Yes, I am messing with poor Aura again.
I grew up in the 1970s. During that time, I watched old movies featuring Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, and Elizabeth Taylor. When no one but Granddaddy was looking, I slipped peeks at his copies of Playboy. The actresses and Playmates were voluptuous. They had breasts. They had hips. They had the classical hourglass figure. The women walking around town during that time looked the same (except they were dressed).
They were also short.
All right, when one is 6′ 4″, short is a relative term. But Marilyn Monroe was 5′ 4″. Elizabeth Taylor was 5′ 2″. Most of the Playmates were the same, with only a few above 5′ 6″.
It only occurred to me recently that the reason those women looked so voluptuous is that short women simply look that way. Tall women, with the same bust-waist-hip measurements, look willowy. To see what I mean, compare 5′ 9″ Jennifer Lawrence to 5′ 4″ Scarlett Johansson. They have the same bust-waist-hips measurements, yet Ms. Lawrence looks more slender, while Ms. Johansson looks more curvaceous. It isn’t that Ms. Lawrence’s waist is narrower than that of Ms. Johansson. It’s that her waist is longer. That results in a different visual ratio. It’s really an optical illusion, but that is simply how the human body works.
When I wrote Aura’s book description, I gave her an hourglass figure. It’s simply what I like. Because it’s what I grew up with, that is my personal aesthetic. Besides, my wife has an hourglass figure. It’s also a bit of a smack in the face against the body-negative images coming out of Hollywood and Madison Avenue. Aura weighs 150 pounds, which is a very healthy weight for someone who is 5′ 8″. At that weight, she will have a larger bust and larger hips.
When I designed her 3D counterpart, I tried to bring that over into visual perspective. But something didn’t look right. The lateral proportions looked correct, but they didn’t match her head. While I am a consummate breast man, hers looked enormous, even if they matched her waist and hips. I had a feeling the problem lay in the longitudinal measurement (her height) but had no way of finding out. Models in DAZ are measured by scale percentages, not inches or centimeters. A height of 100% tells me a lot!
That all changed this week, when I acquired the little DAZ Studio addon features Measure Metrics and Figure Metrics. Measure Metrics actually measures everything about the model, from neck circumference, to foot length, to overall height. It does it in inches or centimeters. Nice. Figure Metrics allows one to design a character based upon real world measurements, with the sole exception of bra cup size (which is unique to each individual woman anyway). If I want a 5′ 10 1/2″ tall man, I can have one. If I want to make a model of myself, with my 37 inch sleeve length, I can do it.
While I don’t state Aura’s vital statistics in the book, other than her height, I know what they are. She told me.
Height: 5′ 8″
Bust: 37 (if they had bras in her era, she’d be a D)
When I applied Measure Metrics to Aura’s character, it gave me the following measurements.
Whoa! Why were her vitals so gargantuan? Because the Victoria 6 model, upon which Aura is based, is 5′ 11″ tall. I had no idea until I applied Measure Metrics. Aura is exceptionally tall for her era, but that’s a little extreme. The model is three inches taller than the character I tried to depict using it.
To give her an hourglass figure, I had to increase her lateral proportions to a ridiculous scale. Imagine trying to give nearly 6 foot tall Taylor Swift the proportional figure of 5′ 6″ Diane Lane. Ms. Swift has a smashing figure, but at her height, she appears very slender and willowy, not curvaceous with an hourglass figure. It is impossible for Ms. Swift and Ms. Lane to have the same proportional figure. For Ms. Swift to have the same visual ratio as Ms. Lane, she’d have to be about 44 inches around the chest and hips, instead of her 35. That is exactly what I did to Aura’s character model.
And I was a straight A student in geometry?
At this point in the evening, Figure Metrics came into play. Using it, I rescaled Aura’s height, bust, waist, and hips to match her book measurements.
The results are astounding.
Below is a side-by-side comparison of Aura before and after Figure Metrics rescaled her. The purple cube is the same size in both, to provide perspective.
Now, Aura Lockhaven looks like the Enchantress of Hartshorn, a woman with a fondness for ale and roasted pork. Much more proportional. A little less Marvel superhero (8 1/2 heads tall) and a lot more woman next door (6 1/2 heads tall). Her visual ratio looks realistic.
There is plenty of room in my art for a woman with a DD or even DDD bra cup size. Aura is not that woman.
Neither are the Sarethian Seven.
Today, I am applying Measure Metrics and Figure Metrics to them. The results will be even more dramatic. Remember, the Victoria 6 model is 5′ 11″. The tallest of the Seven is Iryndelle, at 5′ 5″. The shortest is Coravanne, at 5′ 2″. I’m depicting Coravanne using a model that is nine inches taller than she is. They may have similar names, but 5′ 11″ Taylor Swift cannot portray 5′ 2″ Elizabeth Taylor. What basketball player would they get to portray 5′ 10″ Richard Burton? Yeah, this will result in totally different looking women. I am not complaining.
When I finish, I will rerun the group render of them, and show you the results.