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