The Kirin itself is a good example of a beautiful but oft-neglected species. The Orange Nova Kirin is one of only a handful of Kirin avatars available to residents.
Out of the Box:
||Script count: 1 (Very Light)
Base ARC: 479 (Good)
Textures and Skin
Let us begin with the skin. There are two skins included with the avatar – female and unisex. The main difference between the two is that the female skin has no belly scales from the neck to the top of the belly, while the unisex skin’s scales run from neck to groin.
The ‘fur’ areas of the skin are a single color, lightly shaded. The rest of the skin consists of two types of scales – the back scales and the belly scales. These are similar to those you’d find on a snake in style and location – wider belly scales and smaller, more overlapping back scales. The style and flat shininess of these scales may put off the customer, but these are removable via the included PSD files. Additionally, the textured scales are the slightest bit grainy when one gets close to the avatar.
The textures for the rest of the body are much of the same as the skin. The longer fur on the mane, wrists, tail, and other parts of the body gives a good impression of mane-fur, being textured as longer fur normally is.
Overall Build Quality
Overall, the build quality is good. The sculpts are very smooth, with only small amounts of wrinkling noticeable on them. The textures match up well with where they should be on the sculpts.
There are no ‘invisi-prims’ on this avatar, nor is there an alternate set of legs with them. For those of us with viewers that support alpha, this is a welcome change, but for those whose viewers do not yet support it, this could be frustrating.
In general, the build fits together nicely, with most everything aligning well and with very few texture mismatches.
Let us start at the feet. In East Asian mythology, Kirins have the hooves of an ox. This avatar’s feet (and hand-hooves) more closely resemble those of a goat, which works well with the slender figure of the avatar. The hooves themselves are nicely shaped and connect well with the ankle joint.
The digitigrade legs are long and thin, again matching nicely with the avatar’s slender figure. Tufts of mane-fur hang from the knees and hocks, nice accents to an otherwise ordinary leg.
There are two tails included with the avatar. The first, tail, labeled ‘RealTail’, is long and thin, with tufts of mane-fur hanging from the base of the tail and the tip of the tail. This is a fairly standard tail for a mammalian dragon-type avatar. The second tail, labeled ‘CloudyTail’, is made entirely of mane-fur. It’s not quite as long as the ‘RealTail’, but is definitely more poofy. This tail one does come off as a bit stiff, though.
There are two options for the hand-hooves. The first, labeled ‘LeftHoofHand’ and ‘RightHoofHand’, are similar in style to the feet. They do not have thumbs, and are ideal if you’re going for the bipedal feral style. The second pair, labeled ‘LeftHand’ and ‘RightHand’, are more human-like – there are three fingers and a thumb made from the hooves. These are nice if you’re going for an anthropomorphic style. The fluff on the wrist is optional, and both styles of hand-hooves match well with the body mesh wrists.
Neck and Head Summary
There are two styles of neck included with this avatar, which seems to be standard for avatars with naturally long necks, such as dragons and horses. Aside from where they attach and how they move, the styles are essentially identical.
The first option (Short Neck) has the head and neck as separate attachments. The neck still attaches to the chest, but the head attaches where the head would be on a normal avatar. As the neck is much shorter on this version, it is also much narrower, which contrasts a bit with the wideness of the head when viewed head-on.
The second option (Long Neck) attaches to the chest and has the entire head and neck linked into one object. The head is not responsive to normal head movement as other avatars are, but it does prevent the awkward neck-through-chest or head-detaching-from-neck problems.
Both styles of neck are sculpted well, with no creasing visible on either of them. The neck scale textures match up well, despite the longer-necked version’s scales being visibly larger.
The Kirin’s mane is very thick and runs from the top of the head, down the neck, and to the middle of the shoulders. The mane is linked to the head and neck, so if you wish to detach it, you must do so manually.
The head is comparable in style to a goat-ox hybrid. The only truly noticeable sculpt wrinkling can be found here, and it seems to be from the eye blinking animation. It’s not a terrible amount of wrinkling, but it is noticeable.
The avatar’s eyes are recolorable, but it is quite the task to get to them. There is no HUD included with the avatar, so the only way you are able to re-color them is by taking your head apart to reach the iris prims.
Finally, we come to the horn. The horn, by default, glows rather brightly, which can be remedied by removing the glow via the Build menu. As with the eyes, if you wish to recolor your horn, you must do so manually.
This avatar comes without a HUD for the simple reason that there is only one script in the entire avatar, and that controls the blinking eyes (and neck deformer, if you choose the long neck version). If you wish to customize your Kirin’s color, you must manually tint or re-texture the avatar.
On that note, the creator has generously made the PSD files for all textures on the Kirin downloadable, so you can edit them yourself to your heart’s desire. This more than makes up for the lack of a color-customizing HUD.
The Kirin is truly a beautiful mythical animal, and it’s a shame that they are so rare. Orange Nova has done a very nice job at bringing this species to life in their own style.