Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Ooo a Review! : Cathode Rays "Nyam Nyam" Mesh Mouth!

 Today I have been playing with the newly-released mesh mouth from Cathode Rays, called Nyam Nyam. I have been looking forward to getting my hands on this item since a few people on my Plurk timeline mentioned they were helping to test it out. 
I have experience with mesh lips before with the LoudMouth, but there are several key differences between the two.
The most immediately apparent difference is that the Nyam Nyam includes four different lip positions, changeable via an easy-to-use HUD, which gives it a very dynamic feel. The mouth also animates with the Second Life voice function enabled, although I have not tried it myself, I have seen a few gifs of it in action and it looks extremely cool indeed. 
It includes the by now de rigueur support for appliers, however on this day-one of release, there are currently none on the market and I have zero skin-making skillz, so I needed to tint the surrounding skin of the mouth the old fashioned way, using a the included colour-picker HUD. I was able to do a good enough job, I think. All the pictures in this post are unedited except for cropping and addition of a border, using the same Windlight setting I use for all my blog pictures, "Nivlight 2", which I will get around to releasing one day.

 Out of the box, the Nyam Nyam took a little work for me, personally, to fit. It was sized quite a bit larger than my usual mouth, and it was not immediately apparent (though it is covered in the online manual), while it is No Mod, it does contain a Resizer script. I needed to shrink it about 12% with the script to make the mouth a size I was comfortable with. The script is a basic "scale" type resizer, what I would love to see in future versions is the type of resize script which allows a finer grain control, allowing individual resize of the X Y and Z dimensions. 
Once the Nyam Nyam was resized, I had the problem of the included Alpha layer being too large for my chosen settings, however the creator Tashanni Resident included a copy of the alpha texture for personal modifications, and I found this easy enough to work with, with basic Photoshop skills, and when I was done with that, on a version of my shape modified with the slider numbers in the included notecard (and then tweaked a bit to accommodate my own changes I had made) everything was able fit quite attractively. 

I think the Nyam Nyam offers quite a stylized approach to the mesh lips market. The highly pronounced cupid's bow, and very split-looking lower lip will not appeal to everyone, and the range of lipstick colours included seems to cater in particular to a less-mainstream crowd. The lipstick textures, by the way, are lovely - richly pigmented and detailed cremes. The beautifully-shaped teeth are attached to the mouth in one solid piece, and reaffirming the appeal to a more alternative market, have included vampire and neko variety teeth in addition to the standard human pearly-whites. I would like to be able to move the position of the teeth up and down a little to support the angle of any picture I'm taking, but I understand with the complex nature of the Nyam Nyam this could prove difficult. Also I would be delighted if a gap-tooth option were added in future. But that's because I'm a big gapfacemouth.
Another minor gripe for me, although I'm not sure how I would address this anyway - it's probably just me - is that I found it necessary between the first mouth pose and the others, to reposition the mouth on my avatar's face, or the other mouth poses seemed too high. Or vice versa, the first position seemed to low. However that's probably down to my own personal preference. 
One thing I really love about this is how certain Second Life facial expressions can be used without having to worry about what the mouth is doing. For instance, the picture above, where I am blowing a kiss, is achieved using the Nyam Nyam's third position, and the Second Life "Disdain" expression. The photographic possibilities with the combination of mouth shapes and SL expressions are endless and exciting. 

While the Nyam Nyam mesh mouth is not quite yet in my everyday-wear category, I am certainly extremely interested in its potential applications in photography. With free updates promised "until there isn't anything left to update" (<3!) I look forward to any upcoming refinements, and can strongly recommend giving the Cathode Rays "Nyam Nyam" mouth a try if you are interested in giving your pictures some extra life or just if the style fits your aesthetic - Nyam Nyam on Second Life Marketplace and Nyam Nyam at Cathode Rays Mainstore in Second Life


Mesh body: WowMeh Silhouette - Pink Fuel appliers
Hair: Fashionably Dead - Momo
Top: sn@tch - Devani Top - Sand
Panties: Epoque - Simple Bikini Panties - Lights Pack (Wowmeh Applier)
Eyes: Pink Fuel - Harley Cosmetics - Vivid Eyeshadow - Vivid Green+ Wing
Lips: Cathode Rays - Nyam Nyam Mesh Mouth
Nails: Virtual Insanity - Sakura #1
Image 1: Hiccup - Macho Man: Randy Savage
Image 2: Aushka & Co - Ania Pose 3
Image 3: Ma Vie - Phonomena 03
Image 4: Purple Poses - Model 07

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