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Performative Avatars | Animations, Final Project Proposal (W4)

Questions from Readings


I think one of the reasons why there are so many brutal killing simulations and realistic violent mods in GTA V (and by extension, other video games) is that ultimately, the violence still feel unreal. The bodies still are digital bodies viewed on a screen. But is there a point where realism (perhaps beyond visual realism) in simulated violence becomes too much? Is there such thing as the uncanny valley of “violence" and we just have not gone past that valley yet – but eventually will?


The concept of death in video games is trivial or even non-existent; video game characters – especially NPCs – are not alive to begin with. I think that is part of why simulated violence is so satisfying. You get the visual consequence and not be burdened by the weight of “death”. It gets me thinking: if we want to achieve more realism (for better or worse), how would we create a realistic – conceptually and sensorially – death?



Final videos:

1. Realistic fall with no elbow folding (see reason on "What did not work"

2. Experimental : slight stretch on neck, wrists, and ankles.

3. Running Sequence


What worked

1. Skinning / playing with materials

(Side note: my legs texture look really dark I will need to fix that in photoshop)

2. Plugging in animations


What did not work:

1. My physics asset don’t have forearms.

I don’t know how to add more capsules and attaching them to the bones.

But the animation works fine?

2. The bone names are wrong too (I think).

My tibias/fibulas are named “foot”. And my hip bones “leg up”.

3. Defining the angular limit was very unintuitive.

Maybe this is because of the bones being named wrongly? My twists weren’t twists, my hipbones were very stretchy, and the angles I specified did not really limit the movement. I ended up having to tick off the soft constraint checkbox. Not sure if this is standard procedure?


Final Project Proposal

For my final project, I want to explore my own feelings toward my body and identity through a series of mini videos.

This would be my process:

  1. Collect some triggers (televised religious sermons, voice note from my parents, dating app screenshots)

  2. Evaluate what feelings emerged from the triggers. Categorize.

  3. Using my avatar as a tool, address the triggered feelings. If I feel small, could I make myself feel bigger by having my avatar be larger than life? What if I have my avatar be even smaller? How would I feel afterwards? Can I see from the view point of my oppressor? What will subjecting my avatar into abuses teach me?

  4. Elements to play around with:

  5. Size of body

  6. Animation / poses

  7. Texture / material

  8. Angle of shoot

  9. Number of bodies

Some mock ups:

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