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Beyond: Two Souls' Jodie Holmes (Ellen Page) nude model and media misinformation.
by Roger Haagensen on 11/05/13 05:32:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Beyond: Two Souls' Jodie Holmes (Ellen Page) nude model and media misinformation.

Ellen Page's CGI counter part in the game is nude, or is she really? The media got this all wrong, and actually made it worse by censoring the original images, inflating the truth.

 

What the heck is this all about?

First of all, here is a Google search leading to the correct uncensored image. And for those with no interest in seeing it, let me describe it...: The character Jodie Holmes is in the shower nude, we can see nipples, that's it.

And if you are wondering what nipples the look like, look at yourself in the mirror, they look the same whether you are male or female except that females have slightly larger ones.

 

So what was the original fuzz about this?

The fuzz is due to a few things, first of all somebody with a developer kit version of the PS3 used debug features in a pre-release version of the finished game to change or move the camera so that angles not seen in the finished game's shower scenes could now be seen.

Sites began posting about it, and Sony management had a panic attack and began to tell sites to remove the images. And this with some falsehoods and misinformation caused this to blow up bigger than it should have.

 

Why did did get so much attention as it did?

Because of a few reasons and lots of mistakes:

  • Sony had a knee jerk reaction.
  • Netizens got excited as they though it was Ellen Page nude celebrity images being leaked.
  • People got upset that this was in the game.
  • People got upset that she was nude.
  • People got upset that there was genitalia or naughty bits.
  • People got upset the 3D model has breasts.
  • People got upset it was anatomically correct.
  • I'm sure there are more reasons.

 

What everyone got wrong!

People got a lot of things wrong:

  • It's not Ellen Page, it's Ellen Page's likeness textured on a head with her bone structure, that's all there is to it.
  • The word phrase anatomically correct was used, which is not correct.
  • The 3D model on it's own is not anatomically correct, it has legs, feet, bald head, a small dimple where the navel is supposed to be, and two small peaks where the nipples are supposed to be. Usually these 3D models are dull flat grey in color, and no other details. That's it. If you've seen a unpainted clay figurine then this is the same thing only it's a computer 3D model instead.
  • The 3D model also has a skin texture, this one is pretty well made, the color seems natural, the navel looks normal, the nipples and areola look normal but maybe lacking some in resolution. There is no anus, nor is there any vulva or vagina or genitals seen, not even any tuft of hair (or lack of). This is no different than taking a Barbie doll and painting two dots where the nipples are supposed to be.
  • People thought somebody had uncensored the game somehow, the game was never censored in the first place.
  • People thought there was genitals, there was none. The reason people thought this was due to the liberal use of large pixelation/blur/bars that covered the characters ass, breasts and crotch area, thus peoples imagination ran wild and they began thinking dirtier things than the reality of it is.
  • Quantic Dreams either created the body skin texture themselves or used a stock texture, my bet is on a stock body texture as the naked skin is rarely seen as most characters has clothing polygons and textures over it most of the time, or there are dirt/blood/grime/scratches/water textures or shaders applied on top of the skin texture.
  • Anatomically Correct as many called it incorrectly would mean it would not just have nipples but also a fully modeled genital area and anal area, the model clearly do not have this. Not even the navel is anatomically correct, and it is actually seen in the released game quite a lot. People get a thrill over a sexy or scantily clad Barbie doll, but a Barbie doll without clothes just freaks people out it seems. Double morality is an odd thing indeed.
  • Some people had issues with the breasts themselves. How the heck you are supposed to show off the character in underwear, dress or even a sweater or jacket and have her look like a normal girl/woman but with a "man chest" instead is beyond me (pun intended).
  • Females have emphasized body curves and males have a bump, deal with it. And unless people where raised by robots, everyone have seen nipples at some point in their lives, whether they have been bottle fed or not. And if nipples disgust them then they have psychological issues in my opinion, everyone have nipples.
  • Breasts (and nipples) are not genitalia, but for some reason people lump them in under that word. If you change the meaning of the word you also change the meaning of what the word refer to, I wish people would stop devolving language like that.

 

Why would they need textured nipples?

Not sure. But my guess is that at some point they wanted the option of topless, possible the shower scene. Additionally certain clothing that may be partially transparent might benefit from having some shadow/color showing through beneath the fabric texture, like in reality. They seem to use subsurface scattering on the skin otherwise so textured nipples would not be that odd for added realism.

In America nipples is controversial. In Europe and many other areas of the world nobody would have made a fuzz about this. The game rating would have remained at Teen here in Europe. In America a shown nipple would almost guarantee a Mature rating, never mind all the people you actually can kill in the game.

If you want an answer to why the nipples was textured, ask Quantic Dreams' art department lead, he probably holds the answer to that, anything else is pure speculation.

 

What Sony should have done!

Not said a word until they had managed to talk to Quantic Dreams about it first, with all the money a developer pays to Sony for the privilege to be on the console and the dev kits/tools the least that Sony could do is call or email the developer before blurting things out to websites around the net.

 

What Ellen Page should do!

Nothing, that's not her body, those are not photos of her, she did not model nude. She wore a fitting motion capture suit, you can see that in the "making of" or "behind the scenes" videos.

 

What the Media should have done!

Research maybe? Most of the media/press these days are just regurgitation of what others report. Usually you can track down most news to one single source these days.

The media should have tried to contact the developer for comment.

Failing that or waiting for a reply they could also have contacted a 3D model artist for some insight into how models are made or a animator on how a real time cut scene is made. Or a game developer on how a game engine and 3D models and texture layers works .

Maybe do an article on the work involved to create a good quality modern 3D character like Jodie Holmes. Such an article would have been great on Gamasutra for example. (Quantic Dreams devs, Gamasutra staff, you folks reading this? Make it happen! A nice "Post Mortem" article for example.)

 

What we should do!

Did you look at the original images? Or did you just skip that? In either case. Done and done. And then just shake your head in disbelief at all this noise about something unreal that no player will ever see when playing the game, and as you can se, there really anything to see in the first place. I see worse things when looking at my face in the mirror every morning instead.

 

What we should Quantic Dreams do?

No idea. But I was serious about the idea of a Post Mortem being posted here on Gamasutra. It would at least let Quantic Dreams explain things on a technical and artistic level, both things that was completely ignored in all this noise currently.

 

Conclusion!

I spent a lot of time writing this. Hopefully I explained things well enough, if not then somebody else do so please. What I can not believe is that no media or journalist sites actually spoke the truth on this. Maybe just maybe if you dig into the comments on sites you may see somebody saying that there is actually no genitalia, and maybe point out some of the things I mentioned above.

But the original articles out there remain unedited or not updated to reflect reality, which is worrying. Even Ars Technica which I consider a serious site fell into the tabloid trap on this one.

 

* * *

Roger Hågensen considers himself an Absurdist and a Mentat, hence believing in Absurdism and Logic. Has done volunteer support in Anarchy Online for Funcom. Voicework for Caravel Games. Been a Internet Radio DJ with GridStream. Currently works as a Freelancer, Windows applications programmer, web site development, making music, writing, and just about anything computer related really. Runs the website EmSai where he writes a Journal and publishes his music, ideas, concepts, source code and various other projects. Has currently released 3 music albums.


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