Orange Nova – Flatlander Gryphon
Orange Nova continue to extend their rigged mesh reach into the realm of fantasy creatures. In this case they have presented a more avian twist with the Gryphon, which started off as a singular commission but later extended to the public SL market.
Out of the Box:
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The texturing and build of the mesh go hand in hand, presenting simple, rounded shapes without heavy shading or abrupt edges. There is just enough detail to accentuate shadows within the legs and beak for instance, giving an overall subtle quality to the completed avatar. There are no visible issues with transitions between limbs. The more ‘drastic’ changes from one piece of the avatar to the next are handed through modeled ‘fluff’, transitioning between the feathered, furred and scaled surfaces of the avatar,
Both the male and female avatars are heavily morphed to emphasise their respective genders, and are essentially separate avatars which share the same box. The female has wide hips, large breasts (including an optional body without the added nipple shape) and a deep curvature of the spine. The head appears to be tilted slightly skyward, with low, narrow ears and a curved beak which smaller than that of its male counterpart. The male equivalent has broad shoulders, a significantly larger head and a taller stance. The male’s beak is larger with pronounced ‘points’ on the underside of each side of the upper beak.
Both fully rigged avatars resemble the creatures the creator was aiming to portray simply through their included features of beaks, wings and a mixture of avian and feline body parts. The rigging is sensibly executed to give fluid movement to the hands, head and legs. It’s worth quickly noting however, that if you are aiming to purchase hair for the gryphon, that you may benefit from using sculpted or prim based pieces due to the rigged nature of the head – re-sizing the head will also re-size any rigged hair.
Orange Nova have addressed the issue of not having clothing that fits specific rigged mesh avatars by providing a selection for both genders. This is a plus, as it means that users are able to give their avatar a more complete out-of-box look without needing to spend any extra L$ to cover up their avatars if they wish to. The rigging also means that creases are no longer a threat to the overall aesthetics.
The wings are also worth mentioning through the way they’re made. They are modeled and textured to look paper-thin without relying on semi-transparent textures for shape. This means that the wings do not suffer from the alpha glitching we are used to seeing in the past from these kinds of textures overlapping.
Simple illustrations and sliders within the interface of the HUD allow the modification of the gryphon without language barriers, and means that the HUD itself takes up far less space on the users screen for an all-round more efficient feel.
While the extremely effeminate shape and style of the female gryphon is striking, it has also shown to cause some minor issues when used in conjunction with various Animation Overriders. Clipping sometimes occurs when animations put the arms near the stomach or chest, due to the aforementioned large curvature of the spine and the pushed out nature of the chest. This is less of a reflection of the quality of the avatar, however, and can be remedied through more careful consideration of accompanying AOs in general.
As the wing states are comprised of several pairs of wings with 0-100% transparency depending on the settings selected in the HUD, they can become a minor obstacle when attempting to select nearby objects that are in range of the invisible wings, resulting in the feathery appendages being clicked on as opposed to the desired location.
Despite being packaged with two sets of legs, the clothing favours the more streamlined bird legs/feet. The ‘lionfeet’ clip through the shin portions of the pajama pants and legwarmers.
One minor extra to note is that when basic shaders are disabled in some viewers, the avatar may appear to have seams over the torso.
The package also includes a scripted “Retexture” body, which is summarised in the notecard that comes with the avatar. To utilise this, you will need to have desired textures or their UUIDs to hand. Using the build menu, the user can reset the retexturing script found in the body, which begins the process of applying textures to one section at a time, such as the eyes, wings and legs. This solves the inconvenience of selecting individual avatar faces to apply textures, as the textures are also applied to transparent components. This is a highly efficient way of applying modifications to the avatar, and works very well with the right preparations.
The male and female gryphons are very resolved looking avatars that need little in the way of extras to realise their full potential thanks to the extras included. If you are looking for a fully rigged avatar that looks pleasant and well-defined out of the box, then this is certainly a consideration.