Ask any animation modeler about the "uncanny valley," and you're sure to get at least a grimace, if not a groan. Said term describes the long-standing barrier which refers to the perception that "animation looks less realistic as it approaches human likeness." Image Metrics is hoping that a newfangled approach used to create Emily (pictured) will finally allow animations to look more like humans and less like "corpses
." As you could probably surmise, the secret is the tech's ability to survey and replicate the most subtle of movements, though even Raja Koduri, chief technology officer in graphics at AMD, doesn't see the line between reality and fiction being blurred before 2020. We'll see what Emily's posse has to say about that.