Having long established a niche for themselves as creators with a unique, ‘dark’ or ‘eccentric’ signature style, Mutation Industries has produced a new fox to replace their old one. The new fox uses the potential of the Second Life client to further reach its goals of a uniquely designed character.
Out of the Box:
- 4 Hand Positions
- Tongue Toggle
- 5 Jaw States
- Moving Jaw with moving lips
- 3 Ear States
- 12 Facial Expressions
- 7 Eyelid States
- 8 Pupil Choices
- 16 Eye Colours
- Custom Fit Clothing for avatar
Build and Skin:
The textures are particularly notable, given how a lot of attention has put into detail and fur texturing on the body itself and the prims. While there is a huge amount of detailing that has gone into the texturing, it has gone more into the direction of an idealised, stylised type of painted texture rather than one of supposedly photorealistic ‘realism.’ This type of texturing gives the creator an artistic liberty to continue to make the avatar look like it came from a storybook. In the end, this level of texturing is used all over the body, from the bloodshot eyes to the matted fur.
The creators generally aim for androgynous shapes with their avatars, so there is relatively little difference between male and female versions. For this particular avatar, the body shape that it comes with it is very important, as many of the attachments (the clothing at the very least) would require substantial adjustments if the shape was modified.
The feet and leg attachments deserve some notice, particularly in how they have create the impression that the avatar is standing on the tip of the feet rather than having a full-fledged foot-paw. One unfortunate side-effect is that when the foot bends, it can sometimes can look disjointed; but this isn’t a huge issue. Otherwise, they are textured and made well to the point that each foot is tipped with 5 jointed-looking toes with sharp claws. The upper leg attachments give the body some more shape whenever the wearer is naked, making movement on the knee joint look smoother as well as add tufts of matted fur to the hips and rump.
The hand attachments are definitely more akin to hands than they are to paws, though the the pawpads are painted onto the long and spindly palms and fingers, tipped with dagger-like claws. There is no arm attachment as the hand sits flush with the avatar shape. However, similar to the legs are arm attachments that add still more matted, tufted fur to the the shape. However, I’ve almost neglected to mention the tail. The tail is notable for having thick sculpts and shading that gives it depth. Additionally, the little curls of gnarled fur add a neat touch.
Finally, we can move on to discuss the head. A major trait of the avatar would be its large ears. Tufted at the ends, they are rather hollowed out and tall, with sculpted, non-transparent fluff on the inside near the base. The avatar comes with its own hairstyle that compliments the image that the creator aimed for with the entire avatar; limp and slightly tousled despite a combing. Underneath the hair are moving, red tinted eyes that give the impression of sleeplessness, illness or just general shiftiness. The muzzle is long and pointed with curled, gnarly whiskers. Attention is easily focused on the neck-fur, made up from thick sculpts bunching up around the front, back and sides of the neck. For some people, these fur tufts will seem to be an unnecessary distraction, but to others, it could be another style addition.
The avatar comes complete with its own outfit, with specific colours that compliment the avatar being worn. In the case of this Tan fox, the suit was white and black; consisting of both clothing layers and sculpts. Basically, users receive an 18th century suit with a short pants and a vestjacket with a tie. They also get detached sleeves for their arms and the digitigrade legs. Particularly interesting are the usage of tiny bird skulls to act as buttons on the shirt.
As with many other avatars, the HUD accounts for the operation of all features and options available to the user. The HUD is a ‘slide’ to hide away type; with a little puppet facsimile inside the puppet box as the theme. Users can change their eye colour, Pupil size/type, how open the eyes are, Facial expressions (eye and muzzle), Ear Position, how open the muzzle is, toggle the tongue, and choose hand position/expression. The HUD is functional and the design is thought out in a way that there shouldn’t be any major issues getting what you want changed.
A very small issue that I have come across is that the muzzle sometimes does not close completely after the fox talks, but this usually corrects itself if the user talks a little bit more or fiddles with the Jaw setting on the HUD.
The avatar is well made and the execution of its theme has been taken with considerable care. Customisation may be slightly difficult as the avatars parts all rely on each other to flesh out the avatar. However, if a user has a vision of what they’d like the avatar to look like after doing some modifications, they will find it fully able to move in any direction.
Some peers have voiced their beliefs that they believe the avatar as being unattractive, but I can’t help but wonder if that’s because of the general predisposition for some consumers to keep wanting ‘realistic’ avatars as opposed to giving ones like these a chance; ones that that put a creative twist on their creations. This avatar has taken a furry staple species and re-rendered it in an entirely new perspective. Regardless of the issues of personal taste, the avatar manages to package whimsical, mysterious, and eccentric personality into a well-made final product.