Not long after the release of their second avaatar, Raawr Avatars gives us a third offering to cater to those with a fond favour to fierce felines. Bringing us a combination of flexiprims and partially rigged mesh in the form of the tiger avatar, we take a closer look.
Out of the Box:
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Build and Skin:
The tiger comes with skin sets for male and female wearers, inclusive of a PG/Mature (Warning, link is adult) variant. The texturing on the tiger is similar to it’s predescessor in regards to the soft pastel colour pallete used. The creator has clearly put a lot of effort into making sure the attachments blend into the avatar with as little texture interruption as possible, producing an effective result. The difficulty in creating a skin with as much going on as tiger stripes is that there is a challenge in matching seams effectively. Raawr Avatars have managed to create a varied set of tiger skins, and none of them appear to suffer from any obvious problems with the seams. All attachments are textured to the same standard as the skin, maintaining a resolved style.
The build quality remains at a good standard. The mesh components are crisp with smooth curves, with each part being entirely symmetrical and well placed. The rigged portion of this avatar is also well-considered in its construction and placing, there are no real issues of warping or misaligned joints in the rigging.
The legs and feet are a key aspect in this avatar. Rigging the legs and feet together for one digitigrade attachment makes for an aesthetically pleasing result, where we lose the crease that generally occurs in the ankle from using two separate attachments. This also makes the movement on the whole appear a little more natural. The feet are tipped with small claws, that are retractable and etendable with options present in the provided HUD. Plantigrade feet are also provided, and follow the same style with the same provisions for claws.
The tail is comprised of a series of flexible cones textured in semitransparent layers. The tail can be altered with a series of options that can be found in the HUD. Users can toggle the settings to make the tail shorter, longer, thinner, fluffier, and more or less affected by gravity.
The hand paws are created from one mesh sculpt with human hands in mind, whereas the feet have four toes, the hands have four long, rounded fingers and a thumb. The hands are set in a static relaxed pose with retractable claws.
The head is made almost entirely using non-rigged mesh, except for the hair which also includes the use of flexible prims. True to Raawr’s set style, the head is small with a slightly sloping muzzle with large, expressive eyes. The mouth holds a full set of teeth, and a well-textured tongue with adjustable settings. The transition from body to head is good inregards to the textures, and the size of the head in relation to the rest of the body is well proportioned.
The main part of the head supports a multitude of eye/jaw/ear combinations for expressions that are available in the HUD, The main portion of the face also appears as separate mesh pieces which become transparent or visible depending on the users selection between ‘normal’ ‘angry’ or ‘sad’ as basic expression options. There are a large variety of jaw and ear settings to accompany these expressions, so the wearer has a lot of choice on the overall look they want their avatar to have.
The ears are made using one simple, rounded mesh build, with another piece to create the inner ‘fluff’. They twitch independently, but they can also be set to specific positions according to the wearers preference.
The eyes are independently recolourable, and are modifiable in the HUD. Users have a selection of pupil shapes, ranging from circles to stars, and a range of texture overlays to define the area around the pupils. The size of the pupils, the level of glow and the amount of highlighting in the eyes are also toggleable.
Features and Heads-Up Display (HUD):
The HUD is tidy, colourful and full of features for the wearer to tinker with out of the box. The layout is simple with clear subheadings and sliders/buttons for each individual feature, and is also beautifully illustrated.
An extra feature worth noting on the Raawr Tiger is found in the ‘misc’ section of the HUD. ‘Grab UV Maps’ Will give the wearer a set of textures for the tiger with a basic template on the layout of the head, ears, legs and hands. This will be an undoubtlably useful tool for those who wish to modify their avatar, or intend to create mods for other users.
Customising this avatar is not too difficult in theory. There are already a plethora of options within the HUD to give the tiger a more unique look straight out of the box. Due to the small head size, the fitting of third party human hair is not particularly difficult, and the head size/shape is also rather forgiving. Personally, I would advise against using rigged mesh hair at this stage unless you are a well-seasoned modder, as a fair amount of tweaking to both the ‘base’ head and tiger head may be required for effective placement. Due to the provision of digitigrade and plantigrade legs and feet, attach points are not over cluttered and the wearer is still able to use regular texture-based clothing with no real issues if they wish.
The tiger avatar succeeds in creating an avatar with a friendly, simple style. Soft edges and pastel colours make for a calm, neutral avatar that appeals visually. With most avatars that are not too heavily characterised such as this, it gives the user an opportunity to make it their own with relatively little effort, which is always a plus. It’s great to see mesh utilised in avatar making in an increasingly common form, both rigged and not. To me, at least, it seems like a logical step forward, and partial-rigging seems to have resolved a few issues present prior to its arrival – particularly in avatar rescaling.
|Clothing provided by Apricot Paws!|