Skin colors in images

When you look at all kinds of pictures then you will notice that most models tend to have a light-colored skin. Which is a bit off since there are many dark-skinned women too who are modelling. And while discrimination might be a reason for this, I think there is a better reason, which I can best show by creating an image with one model and 5 different skin tones. And sure, I will keep it decent. The model will wear clothes and jewelry to highlight her a bit more.

The model I’ve used is Raevin and I kept her human ears and made her breast to the regular V4 shape. (In other words, zeroed it.) It’s a pretty shape and a slightly dark skin, so a nice balance between two extremes. I saved her with all clothes and then imported her five times to get five identical figures. Then I’ve started changing their skin colors.

The two on the right use a skin called “Raw Macy” and “Raw Macy 2”, which are a dark and very dark skin. The left-most is Lolo and to the right of her is Mylin, an oriental skin. The middle one is still Raevin. I’ve avoided adding a very light skin because that would upset the contrast even more. And I won’t render it too big in Poser since these five models together eat up a lot of memory. I do have 24 GB of RAM available, but when I see that it’s using 20 GB already, I just know it’s working very, very hard to process all those models! Fortunately, I use 64-bit versions of Poser and Vue, else I could never create images at those high resolutions.

And rendering this many models isn’t much slower than rendering a single model. At least, not as long as the rendering engine doesn’t have to use the swap disk to retrieve data. Lots of memory in your computer helps a lot!

Well, this is the result in Poser:

And the reason why dark-skinned models are less popular is suddenly visible. Even though all have exactly the same body shape, the one on the right is more like a silhouette with a dress than a real model. Raevin and Mylin are actually the ones that are the most visible.

I’ve also rendered the above image with Vue, which results in a much better image. But Vue also shows very clearly how darker women disappear and seem to be like shadows in art.


The girls on the left are still very good, with Mylin being the one who is the one who’se body and facial expressions are the clearest. Do keep in mind that they all use the same facial expressions!

The darkest Macy is shiny  which happens to be highlights in the skin. I could have removed those. But her facial expressions aren’t very visible, and those facial expressions are important in model photography and CGI art. The lighter Macy is better in facial expressions but still not very useful.

So, an important reason for dark-skinned women to be less popular has nothing to do with racism. Their facial expressions are harder to see in still images, no matter how pretty they look in real life.