Curious Inc. (Uchi) – Felis
Long-awaited, Curious Inc. has released the Felis avatar to the public for free. Certainly bright-eyed and offering a few new innovations for its creation in 2008, SLARF takes an objective perspective at what makes this avatar stand out on its own.
The only location where one can get the Felis is by going to the Curious Sim to the vendor area. The hunting game is over, so all one has to do is click the box that sits next to the Curious Inc. vendors. Click HERE for the SLurl that will put you in front of the Felis Box.
Out of the Box:
- Currently only available in white
- Male and Female shapes and skins
- Dilating and Two-Colour eye settings
- Talking Jaw
- Moving Ears and Flexi-Tail
Build and Skin:
The avatar is an incomplete, but free offering, so there there is no large amount of features that come with the avatar. As such, the avatar is only available in white, with both male and female shapes and skins included in the box. Perhaps a flat colour skin is the most difficult to texture, and the creator has definitely managed the task well with a good degree of body definition shading and tone to prevent flatness. The textures on the avatar are more simple than complex, but result in a semi-realistic and effective finish to the body and head. A trademark of Curious Inc. is to use as few textures as possible, which minimises load time. The most interesting use of this would have to be the head, whereby every prim, save for the eyes and whiskers are a single texture.
The foot and paw attachments are cat-like, but different enough to be identified as hand or foot attachments, given that they take strong influences from ordinary human hands and fingers. They are relatively simple textures and easy to re-colour, given that the hands and feet all use one single texture, much like the head. Both the hand and foot attachments come with sculpted and transparent-texture ‘fluff’ attachments. Not included with this avatar are any digitigrade legs for those who would expect them, but users may acquire digitigrade legs and foot-paws to match from another creator. In a final note before we discuss the head, the tail is a simple flexi-tail that swishes actively, but it doesn’t seem to stop moving constantly. This can be remedied by deleting the scripts in the tail (which stops it swishing on its own), or replacing it with an alternative script. If there’s commands available for this, please let me so I can update this review.
Finally, we move on to the head. As with most avatars, the eyes are most definitely the focal point. While the large, anime-influenced eyes can be put up for debate among users, the eyes are constructed and textured to be bright and captivating, especially when one plays with the “Really Crummy Eye Assist Attachment HUD.” The Eye customisation functionality will be discussed later, but for now, it should be noted that the user can not only change the pupil size (larger and rounder or smaller and more slit-like), but choose two colours for the iris.
The head tapers off into a petite muzzle lined with a plethora of thin, transparent whiskers. The muzzle is well textured; the light pink nose a secondary focal point to the avatar. The muzzle offers a moving jaw when one types, but applies it in a new way. Contrary to the methods employed by other employers, the muzzle-speaking option takes on the same method it used for its blinks; the rotation of sculpt textures to create an animation. As such, when all the sculpts are loaded, this means the jaw will move with seamless smoothness, and allows for a slight movement of the ‘lips’ to create a markedly more life-like conversation. The only real issue with this method of muzzle-speech would be that there is no way to rotate the bottom row of teeth, so the bottom row of teeth remain static whenever the mouth moves. This also means that there are no front teeth for the bottom jaw.
The sides of the head are framed with a gracious amount of fluff prims, and the ears are perhaps larger than would be expected relative to the head size. large The ears twitch around excitedly and are clickable to anyone’s heart’s content, though there are no options for the ears, or documentation included.
Heads up Display & Features:
As mentioned before, the avatar is incomplete; the included HUD only pertains to the eye settings, and requires a little bit of patience and inductive logic on the behalf of the user. For reader ease, however, we include a screenshot of the well named “Really Crummy Eye Assist Attachment HUD” with a guide as to what each of the buttons does, and a few examples of the eye settings. These pictures clearly speak for themselves. Other than what is offered by the HUD in terms of eye customisation, however, do not expect any other features.
Not much need be said in this regard. Curious Inc.’s avatar have a reputation for being popular to modify and merge with other avatars. Save for scripts, the avatar is fully modifiable and copiable, which is going to be important for those who want to use this avatar since it only comes in one colour variation. Otherwise, if the user only wishes to attach a custom hair to the head, this can be done with relative ease due to the smaller and more ‘oval’ shaped head.
A competent avatar on its own, the Felis does get its dues for the unique styling and creation methods. The avatar itself is very versatile, which can be seen by looking at numerous people who have used parts of the Felis as OR in their own avatars. Unfortunately, while accomplished and innovative for it’s time in early 2008, other creators have built comparable avatars in the year that has passed since the Felis came to the Public attention. Interestingly enough, this avatar seems to have a polarizing affect among Second Life residents, with some either loving it to bits or hating it. The reasons for this range anywhere between compelling arguments on how the Felis may not channel feline characteristics, to excitement over owning a popular avatar. Either way, as a freebie, it joins to ranks of avatars that can be cannibalized to hearts’ contentment.