Say hi to imma, although she’ll never know your name since she’s a CG virtual model.

Right away it’s clear that up-and-coming Japanese model imma embodies a highly developed sense of modern of fashion. With a trendy non-capitalized name derived from ima, the Japanese word for “now,” imma usually bypasses photos studios and instead opts for on-the-street snapshots, which she shares through her personal Instagram account.

She’s even got a company representing her, ModelingCafe, whose office is nestled among the boutiques of Tokyo’s fashionable Daikanyama neighborhood.

But take a look at ModelingCafe’s website, and you’ll notice something strange. The company’s list of prior clients and collaborators doesn’t include any apparel companies or accessory makers. Instead, the organization boasts about its involvement in the Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV and Shin Godzilla movies, as well as video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

That’s because the “modeling” in “ModelingCafe” doesn’t refer to attractive humans posing in front of a camera, but rather to digital artists crafting 3-D renderings, as imma is a model in both senses of the word: she shows off cool clothes and she’s a CG construct.

While imma is pasted into photos of real-world environments, she herself exists entirely as digital data. The level of detail and realism is astounding, with ModelingCafe (which also produced Kyushu’s kaiju tourism video) even taking into account how an actual person’s naturally colored roots would start to show as their hair grew out after being dyed pink.

Oftentimes, the cracks in a CG illusion start to show when you zoom in close. In imma’s case, though, the visuals arguably look even more convincing.

ModelingCafe credits this to the company’s decision to put female employees in charge of fine-tuning the look of imma’s skin. Since she’s supposed to be spruced up to take photos, logically she’d have on makeup, and ModelingCafe felt that its male staff’s lack of personal experience with cosmetics would prevent them from achieving the realistic results its female artists could.

At the same time, ModelingCafe says they want to preserve the casual atmosphere imma projects, with their goal being to make her feel like an ordinary (if very fashionable) young woman sharing snaps on social media, as opposed to a world-famous supermodel.

ModelingCafe’s eventual goal is to combine imma with an AI-program capable of real-time animation, and from there to have her branch out into Japan’s extensive media personality industry. However, just like with her still shots, the aim is for her to look as real as possible. Rather than the exaggerated, anime-influenced movements and aesthetics of the recent crop of virtual YouTubers in Japan, ModelingCafe wants imma to be indistinguishable from an actual person.

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ぼってが👘 ぜんぶ ぼってが👗 @bottegaveneta

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Before that, though, the company is looking for apparel companies that would like imma to serve as spokesmodel for their brands. After all, if one pink-haired CG beauty can do it, why not another?

Sources: IT Media, CG World, ModelingCafe
Featured image: Instagram/@imma.gram