@Equestria Girls legitimacy
There’s still no confirmation from a second source. What’s more, Zammap (the girl behind the scans and the vid showing the magazine) is a talented artist with access to all the equipment one would need to print a fake magazine. Of course, she’s claiming it’s legit, but I make it a point not to trust anyone with a monopoly on the truth. And with something this big, you’d think others would have cropped up by now.
But you don’t have to take my word for it, take a look at the comments here and decide for yourself.
@The uncanny valley
I think the term’s been bandied about far too much and it’s become rather devalued. Much like the word creepy. Seriously, you’d think people want to be afraid of everything around them. Are we human or spathi?
See, the term originated from an explanation as to why most people are terrified of human-like robots. The gist of the idea is that something human-like-but-not-quite sets off our primal warning lights which tell us “that there’s an infiltrator, don’t even think about trusting it”.
Now, what most people ignore about this theory is that the titular valley is the point where’s it’s just human-like enough to seem similar, but not human-like enough to fool us. What precedes this drop in likability is something that resembles humans (or things humans like) in a stylized fashion. Take our little ponies for example. We find them so charming because they’re expressive and relatable, but not so much we’d mistake them for something they’re not. And of course, the opposite end of the valley, where they’re a perfect imitation, is likewise very likable, although whether this is because it obfuscates the truth or not is something we haven’t figured out yet. Mostly because there’s no real example of such yet. Or maybe there is. After all, how would we know?
Most importantly, however, what can be considered to fall into the uncanny valley is very, very subjective. I’ve seen just about any CGI character you could care to name being accused of uncanniness. Myself, I seem to be nearly immune to this effect, barring some initial uneasiness with the really glaring examples. Judging by other people’s reactions, though, just about anything not perfectly human is witch-hunt material in the eyes of the majority. This includes anyone unfortunate enough to have a disfigurement, by the way. Pretty fuckin’ depressing, but then, so is most everything about this ol’ species we have the misfortune of being.
Being something of a veteran furry (or at least veteran furry observer, take your pick) I think I have some qualification to analyze this.
Pulling them off convincingly can be quite tricky. Too much human, it just looks like a dude with glued-on animal parts and a mask. Too much animal, it just looks like the artist failed to depict a proper beast. It’s something of a balancing act.
Personally, I like it best when the head and legs remain animalistic, but the torso and arms and hands are more human-like. A very important detail, however, is the eyes. That’s very much key to avoiding the uncanny valley as well. We humans are very particular about oculars, research shows that they’re the first thing we look for when met with something, even when we know not to expect there being any. So when met with no eyes, or eyes that we don’t like the look of, we tend to react quite negatively.
To illustrate stuff further, I’m gonna show you folks some examples. There won’t be much pony (though there will be plenty of equines) so feel free not to look.
Stylizing (i.e. making ‘em look all cartoony) is a simple and effective way of avoiding any wonkiness that poorly done realism entails. Most people find this sort of artwork easier to swallow since it’s not as liable to fall into the uncanny valley. Also, given the show’s style, you’ll find that most pony anthros are done in this style as well.
Ever wonder why predatory animals are so popular amongst furries? Quite simple really, it’s easier to do the faces convincingly. Prey animals tend to have side-facing eyes with large pupils, while predators have relatively human-like, front-facing eyes. To make, for example, a horse’s face not give folks the heebie-jeebies, you have to move the eyes a bit and shrink the pupils, like the examples in the previous set.
Gotta give mad props to artists that go for a more realistic style. Ain’t easy to pull off, and most folks will fail to appreciate the subtleties. Take the horse there, for example. I’ll bet many of you think it’s an affront to all that is holy, but I think it’s a damn fine example of how to do it right. Also, you people have no idea how difficult it is to find a piece that shows off the anatomy without being too suggestive.