Written 1 September, 2011
Chey, Your Skin Sucks!
I bought my skin in October 2006 and have been happy with it. Its tone matches mine in real life, and it works well on my shape. It's the only skin I've ever used and I don't feel quite right when I'm out of it.
I've gotten lots of compliments about the skin, but not the other night from an avi at Help Island Public.
IM: I'm reading your profile and wonder why you don't invest in a good skin.
Me: I beg your pardon?
IM: I'm wondering why you don't have a skin like the other ladies. You know, from ____ or _____ or ____.
I cammed about and identified the individual who had IMed me. He was wearing a horrible photorealistic skin. I began to understand his issue.
This isn't his skin, but it's not dissimilar.
Me: Erm, some people prefer drawn skins to photosourced.
I sent him a link to my post on the subject.
Me: I prefer drawn skins.
At first I didn't think he understood or appreciated the difference. But at one point he said:
IM: Most skin makers now blend the two.
That's when I started looking at some of the avatars around HIP and saw he was right.
Most of the mens' skins, like the avi who had IMed me, were entirely photosourced:
Fully photosourced skins create-- at least for me-- an uncanny valley effect. They just don't look right in a drawn world.
Most of the womens' skins were indeed a blend of drawing and photosourcing. On one level they weren't as creepy as the mens', but on another they caused-- again, in me-- even more revulsion..
I most definitely did not want a lip area that looked like most I saw. For comparison's sake, I'll show mine first:
Note especially the philtrum, that little groove that runs from the base of the nose to the upper lip. By the way, scientists don't know why it's there-- although it seems to me the perfect channel for the conduction of tears and other fluids.
Now for some of the skins I saw at HIP and other places that night:
I don't object to the increased definition of the philtrum, or to the blended lips, but I most definitely don't want real-life lip reflections or a shiny, wet-looking area above my upper lip.
Admittedly, some skin-makers are more skilled than others. Here's a photo of a lovely avatar on a sign at Amorous Jewelry:
Here's a blow-up of the lip area:
I'm unclear whether the lips and philtrum are entirely drawn or are a sublime blend of drawing and photosourcing, but for some reason my uncanny valley instincts aren't triggered.
Skins are a matter of individual preference. Clearly, the guy who IMed me didn't like mine. I'm just trying to point out my own preferences here.
More on the uncanny valley in my next post.