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Digital Miss Worlds go for licensing gold

17 November 2004

Kaya, Adrien, Dalila and Stela are models, and doing pretty well for themselves as the spokespeople of brands like 3D Studio Max and Brazil Telecom, or stars in films like Soulfire, says Variety magazine. But instead of real flesh and blood gals, these are avatars – the digital creations of a series of animation ‘auteurs’ dotted around the world.

Kaya is probably (to quote Sex and the City) the “modeliest” of them all. At 5ft 5in, and 48,200-polygons, she is an unorthodox, Beatrice Dalle kind of diva, with a gappy smile, upturned nose and a sassy, confident look. She is no crudely-rendered Lara Croft, however –her features look breathtakingly real, albeit obviously the product of a male imagination locked in a bedroom for far too long.

The ‘Miss Digital World’ contest is a beauty pageant in website form, in which Kaya and many others are on show until December, with online voting and invitations for other, lesser-known contestants to be uploaded so they can enter the competition. The winner's creator will receive $5000 and a deal with an agency to receive a cut of the proceeds from placement or licensing (and thus the intellectual property) of the model.

The man behind the event is Franz Cerami, an Italian promoter who won't garner many feminist plaudits, but is likely to remain undeterred in his aim to start the world's first computer graphics model agency. The benefits of digital models are obvious to him: “they never age, never have bad hair days, and can be on location in Tokyo, Paris, and Hollywood simultaneously.”









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