[Poll] Expressive sculpts, yay or nay?

Feb 2, 2021

  1. Not expressive at all! I like a blank slate.

  2. Somewhat expressive. A slight smile or frown is fine, but no more than that.

  3. More expressive than not. Grumpy, pouting, smirking, etc, faces are great!

  4. The most expressive possible! Give me all the screaming, snarling, and grinning sculpts!

  5. Depends on the character or doll, I don't have a general opinion on it.

    1. So this might seem obvious to some, but recently I've been seeing people talk about disliking dolls with defined expressions on their faces, and that companies tend not to make basic dolls with big expressions because they're more niche.
      I thought it would be interesting to see what the general consensus is on how much a doll should emote (in your personal opinion).

      I'd also love to hear everyone's thoughts in more detail, so feel free to reply with your reasoning/opinions!

      Personally, I really enjoy sculpts that have expressions you can read, but generally not super extreme ones like yelling or crying. I think it's fun to be able to see a bit of personality in the way that a doll looks like it's emoting. It also makes it easier for me to pick out dolls for specific characters, or characters for specific dolls when I'm not choosing solely based on facial features.
      • x 2
    2. I am a little torn on this.
      On one hand, a more neutral expression is easier to work with when you paint and photograph. You can change the expression a little just by how you paint the doll or edit your images, and it doesn't look too out of place most of the time.
      Like I could not imagine owning a doll that is constantly winking or crying (especially the latter).

      HOWEVER, it's also insanely unnerving when you take photos and the dolls always look the same. It's especially annoying in photo stories, because it makes the dolls look insanely wooden. No matter what you try to show, they always have the same :abambi: expression going on.

      So what I'd personally wish for? Please more Unoa-like systems. Ditch the full head thing, and instead go for headbacks and cheaper faceplates that are easy to get. Let me be able to have a smiling, winking, screaming etc. face for my doll that I can easily swap if need be. I sooo wish my Iplehouse dolls had several expressions! Especially my FIDs! But even if I could mod the hell out of additional heads, getting ahold of them is hard (Iple doesn't sell single heads) and they are very expensive to boot.
      So a no for "heads that are only available with an exaggerated expression" and a big yes to "head that comes with many different expression options that are all easy and affordable to buy".
      • x 14
    3. I prefer it when there's either a neutral expression or maybe a hint of emotion on a doll's face. (I gave my vote to "somewhat expressive")
      A defined expression certainly gives a doll some personality, but on the other hand it narrows down the spectrum of character's emotions as well as face up options.
      Also to me when you have a doll with more or less neutral face it's easier to add some expression with face up plus such faces often bear different emotions when you look at them from different angles and with different lighting.
      #3 Ravenheart, Feb 3, 2021
      Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
      • x 1
    4. Depends on the doll/character - I own all types! I think I veer more towards dolls that do have at least some expression though, because it's easier for their character to come through that way. I don't do much photography, so that's not a deal breaker, but I found that even my most expressive doll - Impldoll Glenn - has a huge range depending on the angle.

      Also, I've always found the limited expressions to be one of the fun challenges of dolls. Like, how far can I stretch this one face through styling and photography alone? :XD:
      • x 5
    5. Personally I gave my vote to "it depends".
      I like my Mirodoll Lele's scowl, because it gives him some personality! But dolls that are always grinning or snarling creep me out a little bit.

    6. I'm in (what I assume is) the vast minority on this- I want BIG, LOUD, OVER-THE-TOP cartoony expressions.
      These guys are some recent favorites from a chinese artist, and I think they're good examples of the type of faces I really love:
      I also love Island Doll Bru for their extremely specific and well-defined expressions. :3nodding:

      Partially I admit I'm just into the novelty of them (neutral faces seem a little ubiquitous at this point lmao) but there's also just something that excites me more about working on them as a faceup artist. They seem a little bit more challenging.

      The main downside to expressive faces seems to be versatility, and I'll just always value uniqueness, personality and energy over versatility any day. My dolls don't have to work in photostories or anything like that, so I'm OK with them being just like interesting sculptures.
      • x 8
    7. My dollmore Joshua has such a cute smirk and she was the first doll I ever got, so she kind of set the standard. I find it difficult to find dolls that are that expressive, though.
      • x 3
    8. It depends on the character for me. Most of the time I choose neutral sculpts or maybe with a small smile or pout, depending on the character. I like a sculpt that can be versatile and look ok in different photos—for example, a huge toothy grin wouldn’t be appropriate in serious or sad themed photos.
      • x 2
    9. I prefer a neutral/calm expression for my own dolls. In a way I feel that kind of doll is still pretty emotionally expressive, because their pose and styling can change how you "read" the neutral face. I wouldn't want my doll to look like they're having an extreme emotion all the time, it would feel exhausting. *_*
      • x 2
    10. I went with somewhat because I can tell if my doll has a slight smirk, smile, or frown from the sculpt but the face up really brings it out.

      I agree 100% with @Ara I would LOVE a face plate system so I could change up my characters' expressions but as it stands, their expressions have to convey through their poses, outfits, and lighting. They're not exactly neutral but they're not really doing a whole lot of emoting.

      I think the really expressive faces are cool but when they do promo shots of them, they don't seem to change from different angles? So it's like a permanent "stuck this way" face.
      • x 1
    11. i lean more towards expressive & “it depends”, i’m not a skilled photographer or someone who makes photo stories so it’s mostly just what i like looking at or the character of the doll for me. I really wish there were more happy-neutral expressions, carved little smiles and smirks, i’m really tired of the sort of aloof/sad expressions a lot of sculpts seem to have as a base. That’s not to say they aren’t or can’t be gorgeous or modified of course :lol: but i really enjoy seeing something different, like a widely open mouth, biting lip, winks, etc, especially on the bigger dolls.

      So for me it depends, i love seeing calm/neutral/stoic/serene sculpts, but i really do like seeing the more expressive ones too. I think what Ara said was perfect, more faceplate options from various companies would be AWESOME.
      • x 2
    12. All of mine are pretty expressionless, so I guess I like the neutral look! One (Leeke Mabel) has a small, ambiguous smile at a certain angle and Migidoll Owen has a mildly pouty sort of blank expression while Bambicrony Emily is pretty much perfectly neutral.
      • x 1
    13. My dolls mosty are in the 'neutral' or 'somewhat expressive' side, but sometimes I love dolls with more expression. I own both Miracledoll Baiye and Miracledoll Chihuo who both have big smiles, and I enjoy it! In the contrario, I don't really like sad/crying face.

      I would also love what Ara suggested, more faceplate systems with various expressions!
      • x 1
    14. Generally I prefer smiley sculpts, or neutral. I'm not keen on grumpy, frowning, unhappy looking sculpts at all.

      Same goes for faceup - for example, I don't want slanted/"expressive"/frowning/angry eyebrows - they're too restrictive . I prefer neutral eyebrows. But I want the mouth painted to make it as smiley/happy as possible.

      • x 3
    15. I put somewhat expressive because I like realistic dolls to have a fairly neutral pleasant look like Iplehouse dolls. I do have a Momonita and a Cloverdolls dragon on the way so they will be more expressive.
      • x 1
    16. I tend to prefer dolls with neutral to slightly expressive faces. I prefer happy or annoyed over sad. I have one doll (Little Monica Eric) who's face sculpt looks cynical to me, which I like. I have a Dream Valley Rosa, who from some angles looks sad, but from others looks disdainful or slightly smug.
      • x 1
    17. My dolls all have very strong characters and well defined personalities...so of course I assumed I’d have some strong expressions in my crew. But when I checked, surprisingly, every single one of them (save a single Realpuki) were entirely neutral! I’d never really thought of it before, and I was frankly shocked because I have a fairly large collection. Obviously I must secretly be drawn to neutrality of expression without even knowing it, and developing their characters through faceup, wig, and overall styling instead. I guess I’m just a “blank canvas” sort of gal.
      #17 PoeticSoul, Feb 3, 2021
      Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
      • x 2
    18. I put myself in the "depends on the character/category" but in a vacuum I lean to strong expressions. It weirds me out when a doll meant to shell a strong personality has a neutral face and there's only so much skill I have to photograph them differently. I tend to ask FUAs to paint my neutral dolls with stronger expressions to banish that effect. And like @Ara mentioned, faceplates with fixed expressions would be a godsend. Currently I have an Unoa stuck in her Akubi "O" face, but she's a galactic singer and I dinne care if she changes, but I have a Bishonenhouse Spade with four different expressions and I can't wait to put him in situations that use them. Right now he's pouting because it makes me laugh (but I could throw down his big grin or his sad grump and he'd be just as funny).
      • x 2
    19. It depends for me, but I feel I am pickier about extreme expressions. You can play around more with faces that are more neutral, but a super baked in expression means it has to do that one expression perfect.

      Dolls with big smiles, if the sculpting doesn't quite get all the facial squish associated with a big smile ("smiling with their eyes" etc), it looks a little uncanny valley or Stepford Smiler/Robot Wife and puts me off. Dollits Oscar and Ninodoll Bada are my favorite smiling dolls.

      Angry looking dolls, I got a lot of those, but very few have a very baked in furrowed brow.

      I hate the "porn face" expressions some companies do.

      Open mouthed faces sometimes feel a bit "why is it hanging open?" But I do like an open mouthed expression for vampire dolls way more because I think the vampire teeth on lips thing looks weird or possibly implies an overbite.

      Super sad faces is the expression I don't particularly want to own as their main head. I spoil my dolls, I don't want them to be sad. Lol but an alternate head can look sad.... if my Dollshe David closed eye head ever arrives maybe I will decide how good of an idea it is. :roll:
      #19 zekarmisama, Feb 3, 2021
      Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
      • x 1
    20. Who is this, please? I like my bigs to have more neutral expressions, but I go all out on the littles.