The Luskwood Bigcat has been one of Luskwood’s most popular avatars for years. They have begun to revisit some of their various lines of avatars, introducing more detailed techniques and style improvements to the avatar. In this review we take a look at what’s new with the revamped felines.
Out of the Box:
- Colour Changing Eyes and Ears
- Smile/Frown plus tongue in/out
- Twitching Ears and Tail
- Articulated Jaw for typing or voice (with animation override)
- Scripted tail States (Up, Down, and Flexi)
- Scripted Claw Extension/Retraction
- Scripted Digi/Planti Leg States
- Avatar HUD/GUI
Script Time with HUD
Script Time without HUD
Avatar Rendering Cost
(Likely because of the hidden attachments for swapping)
The Big Cat avatars maintain a similar build structure but vary mostly by textures in-between different species. Some avatars have more complex skin textures (e.g. Clouded Leopard) while others (The Cougar/Mountain Lion) have a more simple pattern. Fortunately, a simple patterning does not mean a simple texture; no matter what species of avatar, there is equally good work done on actually creating the impression of fur on the body. An area of notice is the chest and belly, where one can see the collarbones and the faintest impression of ribs, leading down to a fur-less navel. Luskwood has shown continual growth in their textures, as they have taken pains to ensure that the markings on any of their avatars are not flat and formless.
A lot of effort went into the foot and leg attachments, with Luskwood merging the plantigrade and digitigrade legs as one attachment. Thus, users can toggle whether they want the digitigrade or plantigrade legs with the HUD or typed commands. Additionally, the feet would shift in order to accommodate the digitigrade or plantigrade stance. The feet have believable foot pads on the underside and are well proportioned. Some peers had commented that they felt the top of the foot was a slight bit flat leading towards the leg attachments, but this is more a matter of opinion. The digitigrade leg attachments themselves are shaped and textured with organic contours rather than generic cylindrical shapes. The tail comes in two forms; either sculpted or flexible. The differences in tail lie not only between whether it is flexible or sculpted, but between varieties of avatar species as well. For example, in the case of the clouded leopard, both tails are thicker and fluffier.
Finally, we touch on the head. Any user of the old Luskwood Bigcat avatar would have immediately noticed that the head is a rebuild and redesign of the head that retains the original look. The complete facial structure has been redone with sculpts, and the jaw has been unlinked from the head to form its own attachment. For this avatar, the eyes are an immediate focal point. Almond shaped, they stand out with a little personality and brightness. The ears atop the head are oval-shaped and well textured with the appropriate markings and torii fluff to accentuate the insides.
The muzzle is broad at the base and thins towards the end where it is tipped with a well designed nose. The muzzle is also shaped so that while taking up most of the space between the eyes, it does not interfere with what would be the head’s line of sight. For those who like to wear glasses and goggles with their avatar, this proves helpful in how you position them. However, what is interesting about this head is that the textures supplement and sometimes outshine the actual build. Like the other attachments and body skin, subtle details in the textures bring out and accentuate the tiniest details in the sculpts. For example, the differences in tone and shade that outline the muzzle bridge on the sides of the muzzle (Seen from the sides of the head). It is also appreciated that there are the appropriate markings on the back and top of the head (under the hair) so that users can go hair-less if they wanted.
The Muzzle-talk function is not out of the ordinary, with a full compliment of teeth, fangs and a tongue. Male wearers of the avatar get a little ‘fluff’ on the chin to underline masculinity while females get effeminate eyelashes. The whiskers, while slightly thick and plentiful are made to be an accent rather than a focal point, much like the fluff torii at the back of the cheeks.
Heads-Up Display (HUD) and Features:
This avatar comes with the usual Lusk amount of features, opting for a good balance between features and functionality in the HUD and commands, though some commands are not covered by the HUD. In terms of the head, users can change settings pertaining to eyes (colour and state), ears (twitching), hair colour, mouth state (smile or frown), toggle whether they stick their tongue out or not, and toggle the Muzzle talking function. The tongue will stick itself out when the user types the quivalent emotes (Like XP and )
In terms of the tail, users can choose whether they wish the tail to wag (Looks best with a flexitail rather than sculpted tail), whether they want their tail to point upwards or downwards, or merely switch between either the flexible or sculpted tail.
A last point to bring up is that of the sheath/unsheath function. While not neccesarily new among feline avatars, what stands out about the Luskwood felines are the way in which the toes splay wide when the claws extend. This enhances the visual effect that the extended claws gives the avatar.
This avatar comes as Copy-mod, so users are easily able to make changes and customisations outside of those provided. The avatar comes with some of the best hair that Luskwood has ever provided, the creators moving away from spiky, gravity-defying cut torii for modern, streamlined hair with better textures. Some people wishing to replace the hair with their own third-party hairs may have issues getting them to fit, because while Luskwood has shrunken their heads a good bit, some hairs will look peculiar because of head proportions.
The Luskwood Big Cat has successfully managed to bring an update to one of their most popular, yet previously aging avatars. Their newer texture and sculpting skills thrust the avatar into modernity, while keeping the original spirit of the avatar intact. Thus, with a few new types (Cougar and a Rorschach (Watchmen) inspired species, Luskwood has offered a new breath into an avatar, for the old and the new generations of users.