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BJD Realism

Dec 28, 2006

    1. I didn't exactly know how to pose the title question, but... a lot of people think BJDs are very realistic looking/feeling (including myself). I can't really figure out why that is though - I mean, compared to other dolls, what's so different about them? Obviously there's differences in posing, materials, crafting, etc. - but how do they manage to seem SO realistic? Also, although they are realistic, even without seeing their joints, most BJDs can be clearly distinguished from real people. What exactly is it that makes this so?

      As for my own opinions, I have no idea on how they manage to look so realistic. Even with how they're crafted, it's still really odd sometimes. As for why we can distinguish them without seeing joints and things - I think that's probably because they're completely devoid of any physical flaws. You know - how humans will have lingering scars that don't look quite right, have uneven eyebrows, enlarged pores, etc. etc.

    2. I think that it is numerous things that make bjds realistic. The talent of the sculpted head , the face up , the eyes and of course clothes.
      And like you mentioned the posabilty! :)
    3. The overall shape of bjds tends to be more proportionate that other dolls... for instance "American Girl" dolls are teenagers, but their bodies are shaped like toddlers.

      Partly its the makeup and the blushing, but I think a large part is the eyes. Since the eyes aren't painted in, and a lot of people use high quality eyes, they seem really life like :3
    4. I'm inclined to say the posability and proportions of the dolls. That's where most of the comments I get about mine involve. That's usually the first comment my mom makes about a doll when I first get him/her. That their bodies actually looked like human bodies, and in the case they come painted, that their face-ups look nice. She did say she liked the fact that my Volks dolls came with eyelashes. Other than that, she's comment about how well they posed. She said Rufus posed just like a real person would, and she liked that my new Sist could titled her head back and look up.

      Those aren't the only ones I've gotten though.

      The rest of the comments, have involved their faces. The face-ups mostly. And then the eyes. A friend of mine won't look at them because he says they stare back at him. xD;;
    5. Let's just say they're waaaaaay more evolved than a Barbie.
    6. Definitely the posability. These dolls can convey body language like virtually no others. And I used to say I would never have a doll with glass eyes, but they add so much to the realism. I prefer glass over any other kind of eyes for BJDs. (But I still dislike them in other dolls, LOL!)

      Etienne Gavreau, my Volks SD13 School. And a very, very bad boy.

      Linda S.
    7. So much goes into them, and we each yearn and strive to photograph them in the best light, their size allows for usage of more and more realastic things, they just come to life. Their clothing is so very detailed, their look changes depending on how they are photographed and where, scale is so much less of an issue for them.
    8. The newer dolls have much more realistic sculpts than the early Volks & with the right face-up can even be mistaken for a real person in photographs. Also, many of the bodies now are so detailed & perfectly proportioned that they simulate human bodies. There was a promo picture of Supia Roda from the back that, if you airbrushed out the joints, you'd swear was a live girl standing there.

      The demand for these dolls in the west has greatly influenced how they look. Companies seem to be moving away from the manga/anime style to a more human look. There are obviously some very talented sculpters & artists involved the production of these dolls & it's interesting to see how some of the artists have evolved. Take Rainman for instance. The first Rainys, like Ryung, had oversized eyes & thin noses. Now, with Lydia, he has sculpted a very human looking face. And RuRu promises to push the envelope even farther with her one piece, highly detailed body & beautiful face.

      The eyes contribute to the realism as well. With the better ones you get very natural highlights in the light. And of course the posability is a big factor. Also clothing is often very detailed & finely made & in various poses drapes beautifully.

      To paraphrase AnimeDoll, these dolls are light years away from a Barbie.
    9. I've seen Nonos that look more lifelike than Yukinojos, most of a doll's realism comes from the owner and their ability to pull a doll's look together and photograph it in a flattering way. It's not one thing that does it, it's the combination of a lot of hard work and artistic vision.
    10. Some BJDs are more well-proportioned than other dolls. Minus the sometimes overly large eyes, their faces tend to be sculpted to immitate human shape rather than some of those overly round faces you find on certain asian dolls. Also, they're made of resin and usually coated with protection, making their 'skin' matted rather than the shiny vinyl that barbies are made of (which means they don't look plasticky).

      I find their hands and feet tend to have more realistic detail than other dolls. Their backs, shoulderblades, collarbones, muscles, nipples...all these tend to be more realistically sculpted on BJDs. I've seen a few photographs where the faces of the dolls aren't seen clearly, and you can hardly tell that it isn't human. In a way, good photography brought out the human potential in the BJDs as well.

      If you look straight at a picture of a doll's face, it's usually easy to tell it's a doll because many BJDs' features are stylized (bigger eyes, too small mouths, very sharp noses, etc). For those that are more realistically sculpted, most of them are far too perfect as a whole (no pores, symmetrical face, etc). In the end, a doll is a doll and sometimes, they just lack a certain light in the eye, a certain life in photos compared to humans.
    11. I really wish this trend would stop or at least not completely take over the BJD aesthetic, since the realism kills the magic for me. I like my dolls to have a more stylized, anime come to life look to them, and if I wanted a doll that looked like what your perfect American model looked like, I'd go buy a Tyler doll or what have you since they already fill that niche. A repainted Barbie photographed properly can look just as human as a BJD, if not more so in some ways.

      It's not the face sculpts that make these dolls look lifelike to me, but generally the whole package that some owners take to putting these dolls together. I've seen more old school Volks dolls photographed well that look more alive than 99% of the Narae's I have looked at. It's about painting the doll well, taking the body and posing it in a way that looks natural and capable by the human body, putting them in to scale clothing that fits well, usually using high quality eyes that mimic the way real eyes take in light, and photographing them well and imbuing the pictures with an energy. Some people do this really well, and some people don't care to do it at all because looking realistic isn't a priority. I like my dolls to look like beautiful dolls and not people. Parts of the body sculpts also have an eye towards detail that a lot of other dolls do not have, like more detailed hands and musculature.
    12. I think a lot of it is the proportions of the dolls. They're more often much more realistic than those of "every day" dolls (yes yes I know you're thinking it... Barbie and her 'homg so unrealistic body image!').

      That on top of everything everyone else mentioned (pose, eyes, faceup, sculpt, clothing [which can be underrated in making a doll appear more realistic]).
    13. I agree with everything mentioned and would also say the quality of their skins which is luminous and has a depth more than any other doll I have ever seen and of course the resin has a lovely dewy texture. Also they way they are made prompts them to act in random ways, like suddenly sitting down when you are trying to take a photo!

      I also believe it is the care with which they are made and the way in which we owners treat them that helps them to acquire personalities of their own which then somehow come through.
    14. Dolls look increasingly more realistic now because of their proportions. Smaller eyes, less pouty lips, more musculature on the torso etc. I actually prefer the less realistic-looking dolls, though. I like dolls that look impossibly beautiful. (As opposed to perfectly realistic.) I don't think my own boys are realistic-looking. But I do think they are very beautiful and give the impression of being life-like when I pose them properly for photos. =)
    15. i have nothing useful to add to this thread, but i just wanted to say that i was wondering the EXACT same thing like 2 days ago and considered making this very same thread. So, props to you Ren13! :)
    16. The eyes... it's the eyesss! Hayden looks lifeless without the right eyes. Personally, I think they eyes give the realism. Shape, colour, depth, etc ^^
      And the posing. Not so much Eiji, but Hayden just sits so naturally, and just... moves the way someone would... IF THEY WERE REAL 0_0
    17. I have to agree with everything that's been said, if you were to make up a pie of it all, it'd be 80% proportions, sculpt and posability, 10% faceup and eyes and 10% photography skills. All in, there really is nothing like them around and for that reason alone I suppose they stand out :)
    18. I think that it's mainly about the eyes and faceup. Because I've noticed that at least to me, lots of dolls with fantasy/ "weird" faceups don't look as realistic. I also think that many times their eyes are verly life- like and full of expression, and this definitely help make them look more real.
    19. Partly their expressiveness--they have this, I don't know, spark about them. They don't have a dead or vacant looking gaze. Their posability also helps, they can take on more natural human positions. Their sculpts are also quite detailed as well.
    20. My Lucine has a way of giving you a look and you feel like she is real... its partly the eyes the way she can tilt her head hold out her hands and just the way you can customize them to what you think looks good (and more realistic)