Vanessa Blaylock

Digital art is something that evolved within the past two decades as computer aided processes to simplify creative became more and more common. Digital art is often times in the realm of certainly art, which I would consider original compositions such as pixel art, game modelling, and even digital painting. One further level of obscurity, done by our artist of the week, Vanessa Blaylock, is to use assets created by other artists and create avatars based off them. This is an interesting distinction as 3D model development has several unique parts that are not necessarily art which need to be done to make a functional avatar.

This first part of the process is created an untextured 3D model. This is easily the least difficult part of the process as a lot of pregenerated models for all body types of humans already exists. If one needs to create these from scratch, the process is a bit more difficult.

The next step is to point map the model. This is done on what is typically tear or pivot points of the model. This is requires precision and experience to correctly map the points to the layers for use is texturization.

The final, and most difficult step is to texturize the model around those pivot points. This requires a skilled artist who is capable of visualizing the 3D layer in which the model will be shaded. This part takes the vast majority of the time in model development.

After that the end user can customize the model realitively easily.

What’s difficult for me to understand is what exactly Vanessa Blaylock is doing with her avatar art? Is she only involved in the customization? If so, that seems like an awful lot like plagorism to me, using other people’s models and textures for your own use and calling it your own art. This is similar to DeChamp’s “Ready Made” lines that took an existing non-art piece and called it art. It’s a bit insulting to those who actually did the work to produce the art.

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