Kinzart Kreetures – Domestic Cats

Over the years, KzK have brought us tigers, leopards and servals. This time they bring us their next partial mesh feline, harking back towards a more familiar variant, the domestic cat.

KZKCat1

Specifications:

Avatar Features Technical Information
  • Partial mesh avatar
  • Male/Female shapes
  • Tintable and dark adult tattoo layers
  • Mesh tail with 4 toggleable positions
  • Facial expressions
  • Jaw, eye and ear positions
  • Retractable claws and finger positions
  • Tri-tone tintable eyes
  • Tintable pawpads, mouth, claws and nose
  • Alternative texture settings for nose and pawpads
  • Detachable whiskers
  • Voice Gestures
  • Alpha layer to cover hands, legs and feet
  • AUC System
  • Modify
  • Copy
  • No-Transfer
  • With HUD: 761 KiloBytes, (24 Scripts)
  • Without HUD: 553 KiloBytes, (20 Scripts)
  • Avatar Rendering Cost
    • Textured 105641

 

KZKCat2

First Impressions

KZKCat360The long awaited release of a surprisingly uncommon avatar subject is anything but generic at its first glance. It is immediately clear which species is being represented, both through the crisp mesh shapes and deatailed avatar skins. Not only are the skins textured to a great standard, they have been individually set aside in order to effectively mimic the colours and patternings of many real-world domestic species, including the siamese, the tortoiseshell and the tuxedo to name just three. A fairly new feature with KzK avatars is that instead of having the adult ‘parts’ baked into the skin, two female tattoo layers are provided – one dark, and one greyscale, making them tintable to the wearers content.

KZKCatHead360This avatar is built mostly with mesh, except for the whiskers, which are created with sculpted prims, and the claws, which are made using torii. Due to being mesh, this avatar can of course only be seen correctly by using a mesh compliant viewer.

KZKCatTailsThe avatar gravitates towards the realistic in regards to style, this is complimented both in the shapes and textures, which are painterly but not overly stylised. The handpaws are very much hybrid, with four fingers and a thumb tipped with retractable claws, in contrast to the feet, which are more true to the quadruped species.  In all, the attachments blend fairly well into the default avatar shape, and there are no heavy interruptions to the seams, nor any visible wrinkling present in the avatar as a whole.

The domestic cat echoes a few new building techniques that were seen in the KzK Hyena in the ways of cheek, heel and tail fluff, which has been created through the use of semitransparent mesh components. From most angles, this is an effective way to show off fine, painterly lines that echo the soft, light nature of feline fur. These aspects still occasionally suffer from some overlay issues, but this will be discussed later.

KZKCatHUDThe HUD is very straightfoward and simple to use, with the same page system we have become accustomed to with this maker. There is a dedicated page for the eyes/ears/tail/eye dilation/typing movements, a page for hand poses, and a page for setting the glow and colour of  individual aspects of the avatar, such as the mouth, nose, eyes, pawpads and claws. The HUD also includes a texture page, offering extra options for the nose and pawpads.

KZKCat4

Strengths

The sheer number of available fur patterns and variants of these avatars is staggering. It’s refreshing to see a set of avatars that have been made with each individual type in mind without the temptation to simply apply the hue slider. Whilst in some cases I understand that such a method is the most logical, the result in this effort has created a high caliber set of resolved, striking and undeniable references to each real-world breed.

The texturing has been effectively done in a way that represents soft, furry surfaces. This style transitions fairly easily from the attachments to the default body, with few battles visibly lost  to  externally visible seams on the skin and attachments. Every piece has been purposefully textured, there is no evidence of recycling anywhere on this avatar, not have any areas been neglected. The same quality of work can be seen quite literally from head to tail, from the inside of the mouth to the skin of the pawpads.

KZKFactFacesThe cat avatars come with a set of UV maps for modders to play with to their hearts content, just in case the wide array of available cats still aren’t quite enough, or if wearers are seeking to further personalise their felines.

There are a lot of customisation options as previously mentioned in the HUD, inclusive of facial expressions – a fairly new feature in KzK avatars that stretches beyond the eye and jaw opening. Users are able to toggle the expression of the mouth and brows to further convey a particular emotion. This of course can then be used in conjunction with the hand, ear, eye, jaw and tongue settings.

KZKCat5

Weaknesses

Ever since the implementation of semi-transparent textures, Second Life, and all Third Party Viewers have suffered from the glitching that occurs when two semi-transparent textured objects overlap. Textures presented in this way are known to flicker, to shift apparent layer order, or to clip into each other. Whilst this can be successfully avoided in the right light and angles, the domestic cat’s tail, heel and cheek fluff sometimes run into this same issue, interrupting the otherwise careful texturing with clipping and the outline of shapes residing behind it. The concept and reason for using this technique to create a furred surface is logically sound, it is simply unfortunate that this glitching isn’t easily resolvable.

Whilst the quality of the overall texturing is very high, there are some instances of textures not quite lining up on the transition between the leg and tail components, which are understandably tricky areas. The only nuances where the trace of the seam line can be visible on the skin is along the inner upper thigh, but only upon very close inspection on the lighter coloured cats, which is generally outweighed by the high standard seen elsewhere in the avatar.

KZKCat3

Unique Features

The Domestic Cat avatars are linked into KzK’s new AUC system, allowing for faster, easier updating. Further information on the AUC system and how it works is explained here: http://www.kinzart.com/support/AUC%20Documentation%20-%20Initial.pdf

This avatar also benefits from something called the AUC Stripdown, which will essentially remove any scripts that are not essential to the avatar in general use (e.g, the colour/glow scripts). Presumably this feature would only be used once the owner is generally happy with these aspects of their avatar and are seeking to further reduce their already low memory usage.

KZKCat6

Conclusion

The grid really has been in need of more domestic felines, and this recent flurry is certainly welcome. Personally I am stunned by the amount of choice available for the domestic cats, and have learned of a few other domestic breeds whilst leafing through the selection. Small details like detachable whiskers and recolourable pawpads really make this a pleasant avatar to use, it could not be clearer how much care and attention has gone into making this vast set. The invitation to modify set by the provided maps, along with workable head shapes and sizes to accommodate both sculpted and mesh hair is also certainly a move in the right direction.

KZKCatFinal

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Jian is a collector, tinkerer and general lurker with a healthy enthusiasm for avatars and interesting modifications. :>