Preceding the Mammalian Dragon avatar, the Chimera Industries Dingo was the first creation released under the Chimera Industries brand. In this review, we take a look at the Wild Australian Dog.
- Male and Female Shapes (and eyes)
- HUD controls everything but recoloring and customization
- Everything else controlled by text commands
- 22 Eye Colors
- Scripted recolor for the Nose, Ears, Pawpads and Claws
- Multiple ear, eyebrow, and jaw positions
- Moving Jaw for voice and typing
- Toggleable twitch, click response, and communication response for ears.
- Toggleable tongue and blush.
- 4 “Silly” emote faces:
- Annoyed, perverted, happy, and shocked.
- Flexible and Static Tails with multiple positions and wag
- Digitigrade and plantigrade legs and feet
- 12 hairstyles
- Detailed guide for modifying your avatars.
- Free updates!
Script Time with HUD
Script Time without HUD
Avatar Rendering Cost
Build and Skin:
The avatar comes with both male and female shapes, with one skin that works well for both. Additionally, the avatar comes with two heads; one with feminine eyes, the other with masculine eyes to be used as the user desires. In the Extras folders, users are able to choose two additional male and female shapes marked ‘(petite)’. In general, the skins on the avatar are simple in terms of markings and colouration. However, there is sufficient changes in colour tones across the body that make the skin look Dingo-ish, with an emphasis on the chest and the rump colouration. Additionally, the avatar has been shaded to give body parts a little bit more definition. As a whole, as Dingos are relatively simple-furred/coloured creatures in nature, so the creator focused a little less on texture schemes and put their emphasis on design and user-customisation.
The avatar comes default with plantigrade legs and feet, though the digitigrade leg/foot combos are found in the Extra folder. The plantigrade foot is very human-like, with the paw-pads towards the front end of the foot, leaving the heel flat and furry with the exception of a single dewclaw pointing inward. It is certainly interesting to find a dew-claw on the human-ish foot. The digitigrade attachments are well constructed, with a smooth transition between the thigh and digi leg. Overall, the digitigrade legs have a good presentation, especially with the torii prim fluff. However, an issue that I have found is that there are spherical shapes at the rear of the foot that have an odd concentric ring texture (Seen below). This seems to be a texture error wrought by Second Life itself, rather than Chimera Industries. Fortunately, it can be remedied by replacing the circle texture with a 100% transparent alpha texture.
The hand-paws are similar to the feet, but more hand-like with 5 thick fingers complete with paw-pads. There is also arm attachments with a little ‘fluff’ to smooth the attachment transitions. Before I forget, the tail comes as either flexi or as a static sculpted tail. Both are very useable and add to the avatar’s aesthetic quality.
Now, we approach the head. Notably, the head is a bit more spherical than most new avatars (including the Mammalian Dragon), but when the user adds any of the hairs in the ‘Extras’ folder, the head looks more appropriately shaped. Otherwise, the muzzle is a clear focal point for this avatar, with a fairly angular approach to its shape. As such, the muzzle is fairly broad at the base, tapering to a relatively smaller nose. In all, the muzzle textures and sculpts define much of the face in deep contrast to the rather spherical head.
The avatar comes with a muzzle talking function, so the mouth opens and closes when the user wishes, as well as sets to automatic positions during specific facial expressions. The lips on the avatar are dark black, and perhaps a little thick for some, but not a big issue at all. However, when the mouth is held wide open, one can find themselves thinking that the jaw hinge could have been placed slightly better or that the roof of the mouth could have been textured. Yet again, these are not major issues that interfere with the avatar’s aesthetics.
Moving back to the head prim, the textures and eyes, as well as the hair attachments help to take attention away from the very spherical nature. The eyes are expressive, so users can change how open each individual eye is, as well as modify each eyebrow setting. The eye textures themselves are decent, but for some people, the dark shading over the top of the eyeball dulls an otherwise interesting gaze. Otherwise, there is not much more than soft looking ears and prim torrii ‘fluff’ that frames the cheeks and the insides of the ears. I should mention that the ears, as well as the nose have different texture options. From black, to pink, to ‘dead.’
Heads-Up Display and Features:
The HUD is the main control center for the most commonly used features of the avatar. Alongside the regular functions (like those of eye, ear, tail, or muzzle modification), users can choose to toggle little extras like if they wish to have their tail up or down, stick their tongue out, or have bloody particles drip from their tongue. The blushing feature creates an the anime-inspired red haze over the muzzle for a cute effect.
To avoid an overload of options, however, much like the Mammalian Dragon, the creators have taken the incentive to put the less commonly accessed features under text commands. Accompanying the picture of the HUD are text command options in a list below. Chimera Industries has included some redundant text commands of HUD options so that people can make their own customised gestures if they want.
- eyes (colour and style)
- nose (colour)
- ears (colour)
- claws (colour)
- pawpads (colour)
- tail (position)
- tongue (toggle)
- talking muzzle (toggle on/off)
- animation (toggle on/off)
- typing override (toggle on/off)
The accompanying pictures show off some of the avatar’s abilities. In our attempt to remain brief, we focus on a defining part of the avatar; its four “Silly” emote faces. These bring a dimension of cartoony expressiveness to the avatar that incite giggles and laughs.
This avatar is quite easy to customise; and I have seen people use this not only has the original Dingo, but have seen it modified into another canine species because of its versatility. Something that really helps with the customisation of the avatar is the included Avatar Modification Guide, the exportable colour swatches, and the open-sourced Textures used for the eyebrows and eyes that are available from Chimera Industries itself.
The Chimera Industries Dingo is a solid avatar for people who are looking for a Dingo avatar, or for people who want a canine with enough potential that they can utilise the avatar as other forms. While in some ways, the avatar comes short of some of the qualities of the Mammalian Dragon, this is very forgiveable considering that this avatar is older and precedes the Dragon. Remaining expressive and fun in its own right, Chimera Industries has made a personable recreation of this iconic Australian canine.