Dark Spot Designs Polecat

Polecats are the wild relatives, and probable ancestors, of the domestic ferret. Dark Spot Designs brings us two of the more well-known varieties, marbled and striped polecats, as two designs of one avatar.

Avatar Features Technical Information
  • Marbled and Striped patterns included
  • Male, Female PG, Female M skins
  • M+F shapes
  • M+F hair
  • Rigged mesh digitigrade legs
  • Optional “cut” and plantigrade legs
  • Alternate head+ears w/piercings
  • Clickable ears/tail
  • Type/Speech responsive ears, jaw
  • Tintable claws, pawpads, etc
  • Extra pawpad, claw textures
  • Extra alpha layers
  • Mod YES, Copy YES, Transfer NO
  • Script Usage With HUD: 320 KiloBytes, (14 Scripts)
  • Script Usage Without HUD: 256 KiloBytes, (13 Scripts)
  • Avatar Rendering Weight (FS is being a derp again)

Overall Impressions

The textures and build of this avatar are what one would expect of DSD: vibrant, lively colors, coupled with a smooth, friendly, but realistic build. The attachments and body mesh fit together well with no massive clipping, the textures are crisp and there are no immediately obvious texture mismatches or seams. The avatar is built mainly out of mesh. There are two instances of rigged mesh: the digitigrade legs and the “cut” digitigrade legs (cut off just above the foot so you can wear pants). The plantigrade foot options are not rigged, so those of you not keen on rigged mesh can take your pick. The avatar’s HUD is the same “drop down” style as was seen on the preceding rabbit. In fact, some of the images are the same through both HUDs (there are rabbit ears for the ear poses; however, given how small polecat ears are, this might be for the better so you can easily see what pose you’re clicking).

Strengths

There is a lot of attention paid to detail in this avatar. Look up an image of a marbled polecat – what do you notice? The fluffy ears and poofy tail, and this avatar has both. In addition, the avatar also follows mustelid foot pattern – rather than the typical cookie cutter furry foot, the proper pattern of pads and claws is observed. The markings for both the marbled and striped versions of the avatar are accurate to their real-life counterparts. This avatar comes with two default alpha layers – for digitigrade and plantigrade feet. There is also a box in the Accessories folder (the second folder you are given when you open the box) that contains extra alpha layers, should you need them. While there are a lot of free alpha layers floating around, it’s nice to have some included for you if you don’t have some already. Within the HUD you’ll find all the standard DSD features: customizable ear poses, eye color / texture / pupil shape, claw texture changers, tail fluff adjusters, and so forth. This avatar is definitely not short on customization features!

In addition, this avatar include UV maps, so if you wish to make a modkit, you have a quick and easy way to start. This should make it easier for advanced modders, and for those just starting out, this can be a tremendous help. The UV maps can be found at this link:  http://darkspotdesigns.com/download/

Weaknesses

The avatar does provide hair by default, but the hair is simple and is made mostly of flexible prims and torii. The hair fits its purpose – it’s pre-matched to fit your avatar’s colors – but users may want to opt to use third-party hair instead. The “cut” leg option is very useful if you want to wear long pants. However, it is quite literally “cut” – if you view the cut foot from the back, it’s invisible. This can pose a problem if your pants don’t quite reach the foot cutoff. Also, the cut feet are still rigged; so keep in mind that you cannot directly edit or resize them.

 

Unique Features

This avatar comes with both the striped and the marbled polecat varieties in one box; the striped variety is labeled “2nd”. It’s always quite pleasing to get marking variants in one avatar, especially so when the markings are so different. The polecat has, by default, rigged digitigrade legs. Polecats, as with their ferret cousins, are plantigrade; however, the way the rigged digi legs are constructed gives the illusion that the avatar is walking on tip-toes, not necessarily fully digitigrade. For those who don’t like this, or need to wear pants, there are “cut” and plantigrade feet options included. As with past avatars, the polecat comes with a separate head and ears with piercings. This is always welcome for users who wish to accessorize without having to heavily mod things.

Conclusion

Mustelids are among my favorite animals. It always makes me happy to see a new mustelid avatar introduced into the Grid, especially when it’s done properly. This avatar’s an excellent port of an interesting creature, and is sure to please.

N.B.: A special thanks goes out to the Callahan Sims for giving us permission to take photos in their sims. Please feel free to visit these scenic areas through this SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Mirromere/128/128/2

 



Blau was a staff writer at SLARF. She's been a resident of Second Life since late 2008, living on the Teen Grid until late 2009. She enjoys collecting and modding avatars and helping others out with finding new avatars.