A few years ago, one of the first avatars that Dark Spot Designs released was their Cheetah. Right afterwards, they released their Wolf avatar, of which they have already updated. In this review, we take a look at their revamped Cheetah almost 2 years after its debut.
Out of the Box:
|Features||Permissions and Statistics|
Skin and Construction:
- This avatar immediately overshadows its predecessor with the strength of the texturing both over the body as well as the attachments. This avatar is covered with spots of varying sizes from head to toe. While each spot is very clear and distinct, they are not overbearingly so. Thankfully, the texturing underneath the spots is full of gentle gradients and colour transitions which make the avatar look less busy. The avatar comes with many neat colour choices, including some ‘inverted’ types where the spots are lighter than the fur (e.g. white spots on blue fur). Altogether, alongside their previously released Civet avatar, one of DSD’s strongest texture-jobs.
- When unpackaging the avatar, users are given a choice between the “Regular” or the “King” version of the Cheetah. The difference between the two is in how the spots and markings are expressed. The photos below shows the difference between the two is fairly large.
- Male and female shapes and skins are included with the avatar. Males have prominent abs while females have more shading around the breasts. Mature skins are included for both genders; nipples for males, while females receive nipples and female genitalia. The nipples appear ‘overlaid’ atop of the texture, causing the stick-on-nipple effect we’ve seen a few times from DSD before. Warning, Photo under this link is rated Mature. Click here to view the mature male and female skins.
- Build-wise the avatar is sound. The sculpts are clear-cut and there isn’t any wrinkling anywhere on the avatar’s attachments. In terms of construction, the holds with creasing reduced and kept to a minimum.
- Dark Spot Designs has had a long history of making successful leg and feet attachments. With this avatar, they continue to do so, but also add in a little twist that we’ve never seen before.
- By default, the avatar wears digitigrade leg attachments and feet that are suited to the digitigrade legs. The foot-paws are well-made with ample detail and texturing, whether we’re talking about the re-colourable, retractable claws or the soft-looking paw-pads. The spots start immediately on the feet and work their way up to the digitigrade leg in much the same fashion as the body. The digitigrade leg attachments themselves are a slight bit more contoured and shapely than we’ve seen from DSD before, but it works for this avatar. The combination of legs and feet appear continuous, and more than able to support the weight of the avatar. The toe-digits come with alternate textures which can be individually changed through the HUD. The same goes for the paw-pads.
- A very unique and intriguing point to this avatar is the addition of prim, plantigrade feet. In short, these are feet that have a 75/25 ratio of human and feline characteristics. The foot structure is mostly human, but the addition of the paw-pads as well as the claws, fur, and cheetah spots make them look at home on the avatar. This is a great option for those who wish for a more plantigrade look. Users can change the toe-textures and pawpad colours here as well. You can’t use the default alpha layer while wearing these, so users will have to wear the invisiprim version of these feet for them to look properly.
- The hands follow suit with the digitgrade feet in being a 50/50 cross between human hands and feline paw. The fingers are all re-colourable (3 different texture choices, and like the feet, the claws are retractable.
- With this avatar, users receive a flexible tail. The textures for the tail do an excellent of making sure the spots are clear, especially for a flexible tail. As is custom with Dark Spot Designs, users can change the fluffiness of their tail, as well as its length and other customisation options.
- A first impression of this avatar is that the face has become a lot more ‘cute’ since the last avatar. Perhaps it’s the large eyes and their shape, or the aesthetic muzzle. Either way, the face carries a youthful, slightly more playful character to it, which is big difference from the first version of the Cheetah.
- The eyes play a big role in this avatar, with wide, oval shapes and a potential for expressiveness. Using the HUD, users can choose from a good few expressions; anything from sadness to a state of alert. The eyebrow expressions are each distinctive and clear to see. The irises are fairly large, leaving fairly little room for the eye-whites. However, users are able to change the pupil dilation amount, the amount of ‘shine’ over the eyes, the iris textures themselves, as well as colour among other things. This way, users are able to aptly change the eyes to suit anything they prefer.
- Sometimes, as the eyes move around, one may find that the alignment isn’t as perfect as they’d like it to be; so the more particular users can easily adjust it themselves. All the same, the eye alignment isn’t as bad as on other avatars with this type of eye.
- The muzzle-tip remains close to the face, but with ample detail in its shape and texturing. The shape of the muzzle, as well as its connection to the face were well thought out. In short, it’s easy to say that this particular part of the face does a good job of reflecting that of a Cheetah’s in both the realms of texturing and sculpting. The interior of the muzzle is well detailed with sharp looking teeth and prominent fangs. The tongue comes in a few poses as well, including curling it, etc.
- The ears and the cheek-fluff round out the look of the avatar and cement this anthro’s look as being reflective of a Cheetah.
- We’ll also mention here that the avatar comes with hairs; one for males and one for females. A nice effect is that near the base of each prim of hair, you can often see some cheetah spots fading away into the hairdo.
Functions and Heads-Up Display (HUD):
- This avatar is completely controlled by the HUD. The HUD itself features a commissioned photo of an anthropomorphic female cheetah, from the same artist who did the Civet drawing also made by DSD. The photos below show all of the controls of the HUD, and by extension, almost every single option that this avatar has. The HUD is very user-friendly, which is helpful in a case of so many features.
- All the “Accessories” items are found in the Extras folder; same with the alternative plantigrade legs. As usual, the avatar comes with alternate versions of the head with piercings. While the facial piercings are similar to the last few alternate heads we’ve seen from DSD, the ears have new types of piercings altogether which are pretty interesting. You can select which piercings you want to have visible, and change some of the colours or textures of piercings by left-clicking and holding until the dialogue menu comes up.
- This avatar comes with the obligatory leg-warmers that DSD has continually done an amazing job with. These leg-warmers remain very trendy-looking, and every part of the leg-warmer can have its texture swapped out for a new one by clicking-and-holding, then selecting from the dialogue menu.
- The avatar is copiable, modifiable, and non-transferable. Fitting third party hairs to this avatar is likely to be an easy affair.
Compared to the first version of the avatar, the style of the avatar has been enhanced, given some personality, and beefed up with the kinds of features we’ve come to expect from Dark Spot Designs. As a whole, the avatar comes together as a very neat package with many options and colours which provide users with a lot of choice and ability to have fun with the avatar itself. The addition of the King Cheetah colouration to the package adds an extra touch of customisation to the package, since most people would have expected to pay for the unique pattern. All in all, a successful update.