Making a furry avatar

I was hanging out with friends at a coffee bar. One of the gals there sells masks and other goods at furry conventions. We were joking around and came up with the idea for a character that was a mix of "baby elephant" and a kitten. Honestly, no alcohol was involved! Drawing on some napkins, an anthropomorphic creature with a kitten-like face, elephant ears, a long fluffy tail, and elephant feet appeared.

Next time I was inworld, I grabbed a "furry" white skin from my inventory, rezzed a pose stand, and started experimenting.

I like to keep the basic avatar eyes exposed when I make avatars. So I altered the shape a bit to create a face with huge anime eyes, a fairly small nose, and a small chin. The feet and the ears became as small as possible since I planned to cover them with prims.

Then I put the avatar on the pose stand. Using prims and some reference kitten and elephant pictures from Google Image Search, I started building. A kitten nose and mouth over the avatar's were quickly assembled from spheres. Trying to make elephant ears from prims drove me crazy. Nothing I made looked good enough. I tried flexi, alpha textures, and static ones. Frustrated by the ears, I did the feet instead. I added some whiskers made from hollow flexi cylinders with the inside textured and the outside transparent. I linked all the pieces up, attached them to the avatar, saved them to inventory, and spent some time thinking about ears.

A couple nights later I added a set of long oval ears, threw on a set of hot pink prim hair and a flexi tail I had in inventory, and took it out dancing. Got a lot of compliments. Had a conversation with someone about making prim hooves and decided that I'd dump the elephant parts and replace them with goat parts. Sometimes, a change of plans can be a good thing. *grin*

Next time on the pose stand I made a set of cloven hooves. Spent some time fussing with the alpha textures to get the wispy hairs right. I added a set of horns to the head. Horns are pretty simple; use a cone or a torus. The creature really did need some hair, so I pulled out Natalia's Hair Tutorials and made my first prim hair. For hair textures I used some of the free ones from X3D.

Since I had a made-up creature (half goat, half cat, with a pom-pom tail) I decided to use crazy colors. And spots. I like spots. So I opened my 2D graphics editor (I use the GIMP) and worked with the skin templates to create some skins. When you're making several versions of the same thing, use layers and masks to save time. I imported and assembled the skins.

I made several copies of the inventory folder of the avatar. I then placed each skin in one of them. Putting each folder on, I used a pose stand and applied appropriate textures and colors to the avatar's prims. Most of the prims I used were fairly small, so for the ones with spots I simply used one of the skin textures. When you use a texture on a base avatar and on a prim, you normally need to color the prims a light gray to make them match.

While thinking about what to call these creatures, I saw an icon on the web of an eye with a heart shaped pupil. I took my eye template, changed the shape of the pupil, and uploaded the texture for their eyes.

One of my buddies came up with using the word satyr instead of goat. Catyr sounded far better that anything else we thought of, so that became their name.