Vidken Avatars Painted Sergals
The Sergal, a fictional species created by Trancy Mick, has become remarkably well known in the furry community over the years. Their distinct, sharp-edged appearance makes them easy to pick out in a crowd. This review will take a look at the first mesh version of this species available on the grid.
Out of the Box:
When unboxed, the first impression is a bit overwhelming – the box deposits seven folders into the inventory, two of which contain the avatars themselves – Northern and Southern varieties. The primary differences between the two breeds of Sergal are their build, with the Northern breed being taller, with a longer face and ears.
Once worn, the Sergal is immediately obvious as a predatory animal, with a sharp, triangular face, muscled build, and sharp claws. While it has a humanoid build, the avatar leans more towards the animalistic side.
The ‘Painted’ part of the name is also obvious in the texturing – when viewed up close it has the feel of an oil painting. It accentuates the mesh and gives the feeling of fur quite well. The mesh itself is smooth in most places and has well-defined musculature, especially when combined with the hand painted textures.
As mentioned above, one of the strongest parts of this avatar is the texturing. Many different textures are included, with several solid colors on a white body. Each of these textures is very well done, with the hand painted style remaining consistent between all of them. The differences in tone throughout the avatar work very well to accentuate and define the underlying mesh. Several different eye textures are also included, which have a comparable level of detail, though due to the structure of the eye, the pupils are not tintable separate from the whites of the eye.
The sculpting of the mesh is quite well done, with definition for muscles and tendons in locations such as the back of the hands and the neck and collarbone area. This effect ,when combined with the textures, does an excellent job creating and defining the exaggerated anatomy of the sergal.
While most of the meshing on the Sergal is impressive, there is a very visible lighting seam where the jaw meets the rest of the head, as a side effect of the jaw being a separate piece to accommodate movement. There are a few weak spots on the mesh – several strands of the mane are angular, and there are seams where it meets the neck.
Though the mane is advertised as detachable, there is a very noticeable texture seam on the back of the neck between the ears when it is removed. The toes and fingers both suffer from a bit of roughness, with visible corners instead of smooth curves. With both tails – flexible and sculpted, there is also a visible seam between tail and backside.
As well, the default ‘alpha’ body fluff suffers from the invisiprim problem, where any transparent textures behind the body fluff will be hidden, creating a sort of cutout effect around the arms and legs. There is an alternate set of 3D body fluff in one of the extra folders, which is a solid mesh attachment and can be used in place of the alpha fluff to avoid this issue.
The HUD for the Sergal is quite comprehensive, with two large pages. The first page contains several buttons for expressions, ear and tail movement, tongue and jaw position, and a row of buttons for controlling the properties of the flexible tail. Several of the buttons, such as those for raising and lowering the ears, make use of a slider for controlling the position, as opposed to several fixed options.
The second page of the HUD is mostly color and texture options for the various parts of the Sergal, but it also contains buttons for changing finger and toe positions. For several body parts such as the fur and eyes, there is a row of buttons for changing textures – 17 are included for the eyes, and 34 body textures are included.
Included with the avatar, in a ‘Bonus’ folder, are rigged mesh breasts for the Sergal, though they are experimental, and the seller discloses that there is a very visible seam caused by lighting.
Armour and Clothing (Optional Purchase @ 600L):
Also available for purchase is a set of armors for the sergals – both North and South varieties, with extra pieces such as an alternate solid tail, and matching sets of body fluff that tuck under the armor pieces. This package also includes rigged shorts, t-shirts, and a few miscellaneous items in the form of gloves and a loincloth. The casual items of clothing are compatible with both North and South sergals, and come in a handful of colors. There are also two ‘logo’ versions of the shirt with a design on the chest.
The fit for all pieces is excellent, with the exception of the helmet of the North armor – the mane clips through in places. Though the mane can be removed to avoid this issue, this leaves a large gap between the helmet and neck.
The shirts and shorts are well textured and provided in several basic colors. A notable, though easily missed detail is the shirt is sculpted at the back to lift up slightly over the top of the tail.
For the most part, the Sergal avatar is well done, with a notable appearance, wonderful texturing, and comprehensive HUD. However, given the avatar’s price point, there are several issues in regards to seams and alpha issues that buyers should be aware of. If the Sergal is something that you’re interested in, this avatar does an excellent job of portraying the creature, and conveying the attitude that comes with it.