We are already witnessing the change in the industry with CGI models taking over ads and campaigns. The latest ad from IKEA Japan is one of the examples, and it’s really interesting to watch. Instead of a human, IKEA used a computer-generated model to be a star of its ad, and I believe most of us couldn’t guess that it wasn’t a real person.
The COVID-19 crisis has hit the fashion modeling industry hard. This is why fashion photographer Shavonne Wong had an idea that could keep the industry alive. Just like these crazy times that we’re living in, the idea is kinda crazy too: Shavonne started a modeling agency that hires virtual models for virtual shoots.
This is a topic that I’ve seen come up every few months in some form or another. Removing photographers from the process of image creation. And every time CG makes some incremental improvement, getting closer to the appearance of reality, I hear doom and gloom from photographers that their future is in jeopardy and “they won’t even need photographers anymore in a couple of years”.
And while that future might already be here for some product photography, it’s not quite happened for human subjects. Yet. But we may not be far off, if Imma’s Instagram account is anything to go by. Because Imma is actually not human. She’s a CG “virtual model”, who has mostly managed to claw her way out of Uncanny Valley.