Making a Model

My goal this week is to investigate what “model” means in the metaverse in terms of look. There seems to be about a 100 female models for every male, but looking thru past issues of Second Style magazine there are enough examples of model to at least start analyzing “the look.”

One of the first things that struck me was neck size. It’s not universally true, but it seems like a large number (at least three out of five) have very long and wide necks. In many cases the model’s neck is almost as wide as his head and rather on the long-ish side.

The next thing was that my preconceived notion about what a model looks like just doesn’t hold up. While there are a few who are what I’d call beefcake pinup boys — a la Oscar Page — there are a a goodly number who are built more like Matt Damon (solidly built but wide in the shoulder and hip) than Arnold Schwartzenegger and more still in the Christian Bale mold (relatively narrow shoulders with body tapering to the hip). I suppose it makes certain amount of sense. A model is, at heart, a clothes rack and the outfit should be the focus, not the hanger it’s on.

Armed with this information, I set out to build my model bod. My budget is 3000L and needs to include shape, skin, and hair.

Here’s where I started out:
My original "normal" body and Connor skin.

This is what I consider my “walking around” look – altho I normally wear a low ARC prim hair. I know models are bigger than normal people so I made a version that was about 7 1/2 feet tall.

Original Model Sized Me

These two pictures don’t really portray the relative scale so here are a couple that show the two bodies on the same grid (larger) grid background:

Normal HeightModel Sized

This really underscores the need for a more realistic skin for photo and runway work. The question is which.

I talked to Lovena Allen, one of the models at Classic w/Style — the venue where I’m in the picture contest — and asked her advice. Her very first tip to me was:

Lovena Allen: but i do have one major tip if u want to model…
Lovena Allen: they love tall models

Having anticipated that much at least I put on my “model size” shape which was a more appropriate one. She gave me several sources for skins and shapes.

Starting with shapes, I made a decisions to purchase a “David Beckham” shape from Body Doubles basically on the recommendation of one of their image consultants. I went that route, rather than “Christian Bale” because I wanted to start with a more beefcake build and plan to add shapes as I need them.

Beckham Shape

The really striking portion of this anatomy is the relative size of head and neck. To my rather unsophisticated SL eye, this head looked too small for the body at first. As I worked with it more, I came to see it as more normal

Ms. Allen also recommended several places for men’s “model grade” skins including Redgrave, Soul One, and Indulgence. I tried several and eventually decided on the Pale Tan Emil 3 from Redgraves.

Beckham Shape and Emil 3 skin

The decision on Redgrave was based primarily on look but also on the repeated observation that Redgrave is a de facto standard in the modeling industry. Price was less a consideration but also factored into my choice. The Soul One skin worked pretty well on the shape altho I think the Scorpio Eclipse (I had the demo left over from my Free Skin Shootout post) created a more striking look. All of them were within my budget, even after purchasing the mod-shape.

So, looking at my new shape in a little more realistic mode, here’s the new shape and skin with my normal walking around hair (Matthew in black from ETD)

Beckham shape with Redgrave skin

And here’s my “model sized” Roland shape after some modifications to make the head/body proportion just a little more pleasing to my eye — a byproduct of working with the Beckham shape.

Roland modified and Redgrave skin

And here are two pictures of my normal “walking around shape” – one each in the Emil3 and Connor.

Roland Shape and Redgrave Skin

Roland shape and Connor skin

If nothing else, this exercise has made me look more closely at my assumptions about skin and shape, and I’m looking forward to participating in this world a little more in March.


About Roland

I'm just an oversized avatar in a silly virtual world.

Posted on February 23, 2009, in Modelling. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Erm… You’re writing this post with outdated information, perhaps? Was this intended to be posted in 2007? I’m not referring to the basic information, but on skin sources, etc. The recommendations for skins, for example, are not the “best” ones out there right now, to begin with. There are better and more realistic skins in the market. Redgrave do have some nice ones, but the other sources… you know… etc. etc. etc.

  2. So? Share.

    There are a lot of skin sources out there, but for men, in particular, the list is rather short and the expected look is neither new nor unique.

    So fill me in.

    Are you arguing that Redgrave is *not* the de facto standard? I happen to like Abyss. The Belleza skins I looked at were nice but I don’t see many male models wearing them. The specialty skins like Distorted, or Dernier Cri, or FleshPeddlers … They’re really nice for general look but can a model get away with those?

    Do you have any other suggestions for male skins? Other than “the other sources…”? Could you be a little more specific?

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