Chinchillas are small, fuzzy creatures that are, as of late, popular pets. There are few chinchilla avatars in Second Life, even fewer not requiring a modification kit. Curious Inc. brings to us the first fully anthropomorphic chinchilla avatar on the grid.
Out of the Box:
Skin and Textures
The Chinchilla comes in a wide variety of colors, from natural gray to milk chocolate to strawberry banana (pink with a light yellow belly). Across all colors, the skin shading is subtle but works with the ambient light to create a pleasing level of shading. On the skin itself, there are few areas of fur texturing, most of these being areas where the darker fur meets the lighter belly fur (underarms, belly, face).
The prim textures, as far as shading is concerned, work the same as the skin – the shading works with the ambient Second Life light. In addition, the skin and prim textures seam well together, prim-to-prim textures are mostly seamless (toes-to-leg and inner ear to skull being exceptions), and the belly seam is only visible by a darker stripe just above the hips on the darker back fur.
Curious also utilizes the alpha fur style seen in the Moufette’s tail and mohawk. In this avatar, however, the fur does not have a wave effect; instead, it is stationary. This type of fur can be found on the tail tip and cheeks of the Chinchilla.
As with most of their previous avatars, almost all of the Chinchilla’s textures are consolidated into a handful of images, greatly improving texture load time.
Nearly all of the prims used to create the Chinchilla are sculpted. These sculpts are seamless, with the muzzle being split in half, as in the Moufette, but with the skull remaining one single sculpt. There is no wrinkling visible on any of the sculpts.
In-Depth Body Summary
Let us begin the in-depth review at the feet. Chinchillas have oddly-shaped feet – four toes, smallest toe on the outside – and that interesting anomaly is captured well in this avatar. The feet on this avatar are somewhat oddly small and are linked directly to the legs rather than being worn as a separate attachment. The claws are rounded, dull, and sculpted directly onto the toes, which means they cannot be easily recolored. The main paw pad on the bottom of the foot is separate, though, should the wearer wish to alter its color. There is some visible texture clipping where the toes meet the main leg prim and where the main pawpad meets the foot.
Next up is the legs. Chinchillas are plantigrade animals, but this avatar is digitigrade. However, the foot and lower leg do give the impression that the avatar is purposely walking on its toes. The upper legs and calves are one of the areas on this avatar where furred texture is present. This furring is rather simple and blurry, but it gives the desired effect when viewed at a distance. There is a very small texture seam along the back of the leg visible upon zoom.
When the avatar is alt-cammed, the alpha layer around the legs and feet seems to clip, showing a few pixels of the foot that flicker back and forth.
The tail is solid and stationary – there is no included wagging or twitching effect, but the tail is modifiable, so the wearer can add in a script for that if wanted. The tail itself is three prims – the main sculpted part, then two layers of fluff at the very tip. Again, this fluff is stationary – it’s not flexible, nor does it wave. The fluff can be removed with no ill effects.
This avatar does not have prim hand paws.
In-Depth Heady Summary
At last, we come to the Chinchilla’s head. Chinchillas are indeed rodents, and this shows in the style of this avatar. The entire head is rather mouselike, the ears resemble those of mice (although set higher and larger), and the only teeth in the mouth are large front incisors.
Let’s set the mouse similarities aside now, though, and scrutinize the head. Overall, the texturing is very soft, with very few hard color transitions. Also, aside from the area where the inner ear meets the skull, there are no glaring texture mismatches or clipping.
The jaw blends excellently with the rest of the head when talking. Rather than a full set of teeth, the Chinchilla has two large incisors, resembling classic rodent buck teeth. The rest of the mouth gives a good impression of depth.
The nose is one single sculpted prim separate from the rest of the head. There is some minor texture clipping where the nose meets the muzzle, but this is not noticeable unless zoomed in on. Rather than using depth in the sculpts, the nose is flat, letting the textures do the depth work.
The cheek fluff is sculpted and separate from the skull, so should the wearer wish to remove it, that can be done easily. The cheek fluff does clip through the ears a little, especially when viewed from behind.
The ears are large and set high on the head, giving the impression that the avatar is always alert. The ears do twitch, but they are not poseable through the HUD. There is a very small amount of wrinkling visible in the inner ear (the top-of-round-sculpt type of wrinkling), but again, this is hard to see unless zoomed in.
Finally, the eyes. As with past avatars, the eyes have a sculpted blink cycle using both upper and lower lids and can be adjusted via sliders in the HUD. Also, as always, the eyes can be recolored through the HUD with the H/S/V sliders. In this avatar, though, the eyes can be recolored separately by ticking the Left or Right boxes before recoloring. The eyelids can also be controlled via text command – see the included notecard for more information.
This avatar also adds in a new, interesting feature – sculpted alpha eyelashes. These eyelashes are sculpted similarly to the tail and cheek fluff and follow the eyelids as they move. The base texture for the lashes is white, so if the wearer applies a mod kit, the eyelashes can be color-changed to match. If the wearer doesn’t like the eyelashes, don’t fret – they’re toggleable via the HUD.
Features and Heads-Up Display (HUD)
The HUD for the Chinchilla is more or less the standard Curious HUD – Eyelid and eye color control, jaw control, ear twitch / mouth talk / blinking controls. Instead of coloring both eyes, though, this HUD lets users select which eye to color, making it much easier to create split-eyed characters.
The entire avatar is copy/modify, so the avatar can be modified to the wearer’s liking. Always keep a back-up of your avatar before you modify!
The Chinchilla’s head is very mouselike, which leaves a lot of opportunities open for modders who wish to create a mouse or other rodent avatar. The cheek and tail fluff may pose a challenge for retexturing, though, due to their sculpt and texture syle.
Curious has included the base textures for the alpha layers with this avatar. If the wearer wishes to wear system pants (or otherwise needs use of their system legs), another alpha layer can be created to allow for this.
At this time, the creator is unsure as to whether or not he will offer a texture mod kit for the Chinchilla’s head. This review will be updated as any new information on this comes up.
This avatar is a clear example of the Curious style – soft textures, clean sculpts, and that small fuzzy mammal cuteness. Up until now, chinchillas have been a rare sight in Second Life. Hopefully, with this avatar, we will begin to see more of these fuzzy little creatures.