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Monday, May 17, 2010

SPOTLIGHT FEATURE: Steve Beck- The Model Maker- Persia Bravin Reporting...

Monday, May 17, 2010-
Ask any woman in Second Life what her most treasured possession held in inventory is and chances are it won’t be the extensive collection of shoes, love letters from ardent suitors or even special photographs, but something far more basic, yet central to a woman’s identity-her shape.

In our virtual world, the shape you choose to wear gives reveals vital clues about our real life tastes far more than any other accessory. It is ultimately what defines how others see us, reflecting how we want to appear in our pixilated world. There are thousands of shape designers in Second Life and as a keen social observer (ok-nosy journalist) I can now enter a room and after a quick scan, match shapes to designers in seconds. While the majority of shape makers stick to producing wave upon wave of standardized variants on your typical ‘model’ silhouette, one man has very cleverly, used real life scientific research into what constitutes classical ‘beauty’ and transferred it into SL to produce a breathtakingly beautiful selection of shapes.

Steve Beck is the CEO and creative mastermind behind ‘Metaverse 3Designs’ (M3D), a business that specializes in producing the most realistic shapes to be found anywhere in SL. Unlike other shape producers, Steve and his head designer, Lilly Figgis, have chosen to channel their expertise into creating two distinct lines of ultra feminine shapes to appeal to different markets. The first line is called ‘The Teen Line’ and is a collection of over seventy separate shapes based on the healthy, sporty curves associated with a typical 18-19 year old woman. Lilly confirms the in depth scientific research used to develop this range which is popular with SL models, surfing girls and dancers. “The Teen Line was inspired by Gisele B√ľndchen, a Brazilian model” she says.“She is not skinny like the most of models. Gisele looks healthy, beachy, breezy and beautiful. On the top of that, we have researched human body proportions; technically we create our bodies shapes based on the Golden Ratio, also known as Phi, and translated it into the polygon model of Second Life.” Indeed, a close look at any of these shapes shows just how carefully both Steve and Lilly have conducted their research, with all shapes in this line featuring a young symmetrical face, full lips, mid upper arm circumference, body mass proportion, and low waist-hip ratio, that are commonly considered physically attractive when part of a teenager body shape.

And it’s not only high quality shapes that this small team pride themselves on either, offering superb levels of customer service comes as part of the package when you buy an M3D shape. Steve Beck explains why excelling at customer care is so important. “Though the shapes have no modify permissions, the M3D team always attends requests from our customers for small modifications totally free of charge. The customers always get what they are looking for in a teen body shape.”
It’s true to say that on trying any demos within this line immediately make you feel as if you should be surfing the waves or seducing eligible film stars just like the RL Gisele herself. But just as in real life, being a woman in SL presents many different life stages and both Steve and Lilly have also developed a line of pregnant female shapes that are so naturalistic and highly detailed that it almost made me broody looking at them. Based over the nine months of pregnancy from initial conception to full ‘in bloom’ silhouette, these shapes include 9 Pregnant Shapes, radiant skin, luxuriant hair, dazzling eyes and even one non pregnant shape for after the birth itself. With several SL friends seriously contemplating having babies, I will most certainly be bringing them to this store to buy these shapes as special pre- baby gifts and I can easily imagine some of them posing for photographs in their new pregnant shape a la Demi Moore, to celebrate the most special time in their lives.

A marketing professional in his real life, Steve is justly proud of M3D and its specialized and extremely beautiful product lines and all shapes here are made with obvious love and attention to detail. The company has been creating their shapes since 2007 and the future looks very robust for this ever expanding business which also includes a vibrant dance club immediately outside the spacious main store. Steve explains the future direction of M3D “We went through changes recently as we have just moved our Main Store from a Private Region to our own land, and we established a Teen Dance Club in the facilities. Now we are researching new products lines, alongside the development of new forms of entertainment.” As I leave the store, I glance down at my own shape, with its 23 modifications since I first rezzed in world and decide to splash out on a new and improved one from Steve and his team. Move over Gisele. There’s a new supermodel in town.



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