Kaya is ravishing. She has full lips, long lashes, and a slightly upturned nose. Her expression radiates confidence and power, and her smooth skin is well scrubbed and dotted with freckles. But she doesn’t have much of a body. At all. In fact, she exists only from the neck up. Kaya is a CG model, a 48,200-polygon beauty created by an artist in São Paulo, Brazil. And she’s sure to be a finalist in the Miss Digital World beauty pageant.
The man behind the event is Franz Cerami, an Italian promoter who’s trying to start the world’s first CG talent agency. His dream is to manage a bevy of virtual beauties, posing and costuming them for pinup calendars, videogames, ads, and movies. The benefits of digital models are obvious – they never age, never have bad hair days, and can be on location in Tokyo, Paris, and Hollywood simultaneously.
But there are downsides. For example, all of the talent that Cerami first auditioned looked creepy and waxen. CG artists call this the “uncanny valley,” the point at which a near-human model looks so real that every flaw and shortcoming is thrown into high relief.
So Miss Digital is a completely virtual model. Hair and makeup are always perfect. Easy to manage, and can’t be involved in any scandals that damage a career. In short, very easy to work with. Best of all, she can’t ask for a raise. I think she’ll have a prolific career ahead, and may get into movies down the road.
The model pictured is known as “Webbie.” See the other finalists and the Wired story here.