In a SLARF debut, we welcome Blau Rascon, the first of our new group of writers to begin posting. This post reviews a quadruped wolf avatar that gives the wearer a large amount of customization possibilities. Its various emotions and actions give it quite the personality as well.
Out of the Box:
Scripts + ARC:
Build and Skin:
This avatar is made entirely of prims, the majority of which are sculpted or flexible, thus the high base ARC. A lot of these sculpts are textured differently and layered on top of each other to allow the wearer to customize the color of their avatar. This calls for a lot of transparency, hence causing a lot of alpha clipping.
As for the textures themselves, they give a very nice impression of mid-length fur, much like you’d expect on a real wolf. At various parts on the body, such as where the chest and belly connect, there is a visible mismatch of textures, which is very noticeable when the avatar moves. This is to be expected, however, and is a minor problem common to most every full prim avatar.
This avatar allows the wearer to recolor nearly everything and change various body textures via the HUD. This will be covered more in-depth in the Features and Customization sections.
We will begin our closer inspection of the avatar with the paws. The paws themselves are fairly simple and are very nicely put together. The claws, rather than being a pointed torus, are sculpted, with some creasing visible upon close inspection. The paws do not bend at the first joint – rather, they bend at the next joint up, causing the feet to appear ‘locked’ when in the standing position. (Correction: In the later updates, the feet do indeed bend at the toes, particularly when the avatar is running or sitting.)
The first leg joints on the wolf move well, but they don’t seem to fit together very well at the first joint from the paws. This is most noticeable on the hind legs, where the pointy ends of the sculpts are visible when the avatar is standing.
Running from the first joint on the hindlegs up to the rump are various cylinder prims acting as flexible fluff. These add a very nice touch to the rear of the avatar, but tend to alpha clip with the tail every now and then.
The tail itself is very visually appealing when the textures behave. Because the tail is split in half and all of the prims making up the tail are partially transparent, they have a tendency to clip through each other, making it seem inside-out or that the bottom of the tail is on top.
The fluff on the belly, chest, and neck fares much better than the fluff on the backs of the legs – these do clip, but they don’t clip very badly.
The shoulders, knees, and hips join to each other much better than the first leg joints do. They move very well and don’t clip with each other too terribly. The only complaint one might have is that the hips connect rather high on the body, which may cause them to stick out slightly when the avatar moves.
Moving on to the head, at last! The head itself is very well sculpted and textured and reflects its real life counterpart very well.
The ears on the wolf are very nice, shaped just like what you would expect a wolf’s ears to look like. They have a little flexible prim at their tips, which is a nice accent.
The eyes are very well textured and blink on their own (though they have a tendency to go out-of-sync due to being separate prims). Through the HUD, the wearer can set the eyes to open, sleepy, half-closed, and closed.
The whiskers on the head and muzzle are flexible, but they seem a bit more flexible than they should be. Whiskers are usually stiff – these whiskers are very flexible, resembling longer strands of fur more than whiskers. Nevertheless, they make a very nice accent to the face.
The wolf has a typing-activated talking jaw. This jaw has a tendency to stay wide open throughout typing rather than opening and closing like on most other avatars. In addition, the mouth has a full set of teeth and a toggleable in/out tongue. Through the HUD, the wearer can adjust the openness of the mouth.
While the avatar does recolor everything automatically, there are a few spots on the head where the fur streaks are white. These do not automatically recolor, which means you must move or de-link the prims to color them yourself. Unless you choose to make your avatar a dark or contrasting color, this isn’t a very big problem.
Lastly, the nose. Some may view the nose as a bit large, but some simple editing can fix this minor issue. It’s sculpted and textured very well overall.
The downfalls of the body itself are more than made up for by the avatar’s features and customizability. We’ll first lightly cover the AO, then move on to the HUD.
The AO itself is very well done. They’re very true to their real-life counterpart and are very smooth. There are a few odd animations that could be improved, most noticeably the tail-chasing animation, but these issues are minor.
The AO attaches itself by default to the left eyeball. This is a pleasant alternative to having the AO built in to the HUD as so many other quadruped avatars do, but it can make for some awkward moments if it gets accidentally detached.
The left side of the HUD controls the body – tail wagging, actions, and the like.
Heads-Up Display (HUD) and Features:
The HUD is fairly self-explanatory, including multiple different settings with regards to the Tail, Jaw, Tongue, Muzzle expression, Eyebrow State, and Ear state. All of the appropriate options can be controlled fairly easily through the relatively simple HUD.
On the far right side of the action HUD are the 16 various actions the avatar can perform. These include howling, laying down, sitting, and tail chasing. Most of these play a sound, which cannot be disabled.
For ease of use, the creator has included various gestures that act as shortcuts for the actions on the HUD. These are optional – you can use either the HUD or the gestures, whichever you prefer.
The Color menu of the HUD controls the color customization and texture switching.
The left portion of this section lets the wearer switch textures on their avatar, such as switching facial markings or body fur patterns. There are 7 facial markings, 5 muzzle patterns, 3 eyebrow styles, 4 chest patterns, and 2 belly patterns available for the wearer to choose from, and as such, the number of combinations possible is many.
The right half of this part of the HUD controls the color customization. This is a bit difficult for new users to learn, especially those with little experience using RGB color adjusters.
Basically, it works like this: Either use the RGB arrows to modify the selected color (In the Preview Menu), or use the RGB palette. Then, click the label of the body part you would like to recolor. The selected body part will then automatically apply the color.
There are 18 total body parts that can be recolored altogether.
The avatar comes with modify and copy permissions, so the buyer can tinker with the avatar to their heart’s content. There is also an entire market for accessories made specially for the wolf, so it should be very easy to make your wolf your own.
I do, however, have one minor parting grievance.
This avatar is not at all script efficient. Each prim that is recolored has its own script in it – that is why there are nearly four hundred scripts on this avatar in total, with the HUD. (Correction: In the latest version of this avatar, the avatar scripts have been cut down to a total of 49 throughout the entire wolf. Hence, this avatar is far more script-efficient than before).
In conclusion, the TWI Wolf is a very nice quadruped wolf avatar, and is a good choice for those just starting out with ‘feral’ avatars. It’s an overall well-done avatar that’s definitely worth adding to your collection.
And so concludes our first new Staff Writer’s review. Please give Blau Rascon a warm welcome to SLARF; we hope that he continues to remain with us for a long time.
Additionally, I’d like to make a note that we realise there is a matter of contention between Timber Wilds and the Lost Furest avatar companies. At SLARF, we feel it is not fair for us to choose sides in this debate. We will not compare or contrast avatars. Additionally, any comments left by visitors that serve to reignite tensions in the Comment threads below will not be approved for posting.