Avatar Planet – Otter
Otters are a vastly under-served population within Second Life. Neglected, most users have had to make do with modkits for a number of avatars to get an anthro otter look. In this review, we take a look at this lutrine and what it offers!
Out of the Box:
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Straight out of the box, the user is presented with an otter with a bit of personality. This otter presents a bit of a self-assured, calm look. Moreover, this avatar rests slightly more on the side of ‘handsome’ as opposed to ‘cute.’ If you are looking for a bit more of a cutesy or playful look, it can be achieved with this avatar, though you might need to tweak the features here and there.
The avatar comes with both male and female skins, but not Mature skins. Naturally, the skin for the female avatar puts a little bit more emphasis on the breasts, while the male version gives the avatar a little bit more emphasis to the abs. Texture-wise, this avatar is very strong, with an ample set of colours to choose from. Overall, the avatar textures go for a painted look, with a good bit of transitions between tones of a well-matched palette.
The avatar’s build quality is generally good, with smooth mesh features and relatively little clipping. Users can easily swap back and forth between a flexible and a solid mesh tail, and change options affecting avatar attachment colours (i.e. pawpads) and face options (i.e. how wide the mouth can be opened.)
This avatar has a few strengths, one of which lies in its aesthetics. It’s clear that the creator tried as much as possible to make this avatar look like an anthropomorphic otter. The facial features are all in the correct place, and it’s very easy to identify this avatar straight away as an otter, as opposed to confusing it with another weaselly type of creature.
Yet another strength of the avatar lies in the hand and paw attachments. These manage to look completely otter-like, despite maintaining a 50-50 hand/paw cross. It’s difficult to find decent webbed paws on the market, so these will be useful for modders.
With regard to user-friendliness, the HUD maintains the familiar format that we’ve come to see from Avatar Planet. Options are clearly laid out, and the execution of each option is speedy. For those who like to recolour their tongues, pawpads and eyes, there are plenty of options. What some users might appreciate is the option to have two different coloured eye.
In terms of weaknesses, this avatar does not have a large amount, though one of them lies in an aforementioned strength.
While the structure of the hand-paws and feet-paws are well done, an issue lies in the placement of the claws. In particular, where the claws meet the fingertips and toe-tips, you may be able to see that the positioning is slightly off. To some extent, this makes the claws appear as if they were placed as an afterthought. (Click here for a close-up photo)
On small note, some may appreciate the calm, self-assured look, and others might wish that there was the ability to open the eyes up just a little bit wider than the maximum. In this respect, it all completely comes down personal preference
The final criticism would have to be with regard to the tail. While textured appropriately, the mesh tail may seem a bit too short and/or curved for the taste of its wearer. However, like the claws, a little bit of tweaking would set you just right.
This avatar saw release alongside the “Limited Spirit Otters.” These three avatar versions utilise a slightly different colour palette as the regularly available otters, with the addition of tribal-like tattoos and a slightly fluffier, unique tail. These Limited Edition copies were available at the time that this review was posted, but may not be available for much longer afterwards.
All in all, this is a welcome entry into the avatar market for otter lovers. Buyers will finally have a modern otter avatar that will serve on its own, or as a base for a personal modification. Overall, it’s clear that the creator is evolving stylistically, folding new techniques into their builds to increase the quality. We hope that we continue to see avatar creators break out of the mold and tackle more species of animals that have been overlooked.