Domestic cats are a time-honoured favourite pet among many people, and have remained a popular choice of ‘fursona’ or character for many a fur. Luskwood was one of the first avatar creators to offer a domestic feline avatar in Second Life, and have updated the avatar to a modern standard, providing an entirely new product, while keeping the personality of the prior generation.
Out of the Box:
|Avatar Features||Technical Details|
From the start, this avatar sets itself apart from other other felines with a distinct appearance, a must for any avatar in the current market. If any of you remember the earlier Lusk cats, it becomes apparent that this update is more than a refresh, but rather a complete revamp. The Cat manages to push the envelope of Lusk’s style, but still retains the character of the first Lusk felines. The avatar comes with a HUD that users will find themselves comfortable using, and a feature set that will provide plenty of out of the box customisation.
To that end, we’ll dive right in. Texture-wise, this avatar does very well, offering more than 2 dozen different breeds and unique colours for their users. Users are able to choose between breeds; from Tuxedo, Tabby, Tortoiseshell, Siamese, Bicolor and Calico, to name a few. As we have seen with Luskwood’s newer avatars, this avatar features well-painted skins with clear-cut, but soft appearing markings. Shading and highlights to appropriate areas such as the front, back, and thighs, give the textures a more varied and fur-like appearance. The textures do their part to enhance and meld well with the attachments, which then come together neatly with minimal creasing, and zero crinkles in the sculpts or meshes.
Strengths and Weaknesses
One of the strengths, straight-up, with this avatar, is the head. Made entirely out of mesh, it gives the impression of the calm, attentive, but also very relaxed and content feline. Some will interpret this as a look of indifference, while others will think it’s more of a look of distinguished character. Either way, both characteristics describe many a domestic cat very well.
Additionally, while the head is mesh, Luskwood has chosen to keep the main head prim separate from the muzzle. This can be a strength or a weakness, depending on what the user wants. For some users, it will create the smallest hint of a seam that they will dislike. However, as the modding movement grows increasingly popular on the grid, other users will see the potential to take the muzzle and use it on another av, or swap out other parts of this avatar for yet others. Aside from this, Lusk ensures that there is a difference between male and female copies of the avatar with appropriate shading, breast physics, and noticeable eyelashes on the female avatars.
We’ll take a quick moment to point out that the avatar comes with hair for both males and females. The hair is good for some decoration for beginners, but we would encourage users to try out third party hairs as the default hairs hold the avatar back from reaching its fullest potential. This is especially notable for the back of the female hair.
Otherwise, this avatar is indeed the sum of its parts; not relying on the head to carry the product, but ensuring the rest of the body is well-rounded as well. A particular example is the legs, which swap back and forth between human-like plantigrade, full digitigrade, and digitigrade foot-only. All of these options are available without needing to swap attachments, meaning that text commands or HUD will make the switch. This type of switching proves itself to be speedy and efficient, while using an extremely miniscule amount of script time. As a result, it proves a powerful alternative to fiddling with multiple attachments. We’ll quickly note that the plantigrade feet are well put, but people who prefer their avatars to have a smaller stature will need to shrink them.
The avatar makes use of the moving eyeball attachments that many of us have become familiar with, complete with pupil dilation and other features that a few creators have begun to include with their avatar’s eyes. The eye sheen can be a touch strong, blocking the view of the iris, but just like any other avatar, users can dial back on the eye sheen by increasing its transparency manually.
While the avatar is a big departure from many past Luskwood avatars, the HUD remains the same user-friendly and responsive menu that Lusk customers have become familiar with. One of the neat features is that as you change settings on your face through the HUD, the face is impacted as well.
Now, just before we conclude on the avatar, we’ll talk briefly about the accessories that come with it. Thanks to Apricot Paws, users are treated with a set of legwarmers for the digitigrade legs, as well as armwarmers. There are separate versions of these for the males and females, but users can just select a ‘face’ and change colours of each arm and leg warmer for maximum customisation.
In comparison to their earlier updates of their avatar line, Luskwood has widened the gap between the new and the old with modern techniques in scripting and construction. The result has been an avatar that leapfrogs its predecessor in a major way, while remaining true to a fresher Luskwood style. This is an avatar that looks at home in Second Life, straddling the line between realism and toon comfortably. If you have the earlier Cat, the update is free and should have arrived automatically. Otherwise, for any kitty-lover, this a viable choice of avatar for anyone’s collection.