I seem to spend a whole awful lot of time at the moment talking about getting dressed. There's a point to be made here. I have probably spent more time dressing my avatar in the past three years than I've spend dressing myself in the past twenty (I don't imagine I dressed myself when I was two. Maybe I did. My mum reads this - hi Mum! - so she'll no doubt tell me). I have a couple of friends in-world that only log in to dress their avatars. Dressing your avatar takes more time than perhaps it should.
Yesterday, I found a picture online that stole my heart. It was uploaded by VictoriousVocabularly to illustrate the word 'thalposis' and offered a link back to the original as uploaded by the artist, 'thienbao on deviantART. When I found out that it had been published in Imagine FX magazine, I went on a mad hunt trying to track it down and get a copy, but I had little luck. In the end, I decided that I was going to try to re-create the image in SL using my avatar. This is the first time I have ever attempted such a thing. It felt kind of momentous.
|'Plume' by 'thienbao|
It got old pretty fast. I dragged my avatar all across the virtual world, making her try on more demos for items than I can count. I trawled the Marketplace (accessible through the browser - a kind of virtual Amazon, if you like), looking for corsets and boleros and feathers and windswept hair and all kinds of things. What I hit upon was something I had come to suspect, but had no proof of; that, despite the extensive length and breadth of Second Life, despite the hundreds of designers and creators and genres for clothing and items, the virtual world has not yet made everything.
You might well laugh - I am laughing as I write this. In a logical way, I knew that Second Life could not be home to everything. But there is a certain frustration to be felt when I can type into the Marketplace search, right now...hmm, let's see...let's type in 'toilet seat'. And there we go - a whole page of just about every kind of toilet seat for just about every purpose you can imagine, and probably some you didn't want to imagine. Okay, let's try something else. Let's put in, I don't know, 'glass slippers' - ta-dah! One more (and I'm trying to be as random as possible here). Let's go with a 'steak dinner' - now, would you look at that! I can even get a bucket of KFC. But when I put in the components I wanted to recreate this picture, I could not find what I wanted.
I almost gave up - but I'm glad I didn't. I substituted a few things, and decided that my adaptation had to be true in spirit, if not in details. Because of the change in the make up of my avatar's costuming, I couldn't recreate the pose from the picture, either, so skipped over to Del May to pick up some new ones, and then skipped off to one of my favourite places in Second Life to take the pictures - the beach at Hangars Liquides.
Here are the results.
|From Jealousy Born - click here to view large on flickr|
In these pictures, Kitti is a pale shade beside 'thienbao's creation, but I'm pleased with her. I think I created something unotherworldly, and beautiful - if it isn't arrogant to say so myself. I was going to mess with Kitti's shape, distort her face a little and widen the gap between her eyes, but as I've said in previous posts, the controls to do such in SL are difficult to manipulate, and I don't think they are elastic enough to manage to hold those proportions without making them seem grotesque.
If anybody knows how to get hold of back-issues of that magazine from 2009 (most of which were missing, even from the pdf downloads), please let me know. I think I'm in love.