I love this mixed reality portrait of and by Ferocia Fackler, who in real life is a successful game developer. She joined SL in 2005, and has been evolving her avatar over the years to look more and more like her real life owner, for professional reasons.
"For me Second Life is not so much about living a fantasy or stepping into the shoes of a different person," as Ferocia explains it to me. "Instead it's a place where I'm representing myself, merely in a virtual form. I enjoy a lot of aspects of SL, not just the fun stuff, but occasionally use it to meet people from my business network as well, many of whom I've met in real life."
Which is why she aimed to make Ferocia Fackler resemble herself. "[I]t would be very odd to look like a completely different person (let alone a typical SL Barbie Doll)," as she puts it. Then proceeds to tell me how she did it:
Ferocia used Photoshop to paint and manipuate the skin, working with the default female avatar mesh. "Building Ferocia started when I tried skinning for the first time, using a real photograph of my face stretched out onto the face template. Later on I started digitally painting over it to correct little flaws and eventually painted a full body skin. It was hard finding a hairstyle similar to my own so I took a hair creation class in SL and learned how to make my own using prims. The body mesh is just the default SL female mesh, adjusted with time and effort.
"Admittedly," she allows, winking, "Ferocia is a hottified version of myself. But hey - if you have the tools to slim down and pimp up how you look - even if it is virtual - it's hard to resist the temptation!"
It's among the more striking translations from real to virtual avatar that I've seen. If you've made your own avatar with the same mirror imaging objective in mind, send me a mixed reality photo of your own, to show us how close you've come.