Wow, we’re really dragging our feet here folks, aren’t we? I promise that we’ll be back up to full speed in 1-2 months. For now though, we have the pleasure of introducing the Orange Nova Slug; a full-out slug avatar that remains true to the species, in mesh!
|1x Alpha skin layer, FULLPERM
1x Slug Mesh, Female
1x Slug Mesh, Male
2x Shapes, long and short, FULLPERMPSDs to create your own skin available from http://orangenova.org
Build and Skin:
To start with, the avatar comes in both male and female versions, with one version having a more effeminate body shape, while the other is a good deal more masculine. To switch between these, however, you do not change the body shape like you normally do. Rather, you have switch the version of the mesh slug that you’re wearing. A picture says a thousand words, so we won’t really go too in-depth into describing what the pictures show well enough. Suffice to say, the female shape is very well done, with shapeliness in all the right places; an improvement over the default way one could have created a body shape. Do keep in mind that you are able to do some adjustment to the body shape through the usual body sliders, but only things that have to do with the underlying skeleton (i.e. hip width, shoulder width), but not things like breast size, body fat, etc. Do keep in mind that this avatar comes with both a “Tall” and a “Short” body shape to wear with the mesh. Whether tall or short, the avatar still looks solid and presentable.
Along with the well done body shapes, this avatar has another strength in its textures. As noted under the “Features” section of the review, users are able to grab PSDs for this avatar off of the Orange Nova website to make their own unique creations. Suffice to say, it includes a just a touch of ‘gloss’ to the textures, so despite whatever patterns or colours you use, you still keep the glossy sheen of slug-slime. Most of the sheen is thanks to a “Low” SL-rendered shine which gives the avatar more visual impact. It goes without saying that the textures really do make this avatar an all the more believable slug avatar.
Otherwise, this avatar comes in 10 different texture styles, from outrageous reds to greens to glowing blues. Some of which are shown below. Most of the texture patternings remain the same across the versions of the avatar, but much thought has gone into the each of the available colour combinations. The first picture in this review features the “Neon” slug; it’s basically jet black, but it has stripes that glow and rotate through numerous bright colours in a visually fascinating way.
Before we wrap up this section, I’ll make a quick point about the build of the avatar; it’s a rigged one-piece, so there is absolutely no issues with seams of any kind. This avatar was constructed with care and precision, cutting an impressively clean figure even with an animation overrider.
So we’ve talked mostly about the body shape and the textures already, so we’ll talk about some of the finer details. The head on this avatar is very, very much slug-like, opting more from realism than it is for anthropomorphication. Perhaps the most prominent detail is the 4 ‘antennae,’ which are actually called tentacles. The larger tentacles on the top are the “Optical” tentacles, while the ones closer to the bottom of the face are the sensory tentacles. The absurdity of having no visible mouth or any other discernable features on one’s face other than the tentacles definitely works for this avatar. The face extends into a very nicely curved neck which attaches to just between the shoulders, giving the appearance of a very prehensile, flexible neck that anyone would expect a slug to have.
Won’t forget to mention that the “Optical tentacles” move; likely with attachment points to the eyes; so you’ll actually see them twitch around a bit as if they were looking at something on their own.
The limbs have no specialisation like a human hand or animal paw goes, instead having somewhat basic hands and feet with palms and soles, but vestigial fingers that wouldn’t do much but grip things with slime. This too works for the avatar, and gives it a unique ‘alien’-ish quality despite being completely inspired by Earth slugs as it is.
That leaves us with a few words for the tail. Generally speaking, it’s a bit shorter and bulbous, but textured to be very ornate. The sides of the tail have a bit of ruffling which gives the tail some more dimensional detail and also compliments the style of the hands and feet of the avatar. Overall, a good tail, but do mind that as it is rigged mesh avatar, so at the moment, there is no way to move the tail.
We’ve already mentioned the features; the free PSDs, as well the ability to wear this avatar as a short and squat slug or the tall and imposing type. Additionally, the avatar comes in both a male and female shape. That is, however, where the features end. There are no scripts of any kind in this avatar, so if users want to do any form of customisation, they would have to do it themselves. As a result, the avatar is priced at a very low 400L
This avatar is a rigged mesh, so users are not going to be able to customise its features the same way that they can with prims, or sculpts. But, because the avatar itself is set as “Modifiable,” after grabbing the PSDs from orangenova.org, you can modify or create your own skins from scratch and apply them to your avatar. Additionally, nothing prevents the users from wearing prim objects or mesh clothing on top of the avatar. In terms of mesh clothes, be sure to get demos before buying the products to wear on top of this avatar.
And so concludes our first review of a full mesh avatar. We’re a bit behind, but we’ll be up to full speed to cover more fascinating works like this one. When I heard that the creator had created a new slug avatar, I admit that I was thinking that that was an odd choice of creature to not only place in SL, but to anthropomorphicise as well. This avatar shows how some creators will be able to stretch the limits of Second Life to a new level, finding ways to use this tool to create new and interesting content. That isn’t to say that there are no drawbacks with mesh, but if an avatar could be as well designed and textured as this one, it makes it well worth it.