There’s an interesting discussion currently on Figurvore about the above subject. Seneschal, the initial poster, asked why people don’t erase/hide/edit out the articulation in their doll photos. He finds it a distracting problem that’s easy to fix.
My response below:
When we engage with fictional realms, we agree to suspend our disbelief. I assume that, in most cases, when people see pictures of dolls, they agree to suspend their disbelief and therefore consider the dolls as representations of actual people. People can suspend their disbelief about pretty much anything if the story and characters interest them enough, so I operate under the assumption that my stories are cool enough to make visible joints pretty easy to ignore. People don’t read my stuff to watch for obvious joints, so we [author and readers] are all in agreement that we are going to focus on other aspects. In conclusion, I think about articulation a lot because it facilitates realistic posing and body language, but I don’t worry about visible joints.
In fact, I find erased joints very distracting. We all know we’re playing with visibly articulated dolls, so we’re all expecting [on some level] to see some obvious jointing. For me, erased joints call blatant attention to themselves. I end up getting pulled out of the fictional world and back into this one as I attempt to analyze the photographer’s Photoshopping skillz.
People play with dolls for different reasons and wish to accomplish different things with their photos.
Shorter: Because some people think it’s a feature, not a bug.