Familiarity and Overcoming of Uncanny Valley towards Computer-Generated Imagery Characters in Malaysian Film



  • Ahmad Azaini bin Abdul Manaf Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
  • Fatihah Ismail Faculty of Creative Technology and Heritage, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Kelantan 16100, Malaysia
  • Mohd Rosli Arshad Department of Animation, Malaysian Institute of Information Technology, Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur 50250, Malaysia
  • SungPil Lee Graduate Design Department, Dongseo University, Busan 47011, South Korea


humanoid reality, digital actors, uncanny valley, virtual reality, visual analysis


Recently, the idea of the uncanny valley has drawn interest in robotics and other scientific circles and popular culture. Several scholars have discussed its implications and reactions towards human-like robots. However, only several previous studies examined overcoming the uncanny valley for realistic looking computer-generated actors in films and animation. This seeks to examine the familiarity of participants with the use of digital characters as actors. This paper explains how computer-generated imagery (CGI) was used to create actors in Malaysian films, the uncanny valley characteristics that may affect the audience’s attention. The researcher has chosen visual stimuli consisting of 1 genuine human character and 1 less humanlike subject. A self-administered survey (n = 127) with sample film footage and photos were delivered online via email and social networks to responders. Surprisingly, based on the data, the human resemblance of the humanlike characters was substantially higher than expected. This research concluded that the artificial CGI characters had higher perceived eeriness if the character was highly familiar to the audience. As a result, the digital actor’s replacement an impression of eeriness and disbelief, which confirms the uncanny valley theory.

Author Biography

Ahmad Azaini bin Abdul Manaf, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Program Coordinator

Animation Program


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