The canine hero of the shepherd and an all round energetic critter, DSD brings us their take on the Border Collie. Feature-filled and with few details spared, we open up the box and take a closer look.
|Features||Permissions and Statisti|
Build and Skin:
At first glance, its clear that the overall build quality doesn’t fall short. DSD keeps up with their building standards – there are no visible wrinkles in the sculpted prims, and each piece is connected with seamless and crease-less precision. Texturing on each piece is executed well, and there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of mismatched transitions. As with all recent DSD creations, the sculpts are purposeful and compliment one another in proportion and style.
The Border Collie comes with several skin options. You have the standard Border Collie skin, available in male/female and PG/Mature (Click here for mature skin), along with a ‘Merle’ alternative skin/pattern. The Merle variant of the skin appears richer and more painterly, showing a mottled pattern over the face, skin, legs, paws and tail. The skin in all is highly detailed with a lot of softened fur transitions, and a carefully considered level of shading which doesn’t weigh down or over exaggerate any part of the body.
The Collie feet are sculpted to a great standard, large and clawed with the option in the HUD to change the texture upon the toes and pawpads. The digitigrade legs are thicker than those found in previous avatars from this maker, adding to the hardy nature of this particular species. The ankles are covered in sculpted ‘fluff’ which seems a little heavy initially, but is a style mirrored and continued in the hair and chest fur.
The tail, whilst created via the popular method of flexible semi-transparent cones, is executed in a way that forces the tail into a fixed shape, where the flexibility is limited. This allows for the illusion of a soft fur, whilst set in an unconventional shape, avoiding the more fox-like bushy tail. Settings for the tail’s flexibility, movement, gravity and ‘fluffiness’ attributes can be modified in the HUD, as we have come to expect from this creator.
The Border Collie also includes a pair of plantigrade feet, with the alpha textures to match. These feet are built in much the same way as those found in Oken’s more recent avatars, and can be modified in the same way as their digitigrade alternatives. Their texturing also fits seamlessly with the rest of the body, and connect with the provision of extra alpha textures found in the accessories folder.
The Collie hands are an effective cross between humanoid and canine, sharing aspects from both. The hand-paws are thick and clawed, but with thumbs, and lacking in pawpads on the palms. The claws and fingertips can be modified using the texture options in the HUD too, so. Users get a lot of customisation possibilities from the avatar right out of the box.
The head is made using a small number of well made sculpted prims, with no visible seams or misaligned textures. The eyes support a range of expressions, varying from sad, to tired, angry or alert, with mouth and ear positions to support each. A set of small, fine whiskers are also added into the meticulous detail of this avatar.
The eyes can be coloured either through picking a primary and secondary colour from a palette, or by selecting one of four colour combination presets. The user is also able to select from a range of pupil sizes, shapes and dilation widths. On top of this, the wearer can also alter the glow and shine of the eyeballs.
The Border Collie also comes with two kinds of ear – straight or folded. Both sit upon the avatar and instantly blend. The ears, whilst they can be positioned in the HUD, can also be set to fold backwards when speaking or typing.
Extensively mentioned already, the HUD is well laid out, user-friendly and simple to use. Subheadings in separate sections allow for users to modify one area at a time with little to no extra clutter on their screen.
A common trend of DSD is to include pierced variants of the head and ears – these are also included in the avatar package for users who want to be able to mix and match accessories straight away. As previously mentioned the accessories folder also includes the plantigrade feet, and alpha layers to support these extras,
It goes without saying that the DSD Border Collie is very forgiving when it comes to customisation, particularly when you are essentially getting two fully modifiable avatars and a set of accessories in one purchase. The head shape is just as forgiving, and users are unlikely to have any trouble adding their own third party hair. The inclusion of leg options also opens the doors to users who prefer a particular leg type, and don’t want to have to mix and match avatars in order to create their desired outcome.
This is another great example of the level of skill, detail and effort that goes into DSD avatars to produce the resolved and solid product that we have come to expect. The simple and effective shapes involved mean that those interested in modification and retexturing will not struggle to find a way to add their own creative twist to this particular canine.