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But the joints are showing!

Sep 17, 2011

    1. So, we all obviously love the fact that these dolls are jointed. But as in all matters, opinions differ on the joints themselves.

      I personally am amazed at photos wherein the doll is arranged to seem startlingly human, but if I see a wrist joint or notice a hole around the neck from a low angle, it doesn't faze me, similar to my impression of seams. The design of joints is fascinating to me, in fact. I would say that everyone chooses to make adjustments to make their doll seem more lifelike - finding eyes that have that glint, for example - but that is usually as far as my preference goes, enough to catch my attention in a photograph or in life. I would choose mobility in joints over aesthetics, as long as they aren't something that sounds good but in practice ends up as a hindrance (which isn't what this thread is about). I personally think a doll with a character meant to be a doll, in a Pinocchio before he's a real boy sort of way, would be very cool, and may do this someday.

      But what about all of you? :)

      1. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?

      2. If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?

      3. Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?

      4. Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?

      Remember, this isn't a thread about the right or wrong way! I did see a rather similar topic here but I feel this is a little more of a focused discussion on preferences of realism. My apologies if I've overlooked another topic in the same vein!
       
    2. It's funny, I'd completely forgotten about how ugly I used to find the joints on BJDs. It put me off buying them for quite a while, particularly the double jointed dolls for some reason. Now I barely notice them at all in photos. I think the only time they bother me now is when people pull a joint out into a position it shouldn't be in for a photo - that just jars with me.
       
    3. Hide the joints? No no no! I love seeing the joints on dolls.
      Somehow, it doesnt make them seem less real to me. I think the joints system is beautiful, and seeing how they work helps me appreciate the craftsmanship of the doll. Of course, having joints that close up nice and clean without looking bulky are nice, but I would never sacrifice mobility for realism.
       
    4. Joints don't bother me -- it's part of the look of these types of dolls. I'm so used to seeing them that unless they're really out of the ordinary looking, joints don't even really register with me.

      I do tend to prefer single jointed dolls, but it's not so much for aesthetic reasons -- I find them less fussy to deal with (realizing that this is somewhat dependent on the individual company of course). Jointed hands I overall really do like -- they are very expressive and give a lot of options for photos. However, they are more fiddly to deal with. They're the sort of thing that if they really come in handy for a doll's character, then I'll happily get a pair, but I don't want them for everybody. Right now I have one doll with jointed hands, and I would like to get a set for another.
       
    5. I suppose I just don't notice the joints anymore! I don't really remember being particularly startled by them when I was new to the hobby either, but then I've been a fan of dolls since I was a child and a master at completely ignoring their larger stylizations in favour of the characters they portray.

      I would only hide the joints if I was specifically going for realism and couldn't have them showing without ruining the concept of the photo. Otherwise, I don't mind them at all! In fact, I completely agree with you- I like to see that little hint that these are still dolls, there's something just so much more beautiful about seeing a photo that lovely and spotting the joint that just keeps you grounded in the beauty of the doll itself.
       
    6. It depends on the joint. I rather like the look of wrist joints and ankle joins, but when the neck joint shows in a picture it seems very awkward to me. I also prefer to hide the elbow and knee joints as they can stick out rather awkwardly and look squared, which makes a picture seem off to me.

      jointed hands, to me, can look very good if they're blushed right... but otherwise I think they look awkward. Plus, they seem to be really difficult to deal with and I would be terrified of breaking them. How do you string something so small?! I wouldn't want to re-string a jointed hand, that's for sure!
       
    7. 1. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?

      No. Dolls being dolls have never bothered me. And although I like realism, it's not the main thing I like in a doll. Not that I WANT to see joints and artificiality, either. I just can overlook--or accept--such things and still look at them as characters. As long as they look and are posed along human lines and don't do anything that looks really awkward or strange... I can gloss over little things like joints (if they aren't honking big, weird or obvious), and definitely overlook seams.

      2. If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?

      Minimizing is good. I don't like it when joints are highlighted or obvious, since dolls, while just dolls, are still meant to be something more to me (not that I think they are alive--but I do like to have them represent people and characters, etc.).

      I pretty much want to ignore joints. To me, they need to just do what they need to do--that is, allow the doll to pose and look natural. So it's more an indifference/getting used to them.

      3. Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?

      Some double-jointing just looks too unnatural to me. Might as well have the knee-joint popped, I think! Or just not posed that way. Other double-joints are not too bad. So, yes, I guess I'd rather have aesthetics over mobility if it means the joint become too prominent and odd-looking. Jointed hands sometimes bother me because I notice the joints too much. I'd rather had a less-poseable hand without seeing all those joints most of the time. (at other times the solid hands can look too unnatural, too... a lot of it is how creative a poser the owner is, and how good a photographer they are, to work with whatever they have and make it look good, thouigh.)

      4. Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?
      To me, it's all art and artifice. To take something that isn't real and have it seem real. Maybe, yes, to transcend beyond it being just pieces of resin... Not in reality, but just in portrayal... I like them posed looking as if they might be real, basically. I don't want them looking absolutely realistic... I don't mind them looking like dolls--or being highly stylized. Just looking as good and natural as dolls have the ability to be. It's hard to articulate these thoughts! *_*
       
      • x 1
    8. My brain just edits out the joints for the most part, unless the joint is the focus of the photo. I like dolls to look realistic; otherwise, I'd just collect dolls that just stand in a cabinet and look pretty. I prefer nice-looking minimal joints and will probably not ever buy another doll with mobility joints, as they are often more trouble than not in my experience. I don't photograph my dolls nude, and minimize the joints in photographs. I don't hide them, but faces are more interesting to me.
       
    9. I'd never really thought about it before, but I don't like the joints showing. My dolls are almost always dressed in clothes that completely conceal the joints. The only exceptions are four (out of 18) who have their knee joints showing due to wearing shorts. For me, it's not really about realism - I just don't find the joints attractive. I don't really think about them much when I'm looking at other people's pictures, though.
       
    10. 1. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?
      When I was new at this hobby, I had thought the joints looked somewhat unsightly. I still think jointed hands have a very "skeletal" look to them. But as time went by, and I got my own dolls, I began to see it as just another part of the doll and that they didn't really interfere aesthetics-wise.

      2. If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?
      Like I said, I think most people get used to it. I don't minimize their appearance at all - in part because I don't know how, but also because it doesn't bother me. They can weird you out though, when you notice your doll has holes in their knees.

      3. Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?
      I like the double-jointing on the limbs, but I'm not a fan of the mobility joint. On my BBB Apollo, the joint is just a large ball of resin without any sort of ridges to hold things in proper place. His leg likes to turn around a lot because of this (and probably also because he's strung rather loose). I don't like the three-piece torso because I don't really see how it benefits me more than the two-piece torso does. I have two dolls, and they have one system or the other, and I find the two-piece torso looks better and seems easier to work with.

      I also would rather buy jointed hands, because I wouldn't need to go out, and try to find a set of hands that are in the pose I want as well as match the resin.

      I guess my preference of certain jointing mechanism isn't due to how they look, but more about how they are to work with, as well as ease of acquisition. Like I said, it's hard to find hands that are in a specific pose, but jointed hands can assume any pose you want.

      4. Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?
      I'm not of fan of pictures that make dolls look like they're dolls. I find that I'm drawn to photos that make the dolls look like some kind of half-animate being - maybe that's a bad way of putting it. I guess what I mean is that the doll still looks like a doll, but also looks like it could move if it wanted to.
       
      • x 1
    11. I don't even notice the joints on my dolls, as long as the pose is natural and the lines of the body are smooth. :) I don't go out of my way to hide joints but neither do I try to emphasize them. Sometimes it's fun to take a photo where all joints are cleverly hidden or concealed, but it's not a focus of mine. I DO require excellent mobility- I'll take a nice double jointed body any day. To me posing > joints. However, I also consider the overall aesthetic of the body. If it's awkward in general, I probably wouldn't want to buy it at all.

      I do try to photograph my dolls in ways that make them seem alive, more than mere objects. However, to me this "alive" quality has less to do with whether I can see their joints or not, and more with how dynamic and realistic their pose is. For me, the ease and natural-ness with which a doll is posed does much more to convey realism and life that a stiffly posed doll with all the joints hidden.
       
    12. It's ALL ABOUT the joints for me. :) I keep my dolls displayed unclothed and prefer to photograph them that way. For me, I was attracted to the hobby because of the joints and I continue to be in love with the dolls because of the joints!
       
    13. There are only a few exceptions where joints don't look good to me; double joints can look a bit ugly I think (unclothed Souldoll knees spring to mind).
      I barely notice them most of the time but sometimes it reeally adds to the beauty of the doll, such as wth the Soom monthlies. I love to see how their digitigrade legs work and bend and move, to admire the handiwork and talent that has gone into making these beautiful dolls! :fangirl:
       
    14. I love the look of joints! My dolls character is that of a real person, but aestheticly - i think joints are seriously pretty. So much so that when I had the opportunity to get my doll a better posing body, i passed because it didn't have a rib cage joint. I dont feel the same way about seams, however, and have sanded them off.

      I do try to get her into the most natural poses I can, because I think they make for more interesting photos.
       
    15. 1. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?
      I tend to hide the joints because I tend to put my dolls in long clothes (I just like long sleeves for some reason), but I don't care much if the wrist joints show or not. I don't like showing the neck joint.

      2. If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?
      It's aesthetics. I think showing the neck joint doesn't look that nice or the head is in a more unnatural looking position.

      3. Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?
      I like the mobility double joints provide, though I think sometimes they can look very unappealing depending on how the sculpt goes about it and look too angular and unnatural. I'm not very fond of jointed hands. I don't find them very appealing to look at. I'd love to play with them (oh how I wish I had a doll-friend with a huge collection or something), but I don't think I'd like them unless it's for a character who perpetually wears gloves.

      4. Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?
      I'm pretty straight-forward about my dolls being dolls. My dolls' molds aren't the most realistic or fantasy-orientated so it's pretty obvious they're not alive.
       
    16. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?
      I quite like the look of joints, and most of the time I don't even look at them, but rather the pose and the angle of a photo and the doll's face and so on. I don't even own any shirt that would hide my doll's elbow joints.

      If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?
      The doll-ness of BJDs holds appeal to me, even though mine all portray human characters. I like the joints in general, though there are some that in lack of any design look bad to me. (like Impldoll baby bodies)

      Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?
      Jointed hands would be a pain, so I don't want those, but it's double jointed all the way for me. Really, though, I rarely care so much as to get the body from a different company than the head. What I do is choose the double-jointed one if it's available.

      Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?
      It varies. I've done a photoshoot where she's just a doll, one hand and headcap missing, but most of the time she is herself, the character she is. ^^
       
    17. 1. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?
      Neither-nor. Joints serve a function, that's all. It's all about the posing, and I tend to pay attention to the limbs themselves, or the torso. HOWEVER -- if the pose has required me to pop a section out of joint, or if the joint -- like some recent companies' double joints -- are either inhumanly unsightly in flexion or expose gaping holes, then I will alter either the pose or the camera angle, or use some props to minimize or hide the area that has gone too far out of a human anatomical range.

      As someone above said, the dolls express something "half-animate". They are clearly dolls, but I have a very human wince of pain at seeing things that would be impossible, or cause great pain, if it was a human being there, probably BECAUSE my mind's eye is glossing over the joints and viewing the dolls as resin humans (and near-humans and anthros, etc.)


      2. If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?
      There's a term in fiction-writing called "suspension of disbelief". In this hobby, it consists of ignoring joints, seams, etc., and focusing on the whole picture and intent of the photographer. For me, however, that becomes impossible when someone has posed their doll with a huge gaping joint as the point closest to the camera or the most highlighted, especially when their written intent published with the picture is to emulate a real person.

      My difficulty in accepting jointed hands varies with them being posed so all the skeletal jointing is emphasized, or with the apparent inability or patience of the photographer in posing every finger in an appropriate, human-range position. Having a handsome male doll posed perfectly, but his hands look like he's just had fingers dislocated for not paying his bookie on time is a real deal-breaker for my "suspension".

      3. Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?

      There's nothing realistic about a double knee joint that makes the doll look like it's wearing big knee pads, or elbow joints that look like someone built a slender suspension bridge between the bulky arm parts. To the usual comment that you can cover them with clothing, there's a whole list of negatives. Some knee joints do allow a full flexion of leg, but add so much extra length or bulk that trousers can't accommodate the range of movement. I've seen funky double jointed elbows that produce projections incompatible with tight sleeves, double knee joints that have parts that get stuck in the thight or get somehow disjointed and require the removal of said clothing to fix the problem. There's nothing realistic about jointed hands when only one or two fingers are positioned, and the rest are waving about like arthritic tentacles.

      I'll choose single or double jointed based on my criteria of liking the doll, or it being a body suitable for a floating head I have, and provided the joints aren't weird according to my preferences. For that matter, I've seen single-jointed dolls that have odd elbow/limb sculpting, so that the arms at rest have a painful-looking and odd angle to them. I've seen stomach popping, limited head positioning, and wrists -- that always seem to be single jointed -- set so the hands bend not at the wrist but almost on the start of the forearm. I try not to buy those types of dolls unless I've got a really bad attack of the yearnies going on, or I see something I can fix (sanding, different hands, etc.)


      4. Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?

      My characters all know they are in doll bodies or mimicking doll-form, despite there being a whole range of origins of their mental or spiritual aspects. This was a necessity since I don't have the space, patience or ability to create detailed scale sets and instead they have to go about their lives in a human-sized world. Still, in their world canon, the infusion of human and human-like anima into the doll bodies is proposed to create a subjective/objective ability to create an existence that straddles organic senses and limitations of artificial-constructions. E.g., my characters seem to breath, feel fatigue, relate to each other physically, and yet don't eat or drink (or the consequences thereof), and do find other limitations they need to deal with.
       
      • x 1
    18. 1. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?
      Not bothered in the least. I actually have a chronic case of joint showing in pictures. Sometimes if I don't like the look of it in a particular picture, I'll photoshop over it, but most cases I just leave it be. It doesn't really bother me much.

      2. If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?
      Simple indifference mixed with intrigue at how they're so lifelike and yet so not. When I do cover the joint in post processing, it's because I don't like the way they looked in that particular picture :)

      3. Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?
      I don't particularly feel for jointed hands, because my photography often focuses on hands and I don't like that many joints clustered. I think it would be more of a pain if the doll wasn't strung properly too. But other than that, I like joints wherever we have them, with the possible exception of the spinal chord......

      4. Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?
      Sometimes. If there's no joint in the picture naturally I won't go out of my way to explain that its a doll, but I don't go out of my way.....mostly
       
    19. 1. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?
      not.at.all.
      when I first saw these dolls I instantely knew I wanted one! but back then, the joints really bothered me and so I tryed to find dolls that had very little (ex: one piece torso)
      but my first doll was a MNF. when I got him his joints didn't bother me anymore and I was really happy that he could pose so well ^_^

      2. If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?
      I really just don't care about it. unless the doll has very odd looking joints (like vynil dolls do) but then, I wouldn't even buy it in the first place

      3. Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?
      actually, I am very found of jointed hands :D at first I thought "but only for boys though. I want my girls to look gracious ^-^" but I am planning a few girls with jointed hands :)
      I require that my dolls have double jointed elbows and a joint on the stomach/under the breast because those are the ones I need the most. for the rest of the joints I don't really mind whether they are double or single. BUT I do not like bean joints. mostly on the knees. they often look awkward ^^;;

      4. Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?
      not really....
      on top of that. I am super bad at photography and faceuping so even if I hid the joints they would still look like dolls :sweat I can't "bring them to life"
       
    20. This is a pretty interesting question because I innitially though ugh when I saw the obvious joints on the dolls. I worked with 1/6 for a few years and it was all about hiding joints. But now I'm over it except in a few cases.

      1. Does it bother you, even slightly, if you can't hide a joint in a picture? Will you dress your doll so as to hide certain joints? Or do you enjoy or even show off the joints?

      I have an issue with some of the double jointed doll's elbows, my one doll has hideous robot elbows so I design his clothes to hide them. My other dolls, I sort of like to hide the joints to make them look more 'alive'.

      2. If you minimize their appearance, is this because it makes the doll seem more like a real thing to you, or aesthetics, or something else? If it doesn't bother you, is it appreciation of the design, or simple indifference and getting used to it, or something else?

      To show off the design and balance of the doll. I love how my big dolls don't need stands, stands were always in the way and had to be disguised with the 1/6 dolls. I know they are 'just dolls' but I like them to look a bit alive in photos, not like human alive but like 'creepy doll alive' which is the most fun of having them, for me. ^_^

      3. Do you prefer the tradeoff of slightly less mobility (non-jointed hands, single versus double joints, mobility thigh joints, etc.) because of aesthetic reasons and desire to avoid a sometimes awkward look, or for realism? If you prefer it for realism, why is it that you don't want the range of mobility that is realistic? Or not at all - you want those joints?

      Hmm. I've been looking for jointed hands, with the idea of them holding things, and getting used to the 'look' of the joints. Close up photos on sales sites might disguise how minimally visually invasive the joints are in normal photos? I want the mobility hands for one doll, maybe two, but not all of them need them. In fact, if I could buy one set and have two dolls split them right and left, that would work for me.

      4. Do you attempt to portray your doll as something more than a doll, more alive? To what extent?

      No, but it happens sometimes randomly. I think the charm of these dolls is mostly about making them look alive as 'themselves' not full size humans. There's an artist who uses perspective in a tricky way to make his doll portraits look like they are in a full size setting and it's so fun to go 'no, wait, aha!' when i see his new photos.

      Opposite! One of the most fun things I found when I first joined DoA was the photography contest for 'living dolls' where people posed as dolls, that was awesome.