In this review, we discuss the Werehouse Jaguar Version 5. There Werehouse is one of the oldest established av creation companies in SL, so it’s interesting to take a look at their newest offerings.
Out of the Box:
Build and Skin:
- We’ll start off with the skin. The avatar comes in a variety of different colours as well as a natural fur coat, generally with a main colour for most of the body, and an off-white for the front. The back of the avatar features Jaguar-like rosettes, while the opposite side has more simple spots. While the positioning and overall design of the spots is decent, it seems that the implementation was less well executed than we’ve seen from Werehouse in the past. Perhaps it’s more because of the spots being blotchy over the body and the attachments, as well as a general graininess of the textures (As if they were uploaded as highly compressed JPEG files) that makes the textures look much less presentable as they could have been. Generally, the attachments tend to have cleaner, more presentable textures than the skin itself.
- Build-wise the avatar holds its own with decent attachments. There’s a larger number of sculpted prims in areas like the legs and the feet that seem to give the attachments a little bit of detailed contour over each body part, but cause an expense in smoothness; creating many seams and visual ‘segments’ across the attachments.
- This avatar comes with one skin for males and females, as well as a hair for each gender, and shapes. The included default shapes for this avatar are unattractive, but don’t matter much since users can change that themselves.
- Starting with the lower limbs, we can see that the aforementioned observation about segmentation because of the reliance on a large number of prims. Despite decent sculpts, this makes the avatar look a bit more dated than it truly is.
- The feet are relatively simple and well constructed, though the prims look more like regular sphere prims instead of the sculpted prims that were actually used. Users can easily retract or extend the claws using the HUD included.
- Next up, we have the tail. This avatar’s tail is relatively simple; a flexible prim with a scripted swish up and down. Users can change the state of the tail (Up or Down), as well as the speed of which it twitches.
- That leaves just the hands before we discuss the head. These are the better part of the attachments on this avatar, aside from the face. The hands are generally a 50/50 cross between human hand and paw. While not allowing for custom finger poses, the hands themselves appear relaxed and believable. Contrary to the feet, the hands are better constructed and look more modern. Here too, you can extend and retract the claws.
- The head for this avatar maintains a trademark of the body-shape/mesh head underneath the prim head.
- We’ll start by pointing out that the head looks a lot like a feral Jaguar would; realistic in both the facial design and the textures. The muzzle is extremely well done with the stoic feline expression of a big-cat, bringing a lot to the avatar with strong facial expressions including snarling, panting, and others. The textures and the sculpts used for both the outside and the inside of the muzzle are well done, and each of the muzzle expressions are all believable and emotive, from the large nose to whiskers.
- The eyes themselves, as mentioned before, still rely largely on the shape head underneath the prim head. The matching up of both the human body shape/mesh and the prim head are perfect, easily looking as if they’re entirely made of prims. The human eyeballs have prim attachments though, so users are able to change the eye colours with RGB palettes.
- Around the head, we’ve got some sculpts that round out the face to make it look more feline-shaped with wider cheeks. This prim is sort of mask-like, but very effective at what it does; with the brow shifting during each new facial expression, adding a bit more weight to the expressive potential of the face .
- As we grow closer to the end of our discussion, we’ll briefly point out the big-cat style ears near the rear of the head which twitch of their own volition, respond to clicks, and can have their position changed by the included HUD.
- The avatar also comes with a male and a female hair for the avatar.
- Our only real critique for the head is that it looks somewhat odd and incomplete without hair. This means, then, that to really make the head look its best, you’ll need to use either the included hair or a third-party hair. As you can see from the 360-degree shot of the head, there is a huge amount of distance from the back of the head to the front of the muzzle; making the braincase look a bit too long and irregular. This is most noticeable from the side angle and when trying to fit hair. Perhaps with a little alpha layer jockeying, we can see better headshapes from Werehouse without having to sacrifice the fusion of avatar+prim faces.
- In total, though this avatar’s head is really the focal point and the best part of the entire package.
Features and Heads-Up Display:
The HUD included is very self-explanatory, and the photo to the right shows how users are able to change facial expressions, tail position, eye colour and more. In the included information notecard are plenty of instructions as well as text commands which allow users to get the most of their avatar in terms of scripted features.
This avatar is marked as modifiable and copiable, so users shouldn’t have any problems making it work to their liking. Thanks to the avatar being based on the shape head, third-party hairs are a little more likely to fit without resizing, provided they have similar dimensions.
While some may not appreciate the head-style, the avatar does do a good job of applying this method, providing a viable, expressive alternative to other popular means of avatar head construction. This, combined with the scripting potential form two high points for this avatar. Unfortunately, it is the limb attachment quality and body textures that held this avatar back from reaching its full potential. In the end, however, the WereHouse Jaguar v5 maintains its own as a chance for SL users to purchase a less commonly covered big-cat in a different style.