore decided to repost this entry and submit a poll too. We’ll see what happens…

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