Smiling Picture Person

Heather finds out why it's true that you shouldn't talk to strangers. Or look in mirrors, quite honestly.

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The Adversary
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by The Adversary »

> I can imagine the developers going through piles of fashion magazines to get the image they want, but the likelihood of that being Marilyn Monroe...?<
That honestly makes more sense to me than scouring through piles of fashion magazines. Especially when a simple Google Image search of Marilyn Monroe results in this particular photograph, that, shockingly resembles the image in question. (It's the sixth image that appears when you type "Marilyn Monroe." And nothing is even remotely close when searching "stock image woman smiling.")

And, not just resembles, is nearly identical outside of a few minor adjustments in order to make it the creator's own.
Last edited by The Adversary on 29 Jan 2022, edited 2 times in total.
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Ryantology
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by Ryantology »

I'm 99.9 pct. sure that the photo of Marilyn Monroe is the basis for the face seen in the game, which may be a doctored version of the original photo, or a recreation made by one of the artists. That would be an obvious explanation for the differences, which in mind are of small consequence. The shape and angle of the mouths are precisely identical.
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by NanayaShiki »

They literally aren't identical, though. The shape and angle of the mouth is different. All the teeth are different. The lips are different. Every detail is different.

It's possible but I'm not convinced.
And yes I am well aware the series uses references. Knowing where other ones come from doesn't mean anything to this one.

The most we can say here is "it's possible they took a photo of Marilyn Monroe and changed literally every detail about it outside of the fact that she's smiling".
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The Adversary
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by The Adversary »

Christina Aguilera was used as a model for Maria and her clothes. They’re not identical, so that must not be the case, I guess. Because they were edited.

Look, at this point, disagree all you want. I think it’s pretty evident that Marilyn was the model for this skin. If you want to find who it was actually, and pour over fashion magazines, be my guest. But I spent five minutes in Photoshop and halfway recreated the game texture with the photo of Marilyn—and I have no experience in game design.
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by Burning Man »

the Adversary wrote:That honestly makes more sense to me than scouring through piles of fashion magazines. Especially when a simple Google Image search of Marilyn Monroe results in this particular photograph, that, shockingly resembles the image in question. (It's the sixth image that appears when you type "Marilyn Monroe." And nothing is even remotely close when searching "stock image woman smiling.")
It's a documented workflow that the team found inspiration from fashion magazines, though. It's from the Making of Silent Hill 3. Google Image search was introduced in 2001 and not as nearly sophisticated during the development of SH3 as it is today. So, the team had to find inspiration the old-fashioned way.

The reference magazine for Claudia's design to make her browless is Felissimo High Sense E-hon Vol. 43, which was published in 1999. A simple Google search turned up almost nothing with only one image hit from a closed Yahoo Japan auction site. That's how obscure these magazines have become. I would have liked to take a look at these inspiration materials, but it looks like that'll be difficult now.

If Marilyn Monroe was indeed used for inspiration, I would agree more with Ryan that someone could have recreated the look with his/her own touch rather than taking an existing image and doctoring it.
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by NanayaShiki »

The Adversary wrote: 29 Jan 2022Christina Aguilera was used as a model for Maria and her clothes. They’re not identical, so that must not be the case, I guess. Because they were edited.
This is the same thing you were saying with the poster and school earlier too and my answer is no different. That we know what the reference is for other things in the series has nothing to do with this face. I don't know why you keep saying this as if it has anything to do with the conversation at hand.

A video of one thing slowly fading into another thing can be a very leading, and often misleading, way to analyze two pieces of art. It inherently leads your brain into seeing them as the same in ways that I think a side by side doesn't. As I said, when looking at them side by side I think there are far more differences than similarities. I've already pointed them out several times though so I'm not going to repeat myself further. If you're still convinced it's the same face, you do you. I won't be saying it's confirmed or 99% identical though, because neither of those things are true.

Burning Man wrote: 29 Jan 2022If Marilyn Monroe was indeed used for inspiration, I would agree more with Ryan that someone could have recreated the look with his/her own touch rather than taking an existing image and doctoring it.
This is also something I've been saying is possible since my first post on the subject:
NanayaShiki wrote: 28 Jan 2022It's possible this was used as a reference I suppose
NanayaShiki wrote: 28 Jan 2022It's definitely possible that the picture of Marilyn was used as a reference for parts of the face. But it's definitely not a direct 1:1, a lot of the Silent Hill face is very different.
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by Ryantology »

But what does it even mean, why is it there? What's the deep dive on this very prominent and evocative visual symbol?

I don't believe, for a moment, it's any accident that a lot of players assume the mouth comes from Lisa. Some of you may have roughly the same FMV frame in your head as you read this.

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Seems to me like a veteran player is intended to get Lisa vibes from that visual detail (which we are examining in much greater detail than we saw playing on our CRTs). I wonder which member of the team was the Marilyn Monroe fanperson, because I'd bet a whole dollar it's her mouth from that exact photograph, perhaps a hand-drawn reproduction.

I actually really love the mouth, it's one of my favorite visuals in the whole game. I even paid homage to it in my game, Ganymede:
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by Burning Man »

> I wonder which member of the team was the Marilyn Monroe fanperson

I assumed it was Masahiro Ito who drew those images. He usually doesn't comment much on other teammates' works. For certain monsters, he would just say someone else on the team designed them and that they had no deep meaning. In contrast, Ito seems very specific about the symbolism behind those images.

It's interesting you bring up Lisa since we know Lisa was designed by Takayoshi Sato. However, Sato had already left before the development of SH3. I think he was still with Konami, but in the American division.
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by phantomess »

I just want to say bless this forum. It honestly warms my heart that in 2022, I can still log on and find thorough, serious-toned debates like this taking place.

It's throwing me off having our names and avatars on the right side of the screen now instead of the left. I feel like I have to retrain my brain to check that side now, and it feels weird!
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

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>It's throwing me off having our names and avatars on the right side of the screen now instead of the left.<
Did something change? I feel like the silver mode has always been that way, but I could very well be mistaken.
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by Ryantology »

fwiw, I possess the ability to cross my eyes at will. I learned the trick so I could view stereograms, but it also makes those "find the differences" puzzles absolutely trivial and I can solve them in seconds. Even tiny differences in similar images stand out very starkly, because the similar parts of a picture resolve crystal clear in my vision and the differences very obviously do not. When I compare the two mouths side by side, I can see all of the differences as easily as if they were each individually pointed out to me. The angle, positioning and shape of the mouth, as well as the arrangement of every single tooth in both mouths, align far too well for it to be accident, coincidence or different in any meaningful way. They are not identical images, someone has made them not identical, but the one in the game is 100% for sure directly inspired by the one in the famous photo. There is zero doubt in my mind that I'm right about this. Maury would definitely be saying Marilyn Monroe is the father right now.
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Re: Smiling Picture Person

Post by LittleNightma »

I saw this years ago when it was first brought up and I too am a firm believer that the mouth is sourced from Marilyn Monroe, even though it has been edited, but the majority, if not all reference photos have to be edited either to fit the graphics of the game and/or not get in any legal trouble.
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