I agreed with you, and was trying to pin down what that was exactly and I came to this -> None of the elements on the face seem to be interacting is a big part of that I think. Though every thing is beautifully painted, it doesn't quite come together coherently.
If you block off the top or lower part of the face, it seems to work well enough, but as a whole none of them are working with each other, form what seems to me a lack of conviction in their expressions. The mouth is almost a smile, the eye's are almost a number of emotions, but none of it seems to be really saying anything, so you end up with a vacant stare, like some face you'd see when you pause a movie during someone talking.
You're pretty spot on about that. I based this off a still shot in the video. She's supposed to be singing and not really smiling or neutral. In the end I either screwed up or like you said it might be a pause frame effect. I've added some cheek pull to mitigate some of the uncanny-ness...
I don't think I'd say it was a screw up, especially if she's singing like you said. It makes sense in an odd way I think, that's a face a person would/could make, it's just not quite linked to any particular emotion/action that's instantly recognizable. I think the cheek pull helped a bit, if you were to chip away at it more I think adjusting her eyes to more of a smiling expression would help a ton.
I do like what Kaye was saying that if you consider it a singing android, the uncanny element to it makes an interesting amount of sense. This whole thing has me intrigued cause I feel like you could almost make it legitimately creepy by just adjusting the context of the scene. A little blood splatter, a few open mechanical areas and all of a sudden it's a creepy murder droid, but go the other direction, and she remains and pushes the idol angle.
I hope my criticisms of it didn't offend in anyway by the way, just seemed like an interesting discussion to be had.
yeah... I think I see what you mean. It is weirdly in between movements or emotions, which results in an odd expression. It seems like she should either seem happier, with her cheeks and eyes showing movement with the smile or that she should be more neutral looking without any smile (or perhaps at least a closed mouth smile, I feel like the fact that her mouth is open is not helping). Though a part of me wonders if this was done on purpose by the artist. I've always kind of likened the character of Miku to a singing android because of the slight computerized sound of her voice, so maybe the odd 'fakeness' to her face is to convey how she's a vocaloid and not a human character. Buuut that all depends on the artists' idea of Miku, obviously.
Wow, this is so smooth. I am really interested and like how you decrease the rendering level on areas that shouldn't have most of the attention. That's something I'm working on. But nice work and keep it up!
I just use a bigger brush and restrict that area to a bigger brush. Funny thing, I've been told about method before. I think the reasoning is to only detail one area of something that repeats and the viewer's mind will fill in the details for the repeated areas that are not detailed. Things like only detail the closer limbs, hair, etc. I never picked up on it until recently. I think i liked to render too much.
About this method, I listened to a good illustrator talk about it in a slightly different way: he explained that he thinks it is a good thing to do to lead the eye and persuade it to stay on whatever is the focal point. Almost the same thing, but I like it.