Hot off the heels of their Serbex release, DERP has released their Ridgeback avatar. This avatar is more or less the company’s interpretation of a dragon, rendered in their unique style.
Out of the Box:
- Male and Female Shapes and Skins
- 4 Facial Expressions
- Surprised, Quizzical, Mad, Default
- 8 Eyelid Open-ness states
- Moving Eyes with Tri-Colour Irises
- Choice between Slitted Pupils or Rounded Pupils
- Custom Eyelid State Slider
- Output Eye Colour Settings to text for saving
- Blink On/Off Toggle
- 8 Mouth Open-ness states
- Tongue Slider (8 States)
- Tongue-Flicker Animation Toggle
- Muzzle Talking Function with On/Off Toggle
- Viewer 2.0 Compatible hands, legs, and feet + Alpha Layer Skins to avoid using Invisiprims
- Complimentary Accessories:
- Ski Goggles
|Script Time / Memory (With HUD)||~0.0ms / TBD|
|Script Time / Memory (without HUD)||~0.0ms / TBD|
|Avatar Rendering Cost (Scale Here)||~1172|
Build and Skin Quality:
DERP has continually grown as an avatar creation company; and one area where they’ve done so is their textures. This avatar has been textured neatly from head to toe, with clear and distinctive markings. This is most noticeable when one observes the division between the scutes on the belly vs. the scales covering the rest of the body. Also, if users look closely, they can see the faintest impression of scales. The avatar comes with both male and female shapes, and again with skins which both have just the right amount of shading and highlighting on them per gender. In sum, the textures over the body and the attachments are in perfect balance; helping to create a wholly aesthetic image overall. The image below provides a sample shot of the texture quality of this avatar.
In terms of sculpt quality, this avatar’s sculpted prims are smooth, without any sight of wrinkles or imperfections in the sculpts themselves. Additionally, the construction of the avatar was well completed, even though with some lighter versions of the avatar, one will see the slightest creasing between prims. Altogether, though, this avatar shows itself off as being technically and visually the most complex avatar from this creator at the time of this written review.
This avatar has a whole slew of attachments that we’ll discuss before we conclude with some final thoughts. As usual we start from the ground up with the feet and leg attachments. The legs and feet are digitigrade in their theme, with avian inspired, 4-toed paws. The proportions all line up neatly, the feet thinning out at the rear to make way for the single, very noticeable dew-claw and subtle digitigrade leg. At this point we see some webbed ‘ridges’ on the backs of the legs, which will be a prominent theme in this avatar. Users are able to choose between wearing legs with invisprims, or if they have Viewer 2.0 compatible alpha layers + legs without invisiprims.
For the first time since their earlier hyena and red panda avatars, DERP has brought back their sculpted prim thighs. These were the more unpopular aspects of those earlier avatars because they seemed too bulky and not as form-fitting as they could have been. With the Ridgeback avatar, however, DERP seems to have gotten a good handle on the concept with digitigrade thighs that merge neatly with the digitigrade leg at the kneecap, as well as the hips of the body shape. They provide a meatier appearance to the avatar, while their textures do a good job of hiding the fact that they’re prims.
Next up is the tail, which, while made up of sculpted prims and remains static, makes up a powerful component of the avatar’s entire look. Ample shading gives the body of the tail dimension, while decorative fin/flukes on the ventral surface of the tail give it a little extra style. The real ornamental piece of the tail is the spade-shaped structure with colourful, yet sharp spikes that point way from the surface of the tail-tip.
The hands are static and unmoving, but these thick-fingered paws are set in a neutral pose. They’re slightly large, but wrist-prims smoothen out the transition from the large hands to the slender body shape. Another detail we’ll mention is the scutes on the back of the avatar which keep up the theme of webbed ridges along the back of the avatar.
The last attachment to discuss now is the wings. For this avatar, they’re fairly simple appendages without any functionality, but they do a good job of acting for show. Some folks will likely wish these wings had scripts and animations, but it’s not a big enough issue here. Functionality aside, these wings appear nicely draconic and add to the dragon theme on this avatar.
Finally, the head. As a whole, the head has a very dragon-ish quality, whether it’s the optional slitted pupils, slitted tongue or the arrangement of horns and fins on the back of the head. The expression of the face, by default features a draconian kind of coolness about it, but with an enigmatic smirk on the corners of the lips. The inside of the muzzle is neatly constructed with uniquely coloured tongue and mouth-interior; ranging from blues to greens to normal pinks. The biggest highlight to the mouth, however is the tongue. Occasionally, it flicks out of the mouth in an undulating fashion before being pulled back in. This snake-like trait is a nice addition to the avatar. Users can choose how much of the tongue they’d like to stick out manually (See photo to the right).
Another aspect of the head is the prominent brow which provides a feral quality to the face. There are a few different facial expressions that can be used here, and each of them is noticeable and prominent as the thick brow exaggerates them neatly. Under the brows and the sculpted blink, we have the eyes which use the same tri-colour iris system we’ve been seeing for a while with DERP avatars. Users can choose between eye attachments with rounded pupils or slitted pupils, which both add a different touch to the face (See photo to the left). Both options were very well done, though the slitted pupils are clearer and more alert-looking.
That brings us to discuss the ornate features of the head; the addition of the fin-like, webbed spikes as well as the dual rows of horns flesh the head out nicely. We won’t go into major details by describing the arrangement of the head ornamentation, but we’ll point out that they do really add a lot to the avatar visually. In all, the head comes together as a strong centre-piece to this avatar’s image.
Features and Heads-Up Display:
DERP. HUD – Dragon v1.0
The Main Control HUD design retains the same revamped design used by DERP since their Serbex. You click the logo to go through the various options with extreme simplicity. The other HUD that’s included is the fairly self-explanatory eye colour HUD. The accompanying photo shows the options.
This avatar also comes with a dark grey ‘wrap’ with some pieces of cloth that act as a kind of loincloth. The shape and build of this accessory is very well done, as are the spikes that line the belt. As you can see from the photo, the DERP logo is set out in metal, but for those who want to play around with the belt, the creators have left it as modifiable. Also included are the arm ‘cuffs,’ also decorated with the studs. The collar is the final piece to that outfit, with a good sculpted shape and prim details. The one other attachment that has been included with this avatar are the svelt ski goggles that are fitted to the face nicely. The only problem with the goggles isn’t the creators’ fault, as the alpha textures flicker thanks to the SL client. Like a growing number of creators, it would seem that DERP is successfully jumping into the pool by including good quality accessories with their avatars rather than selling them separately.
This avatar comes as both modifiable and copiable, so users are able to modify it to suit their tastes. Because the head ornamentation is all attached to the head itself, users can easily attach a third party hair, though they would have to do a little modification to fit it to the slightly feral head.
The DERP Ridgeback is a very interesting interpretation of a dragon through the eyes of the DERP content creators. This avatar shows that DERP is at a stage where they’ve polished off their style and explored a bit with making their avatars a even more visually complex and interesting. To that end, the result has been a vision of a dragon that joins a community of choices that are each different from one another in dimensions, textures, function, and most importantly, style. Overall, from the textures and sculpts, to the very nice clothing and accessories, this avatar offers a well-constructed dragon persona.