Matt Denton/YouTube

Have You Seen This? Animatronic head is alarmingly realistic

By Angie H. Treasure | Posted - Jan. 7, 2016 at 1:13 p.m.



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WHOAVILLE — I'm not much for guts and gore. I spent a good amount of my formative years trying to avoid disturbing images on the shows my brother watched, namely "The X-Files" and "Tales From the Crypt." While both of those TV shows are relatively tame compared to some of today's programming, seeing a talking mummified corpse merely introduce each episode was enough to make this 5-year-old significantly troubled.

Additionally, I've always been interested in technology — movie magic in particular. Consequently, a YouTube video showing test forage of an animatronic head built for a movie has me feeling conflicted.

The video, uploaded by animatronic supervisor Matt Denton of Micromagic Systems: Animatronics & Robotics for Film & Television, shows just how closely science can imitate life.

The head was built for Edgar Wright's 2013 film "The World's End." In the description, Denton writes that the head is "fairly simple," and only has eye and jaw movement.

Seeing that "fairly simple" head out of context would fool more than one or two lookers on, methinks. The dewy skin. The realistic hair. The spot-on eye movement.

Denton goes on to explain that the head consists of 12 servos, 10 for the eye and brows and two for the jaw.

Watch the video to see the eyes blink, its mouth open and even get a look at the underlying structure that makes it all function.

What's the verdict: Fascinating or disturbing?

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Angie H. Treasure

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