SLARF is pleased to cover an avatar from other categories we hope to get into more often. In this review we have the opportunity to cover a unique, 6-limbed, fuzzy alien-creature. Complete with its own back-story, this avatar joins the increasing number of creatures and species brought forth from the deepest imagination of their creators.
- Siatthian Mask with two states
- Multiple Eye States (Open, Half-closed, Closed)
- Space-Time Portal Creation (Explained in the Creature Card)
- Multiple Jaw States (Closed, Half-open, Open)
- Secondary Arms
- 5 Secondary Arm poses
- Secondary Arm Movement when Talking
- Random Arm Movement Toggle
- Secondary Arm Sleeves
- Choose the colour of ‘sleeves’ you want on the Secondary Arms so you can match any clothing you wear
- Users can Save 8 colours in the HUD
- Tongue Toggle
- Random Sticking out Tongue TOggle
- Stick out Tongue when you type
- Hand-Claws Colour Changing
- Claws can emit particles the same colour as the claws themselves, or rotating through the rainbow
- Interactive Tail
- Quick Text Commands
Script Time with HUD
Script Time without HUD
Avatar Rendering Cost
Build and Skin:
The avatar comes in either white or in black, with the white avatar having more pattern variation than the black avatar. As a result of using the two colour ‘extremes’, attention has gone into ensuring the fur has depth by using gentle colour variation with brush-strokes over the body. The result has been a believable body texture. A slight downside is that the avatar attachments are not as textured as well as the skin, but this is made up for with the complexity and design of the said attachments. The avatar comes a single asexual shape, but users can edit this as they wish.
The feet are wide and thick, yet paw-like except for the very prominent, bulbous paw-pads that extend to the front of the toes. The triple-jointed quality of the feet is unique, perhaps made that way to suggest adaptability to various terrain types. At the base of the foot and the hands, we notice sculpted fluff giving way to a digitigrade leg. The design of the digitigrade leg is well thought out, but there is the slightest bit of dimpling on the sculpts which can only really be seen on the white rather than black variety.
The tail for this avatar is very fuzzy, using a few flexible prims with semi-transparent textures to make a fluffy appearance. Using the default shape, the tail rivals the height of the avatar while resembling the common feather duster. Users clicking this tail can emote with it; for example biting or stroking it.
We focus first on the Avatar’s “Primary” arms before discussing the smaller, “Secondary” arms. Rather than imitating the feet, the hand-attachments are more hand-like with 5 fingers and textured paw-pads. The palm of the paws are a little flat compared to the fingers though, and on the top side there is a touch of sculpt wrinkle. The arm attachment-fluff helps to cover this up, and the avatar in black renders this unnoticeable as well.
A real treat on this avatar has to be the addition of the “Secondary” arms that are completely made of prims that rearrange into set 5 poses either through user control or automatically on their own. The prims resize, rotate, and move to new positions relative to the attachment point. Therefore, users can choose whether they want the avatar to randomly rotate through arm/hand poses, or remain in a single pose. For some, this produces an extra cute factor, while for others, it creeps them out. Either way, it is quickly a highlight of the avatar with how it runs smoothly in a low-lag environment, even going as far as to move with expression when the user is typing. For fun, at the base of the arms are HUD/text command recolourable ‘sleeves.’ By default, they’re shaded the same colour as the avatar, but users can change the colour to suit a favourite shirt, for example. This customiseability is a good thinking on the creator’s part.
The head is perched a good bit above the shoulders thanks to a prim neck. The smooth, gently arching neck is framed by a mane of hair at the base and at the back of the head leading up to the sides and back of the head. This thought-out transition from body to head is smooth and melds well with the face. The eyes are immediately a visual centrepiece to the face, and as you can see from the pictures, speak for themselves. They are bright and engaging, and move randomly. The only thing that could really have made them better would have been the ability to change eye-colour, but this is not a huge issue.
The muzzle is long well sculpted, with good articulation and textures. The imperfections are barely noticeable (roughness in symmetry) and do not create very much distraction from the whole quality of the head. The inside of the muzzle includes a sculpted tongue and an interesting array of teeth. The arrangement of prims over the muzzle and around the eyes create a unique face that looks truly alien. When you factor in the fuzzy, tall twitching ears, you have an altogether pleasant face with a mischievous glint in its eyes.
Of course, given that the Siatthian species is said to be space-time travellers with an astonishing sensitivity to light, the avatar comes with a mask that can be worn over the muzzle or on the back of the neck. The mask is a fun accessory to wear, complete with a little story behind it in the Creature Card. Users can wear the mask behind the neck, over the top of the head itself, or detach it altogether.
Heads-Up Display (HUD) and Features:
The HUD is the control centre fot he avatar, designed to allow users to really take advantage of the options offered. Follows is a short breakdown
- Mask and Eye-State Toggle
- Portal Creation
- Jaw State
- Secondary Arm Poses (Toggle Automatic Poses)
- Toggle Tongue (Toggle Random Tongue sticking-out)
- Particle-Emitting Claw Control
- Sleeve Colour Control and Saving
The ‘Portal’ for the avatar consists of the creature making a jagged hole in space-time, curling up inside of it and disappearing. There is no practical function other than for show, but the well made portal does this well.
The avatar is customisable and modifiable, and the the scripts are also modifiable for the advanced scripters who may wish to use this avatar and make adjustments. Users are even invited to replace the portal object with one of their own by following the Readme. The added ability to turn some of the prims in the Secondary Arms into a colour-modifiable shirt sleeve were a wise addition to the avatar and make clothes-wearing more convenient.
The Siatthian joins the ranks of other Second Life avatars that have proven themselves to be unique creations that increase the variability of avatar types on the market. Despite slight issues with build quality, the overall package is fun to wear and sure to generate conversation wherever one goes with it. As usual, we applaud the originality of imagined creations, and the thoughtfulness that goes into making creations like these not only fun to wear, but a conversation-piece.