With this avatar, EXL brings another unique fictional creation to Second Life. Another class of Devilkin, the Alphyn comes from the same world as the Therion. Yet, while similar in some respects, differentiates itself in a good number of ways from the Therion. In this review, we discuss the newest avatar from EXL.
- Androgynous Devil-kin
- Full-Featured HUD
- 15 eye presets
- Multiple Jaw and Tongue states
- Particle Drool
- Two fluff options for head and jaw
- Waggling tail with multiple states
- Random eye and ear movement
- Talkjaw system for animated speech
Script Time with HUD
Script Time without HUD
Avatar Rendering Cost
Skin and Build:
This avatar comes with no female or male shapes, and as such, no male or female skins. The species has been described as ultimately androgynous, (notecard claims that sex is discernible only by scent), and the shape and skin reflect this. In general the body is curvaceous and showing off light musculature and detail that could reflect either sex. The skin itself is fairly simple, but with good shading and tones to give the body definition and highlights in parts like the back and thighs. Otherwise, the majority of the avatar is dual-tone with a painted line seperating the fur colours. On the back of the avatar above the tailbase is an interesting marking that further identifies its species.
The build quality is well done, with the sculpt quality slightly better than the previous Therion avatar. The sculpts are more clean-edged and symmetrical which gives the face more definition. As well, areas with fluff are generally more organic ; rather than being spiked, they have a slight wave in texture and and shape. The avatar comes with fur tufts for the chest and ‘belly fluff’ that moves from the navel between the legs. For some of my peers, the belly-fur may seem a little ill placed and peculiar as a row of prims leading towards the crotch.
The feet are 4-toed paws that are wider than they are long. Tipped with claws, they joint with a digitigrade leg that features a hidden remnant of a dewclaw. These aren’t particularly as noteworthy compared to what EXL has released before, let alone the rest to the rest of the avatar. The tail on this avatar is pretty thin with a stylised fluff end of sculpted prims. What remains most interesting about the tail is the three rings near the base for decoration. The hand-paw attachments are the most hand-like of EXL’s recent repertoire of avatars with 5 distinct fingers with sharp claws on the ends.
Finally, we move to the head. The muzzle is articulated and well defined while being relatively broad and deep. It’s clear to see that there is influence from canine muzzles in the overall design. The eyes on this avatar follow the same style that EXL has made for itself with their more recent offerings. All the eye settings for this avatar feature colours that aren’t the conventional eye-whites-plus iris, but cloudy, uniformly coloured eyes like some Therion options. The shading over the head is beneficial in highlighting parts of the head (like the eyes) while giving detail to areas of the the sculpts, such as around the eyes themselves. Otherwise, the ears are a wholly unique part of the avatar, both in design and in texture. They are tall, yet thin while the textures give the ears good texture detail and depth.
The interior of the mouth is as expected from EXL, though the uvula prim at the back of the mouth needs a little adjusting to sit flush with the mouth as a whole. However, this issue is one that can be only noticed if a wearer is overly anal retentive. The colouration of the roof of the mouth could have been made darker just to smooth the visual transition from the uvula prim to top of the mouth.
The tongue on this avatar slips through the for a brief moment to flick at the air before being sucked back into the muzzle. This was implemented on the Therion avatar before it, but has been simplified a good deal for this avatar.
The head is adorned with a lot of the same sculpted fluff prims like the chest. As such, you will find the sculpted prims making up the hair prims, cheek fluff, and on the chin as a goatee as well. In all, the design seems streamlined and made out to be simple rather than complex, what with the head-prim being only 34 prims in all. It is neat to see how something aesthetic can be created with less rather than more.
Heads-Up Display (HUD) and Features:
The HUD controls most of the HUD, save for a few that are controlled by commands or direct clicking to the avatar itself. From the HUD, users can modify settings of the Ear State, Eyes State, Mouth Sate and Tail State. For the ears, you can decide where you want one or both of them to point. The eyes have a few more options; users can choose from a set of eye colour/textures for one or both eyes, change the direction the eyes are pointed, toggle blink, and change eyelid state. Mouth allows people to choose from a number of mouth and tongue states, and Tail allows users to choose the position of the tail (Relaxed, Tucked, Upper Left, etc.)
This avatar has the added function of being able to drool with a convincing particle drool from the jaw. This option is not controlled by the HUD, however, but by typed commands found in the Alphyn Manual.
As with many avatars, this avatar is modifiable and copiable. The absence of sex-linked body traits is a fun part of this unique avatar, but it may not be for everyone, and as such, they can take a little wiggle room by playing with body shapes and supplementing the bushier goatee-d jaw for one that is lighter or clear of chin-hairs at all. Otherwise, the headshape is fairly easy to put third-party hairs onto because of it’s more or less rounded shape.
With cleaner sculpts and a simple but effective design, the Alphyn becomes an interesting avatar for users who feel like role-playing as an androgynous creature. EXL has pushed boundaries on the conventional boundaries of sexual identity with their avatars at least once before, and the Alphyn continues that trend. Regardless of sex, however, the Alphyn adds to the increasing number of fictional, but increasingly unique number of creations.