coldLogic / Neva finally added Belleza Freya support…

Looks like I might be able to wear clothes again in Second Life, and not always be a nudist:

https://coldlogic.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/work-or-play/

Neve is very happy to announce newly added body support for Belleza Freya

Although it looks like a lot of the items are using the ‘perky’ boob setting even for things that are NOT pushups, like a nightgown…
ColdLogicFreya_PushupBraNighty.png

That said it looks like the fit still needs a little work:

ColdLogicFreya_FitNeedsWork.png

They’re almost a year behind Blueberry now. The once top clothing brand in SL lost a lot of ground by being slow to come in to mesh bodies (even with Maitreya they were months behind the curve). With Freya now as of the end of January, if they can fix this fitting issue we might have choices again.

The newest item is better but still has underboob issues:
ColdLogicFreya_UnderBoobPopThrough.png

My criticisms aside here, I really want this brand to get with it and do Freya right – and hopefully also WITHOUT using the perky boob shape…

coldLogic has long been a rarity in Second Life for doing mostly normal clothing that could wear on a real life street, as opposed to many other brands that are mostly kink and beach wear, and you have to struggle to find something normal, office, or even casual.

So if coldLogic can get Freya right… we can wear clothes again without having to look like we’re headed to the pole at a strip club… O.o

 

They will also need to start providing clothing that does NOT use auto-hide:

ColdLogicFreya_AutoHide.png
Whichever item I put on last, un-hides all my alphas not related to it. So here I put on the top and it unhid my legs, so then I put on the pants, and my top unhid causing part of my bosom to pop through…

Blueberry had this problem for a while, and I guess it took enough customer complaints before they started offering items without the auto-hide scripts…

 

 

Belleza V3 Mesh Body Review

So it is time for me to finally do my own take on the Belleza avatar again. Just shy of a year ago I said I’d come back to it some day, then said that again in Nov of 2014. So… time to get this done.

Last time I did a combo comparison review and as the bodies within it got updated, different parts of the review became obsolete. So this time I will go down the list of what interests me and review each individually.

There is already a well known review out there for this version of Belleza:
http://meshbodyaddicts.com/mesh-body-reviews/womens-bodies/belleza-venus/

So this review will be my take on things and will try to call out some different aspects. Multiple opinions are always handy. The body in its current version has now been out for some time. Two updates since my last review, which pushed it from a body I filed in the “not for me” bin to a body that is so much my default I have packed up all of my items that do not work for it and put them into my “OLD and no longer used” section… For everything BUT my furry look, my choice is now Belleza. That said I will try to review some other bodies that I or friends use and why they are choices. And of course there are some new furry things to look at, including the first (that I know) fitmesh furry, the Solarian.

Now, on to Belleza V3, a very wonderful choice of fitmesh body:


Here you can see the body from the front:
Belleza Frontal View
and the back:
Belleza Backside View
I chose a pose that would show how avatar physics with a good gravity and mass dial setting would effect the bosom. In editing your physics file, you should dial these two up in relation to the dial used for ‘breast size’. The above screenshots are, by the way, using a breast size of 100. That is as big as it can possibly get for Belleza – which I feel is important to show because at this setting several competing bodies ‘break down’, break apart, or otherwise distort. Belleza can safely go up and still look more or less natural. I am also using 100 in buoyancy – which on the base default avatar will cause polygon-triangles to pop through your avatar with this breast size and level of mass + gravity. On Belleza though it actually looks beautiful. Note that I have found myself able to dial down to as low as 15 breast size and still get a nice look when ALSO lowering buoyancy, mass, and gravity.

In other words while most mesh bodies have less range of dial settings than the default avatar, Belleza actually looks good across a larger range than the default avatar.

See here:
https://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mesh-avatar-bosom-comparison/
For a graphic example of how Belleza does the breast better than almost any other choice – across the full range of the SL dials.


The basic Belleza package comes with:

  • 3 bodies (Freya for curves, Isis for Slim, Venus for older pre-update compatibility)/
  • 2 HUDs (Body and Wardrobe)
  • A fullperms alpha (it is just the torso and legs checked as hidden).
  • 2 shapes (Freya and Isis) that are highly distorted. I recommend not using them even as a guide. If you want some shapes I would recommend, I have two freebies out for Belleza shapes: for Freya Body and for Isis Body.
  • 1 Slink applier – for applying the HUD skins to slink hands/feet.
  • A bunch of notecards with some useful instructions.

Belleza is a Copy/No-Mod/No-Trans humanoid fitmesh body with all but the head included.

All non-head shape dials except for foot size are responsive (will change the avatar appearance). As a result I keep my foot size at 50 just to have a ‘neutral value’ in there – but it does not seem to matter what dial you use.

Torso Muscle is only responsive up to 50. Beyond that has no effect… I find that below 50 it looks too thin on this body’s remaining ‘frame’.


Once loaded in, Belleza is fairly lightweight:
Draw Weight:
freya – 9532
venus – 10012
isis – 10110

Script Usage:
Body – 384kb
HUD – 192kb
– The HUD is lightweight enough that you can likely safely leave it on much of the time. But I personally take mine off when not in use as I always try to minimize my active scripts.

However, on loading the body you will notice some unusual moments. The body will load as one mass of distorted stuff and then pop into position. On initial load this might take as much as a minute to complete. If you go into edit and manage to select your body your system might freeze up for a moment, and then become very slow to respond. The body has a LOT of polygons going on – most of them are hidden unless you start using applier clothes, tattoos, and variant bosom settings.
Too Many Polygons


The HUDs of these things are often what make or break them. In the past I’ve dismissed a few bodies out of hand for being lacking here.

The Belleza HUD has a very healthy selection of Alpha Cuts:
Belleza HUD Alpha Tab
It is not perfect – I would like the knee cut split into 2 or 3 cuts, and for front and back limbs to be asynchronous. However cuts are limited by the limit to the number of faces a mesh can have. Anytime you go over that you have to slice the body into multiple linked pieces. And anytime you do that you start driving up the risk of matching errors, gaps appearing due to SL rendering problems, and driving performance down…
Given all of that… I’d still like the knee a little more detailed, but I can live with the front and back of limbs being connected.

The Nightmare of Auto-Hide:
The Belleza Alpha system also has an auto-hide feature clothing makers can use. This is my biggest complaint about the body: Using auto-hide to hide one cut appears to unhide anything previously hidden. So… you put on a blouse and it hides the nippled and maybe a bit of shoulder pop-through. Then you wear some pants and suddenly your nipples are popping through your top. So you take off and put on the blouse to re-hide and… suddenly your legs and butt are popping out of those pants…
Imagine: you manually set it all up perfect and save that config either to one of the Save Slots on the HUD or to a copy of your body… Do you thing that day, log out… and log in again some later day and… SL randomly picks which clothing to wear first and which second… and your alphas all unhide again… this time without even having changed clothes…

This is so frustrating… I feel users need to start putting pressure on Belleza to patch it, and on clothing makers to suspend using this feature unless they also include an ability to delete that script or otherwise do whatever it takes to turn it off for those clothes.

Moving on, the “Skin” tab of the HUD
Belleza HUD Skin Tab
You will be in here a lot if you ever use the Nipples option… because auto-hide will mess with it. Including turning it on sometimes on avatars that… didn’t have it on before dressing into any of current outfits…

I should note there that I am a big fan of the nipple layer options because this allows you to hide a LOT of defects in skins… Quite a few skin makers seem to have trouble with stretch and centering, even when the skin is worn on the default body…

The Breast Options…
This could be a neat feature but really isn’t. The Perky and Push-up would be handy for special kinds of outfits. But even makers of those kinds of outfits are not using it… whereas one clothing maker is now using Perky for everything as if it was a proper default…
– All these really end up doing is being responsible for about half of the lag you might experience with Belleza… for a feature you are rarely going to be able to take advantage of as clothing makers are not supporting it.

Skin Effects…
This will end up looking either amazing or seriously weird. The results are due to how you have your windlight and advanced lighting set up. Play around with this a bit with advanced lighting on and off – to make sure that most of the time you look OK to those around you. When you get this to just the right amount of shine it will make some skins look amazing. If you are really lucky you will find a skin from a maker that is actually setting the materials for you in your skin when its applied to Belleza. Note that if you use a system head like I do, in order to not be a member of a clone-army, the materials dials on your body might end up clashing with the lack of them on your skin. So adjust with care and best results “most of the time”.

Layers:
Belleza HUD Layers Tab
I will admit to not using this, at all, save for one attempt at a faun avatar where I needed a tattoo layer for fur. I cannot provide the best review of this tab. What I can say is that with materials all set in there – that faun’s fur could be made to look pretty impressive if I were to go back to it and work on it.

Note that Masking Mode is the handy item here. This flips alphas to ‘masking’ – which simply sets them as ‘on/off’. If you rez a prim and apply a transparent texture to it, then go play with Masking Mode, you will see how this can be handy. If you just need a transparency on or off, and don’t need it ‘halfway transparent’ – ALWAYS use this. Masking Mode reduces your lag:
Alpha Mask to reduce lag
(Image post on how I cut the render cost of an item down to 1/3 of original by switching to masking).

The Wardrobe HUD is meant to work with this Layers Tab, and provide a space to make a series of presets that you can then easily wear and remove – for fans of applier based clothing.

And I think the Wardrobe HUD is the real value here:
Belleza Wardrobe HUD
You can save 20 tops, 20 bottoms, and 10 “outfits” per copy of the HUD you set aside. That has got to be very handy to applier clothing / applier tattoo fans.

Hands and Feet tab:
Belleza HUD Hands & Feet
You WILL run into the problem from time to time that some people do not support Belleza or have made Belleza Limited skins that lack hands/feet because in the old version of Belleza the hands and feet had a unique UV map. Now their UV map is even closer to the default avatar than Slink is – BUT if you just put a default avatar skin there, you will end up with painted on nails slightly near your mesh nails. So… designers still need to make an actual Belleza skin. If you are a skin maker… just paint the whole end of the hands area to the tone of your nearby skin, and you can use that texture for all 3 of Belleza, Slink, and Maitreya (Save for Maitreya’s nipple flaw of not being properly centered)…

So, there are 16 hand presets. Several of them are ‘grips’ for holding things. A few more are special gestures. But the first seven of them are ‘casual / normal’ poses for the hands to be resting in – meaning you can get some good “set it and go” avatar variety just randomly clicking into those first seven for each hand.

There are also 4 feet presets. Don’t be the “person who has never seen a female body” that runs around barefoot with the foot in the heels position… Try doing that for 3+ hours on your man-feet and then look at your avatar again…

My only complaint here is that I can set fingernail length, but not toenail length. I’m a Neko – I want pointy toenails for claws. 🙂

Note the “SlinkFit Options” – this is handy if you need to use SLink feet or hands for something like shoes, or… sometimes your arms will not fit inside a sleeve unless you check this. Especially longer sleeves that were designed to partly cover the wrist and are older and made sized to slink… this means this problem can even occur on clothing made for Belleza, if it is older clothing…
– If stuff doesn’t fit, see what happens when you check these dials. The only problem is that checking these dials turns off the belleza hands and feet. They says Slink on them, and yep… they only work with slink hands and feet. Don’t complain about that… because if they had worked with the Belleza Parts… your avatar would have to have had double the number of hands/feet with half of them always hidden… think of the lag…

(Now if you do want something to complain about… complain about the fact that on Isis and Freya the arms are not where they are on the defalt avatar, so older rigged mesh clothing often cannot be made to fit even when using the alpha HUD… /sigh).

Info Tab:
Belleza HUD Info Tab
This is basically the marketing tab. But those Blog and Help links… they can be handy for getting to support info.


Using Slink:
As noted above you can use slink hands and feet with the Belleza body.
To do so you MUST set leg muscles to 50 for the feet, and Torso muscled to 31 for the hands. This is DIFFERENT than the old version of the body which required 50 for both.

Personally I find 31 in the torso to be too thin for the way the rest of the body is built.

Omega:
Belleza is Omega ready. This means you need to go to Omega and buy the Belleza ‘Activator’. You wear the ‘Activator HUD’ and click on it, and the copy of your Belleza body you are currently wearing (if any) will forever after remember that it can use Omega appliers (unless for some wild and random reason you reset its scripts). Everytime you make a new copy of your Belleza body, it will forget about being activated and you will have to re-activate it.

This can be very handy as many skin makers are still not up to date on putting out Belleza appliers. Omega Appliers will work just fine, unless the skin maker didn’t color out the nails…


Clothing Support:
There is a slowly growing body of clothing for Belleza Freya and Isis. Venus was the older version. There is quite a bit of Venus clothing out there, but several makers have stopped adding more.

Support for Belleza clothing still lags behind both Maitreya and Slink. This despite Belleza being in the number one position in popularity.

This is likely in large part due to Belleza being a closed system for mesh. You have to apply for a kit, unlike bodies such as the Solarian which includes a full dropbox download kit link in the notecard that comes with that body. Belleza is not taking any more applications for people to make mesh clothing for them. Belleza is vetting mesh makers, and that means you are unlikely to see support for the body grow beyond its current limits before some other body takes over the spotlight.

Right Now Belleza is just hovering over the line as the most popular mesh body. But it jockeys in this position with the much cheaper Maitreya. Demo them both, try adjusting the sliders a bit on both, and wear physics files on both – before deciding.

Note that if you break it down and count each Belleza body as separate, popularity for it sinks to number 2 or 3 by a solid margin. I suspect, though its an opinion, that most users of Belleza pick one of the three bodies and mostly stick with it – dusting off the others only when they must. If you’re the exception to this then remember that most is not saying you don’t exist. Its saying most.


Customer Support
There IS a free-to-join Belleza group ( Belleza- Mesh Creators Group ), but I recommend NOT joining it because of a bug Linden Lab has been sitting on since January of 2015…

Ever since CHUI was added to SL, avatar profile images of people in your groups get loaded into memory… and STAY THERE… So if a big group pops into chat, and all its members start loading in… your video card could decide to set aside 1 to 2gb’s of video ram for nothing other than profile images… which because of how they are set, are set to top priority over… inworld graphics…

So… if your video card has less than say… a whole freaking lot of ram… you will start noticing ‘texture thrashing’ – something I wrote about in SL maybe 2 or 3 years ago as a problem for Mac users that we all thought long ago fixed. Its back.

But you only see if if you end up in a chatty group with more than a thousand or so members… Guess what the Belleza group is…
– Yep, very chatty, and a whole lot of people.

So join it when you need it, then quickly leave and relog (relogging is the ONLY way to clear out those avatar profiles that are eating your graphics card).

There is also a pay to join group, but it is just for official news and store gifts.

Note to Firestorm Users: the ability to turn off avatar profile images in chat… doesn’t fix this. Apparently they are still loaded into memory, you just don’t have to suffer seeing other people’s sense of style. Linden Lab needs to fix this… but as we all know they are busy on a shiny elsewhere.


Ranking
Pros:

  • Belleza is fairly lightweight in terms of lag concerns.
  • The alpha cuts offer some very nice customization.
  • With work in the shape dials, you can get a very well proportioned and attractive look out of Belleza.
  • I find the bosom curve on Belleza to be much better than any other option.
  • Belleza has the widest range of usable bosom sizes (15-100) before the mesh deforms, though this also depends on what you set for Bouyancy, Cleavage, Mass, and Gravity.
  • The bodies in one purchase means a lot of variety.
  • The overall body is just very pleasing to look at… This is of course very subjective.
  • The amount of thigh gap seems natural. This is actually a big problem with some competition.
  • Belleza takes very well to Avatar Physics. You can create very smooth flows of motion that simulate weight in motion in ways that look natural. I simply cannot do this on Maitreya and while many other bodies get decent results, Belleza does it best. It seems Belleza went in for the ‘middle’ of a curve of possibles, while Maitreya is on the two edges, and others are off center but on the curve.

Cons:

  • The three breast shape options are basically of no use other than for adding a small amount of lag. But this is due to lack of support from clothing makers, not the body itself.
  • Its no-Mod. And no, not every body is no-Mod… The Solarian and the bodies from Lena as well as a few others (Fusion I believe) are all Mod. You could easily clean up a LOT of issues with the body if it was mod. For example anyone who does not use applier clothing could cut their lag down to a third of current if they could remove those layers… (for this reason I have begun recommending Lena to some of my “SL Nudist” friends). You could also make it fit furry avatars better if it was mod, by changing how it handled alpha masking in order to create your own custom ‘alpha cuts’ by baking them right onto the skin of your furry – useful for attaching furry legs. And of course… if it was mod, you could remove that annoying auto-hide script…
  • The cut choices are not ideal for matching with furry digitigrade legs. This is why I want the knee cut split up. It would also be nice to have a cut in the hands and feet that is right at the end of the wrist and end of the ankle… for adding furry paws and claws.
  • If you have a pose that raises your arms straight up, the shoulder ‘breaks shape’ – but this is actually true of the default body as well, and is actually less severe on Belleza.
  • The torso muscle dial stops working at 50, and the slink fit requires this dial at 31 rather than the old version’s 50.
  • The arms are slightly out of position with where they are on the default body – meaning many long sleeve shirts and arm warmers of older rigged mesh cannot be made to fit.
  • The genital area is just a crease. Some of the competition have actual modeled anatomy here (sometimes for both front and back). “Adult Content” users will find this of most import. For others it only matters in closeups. Some competition (TMP for example) though has nothing but a smooth flat surface here, and at least the crevace on Belleza is properly located.
  • Closed developer system: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17g52fcoo-8AhCa-ked39YMY1hNNYgBVZoOhIRbxxvkY/closedform – they are not allowing any more people to develop mesh clothing for the body. This frankly, is a serious negative.
    Compare it to the Solarian that I reviewed just after this review – the entire developer kit is included in the purchase for everyone for that body.

ps:
In the images above I am wearing:
*booN CIZ626 hair black/chocolate/purple – Chocolate modded with Red color.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SAIKIN/129/125/699

Elysium – Devine II skin – deep dark
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Stylora%20Island/131/96/23
– Elysium once had a decent range of dark skins, but most of them have been pulled from sale. Devine II is still out there, and some of the others appear now and again on Marketplace or in events. If they do, pay attention to applier support before buying… Devine II has Omega, none of them are directly Belleza.

Kinzart Cat Mau Orange – just the ears, modded with Red color.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Okarthel/130/153/58
Furry makers make better Neko parts than Neko makers… but you have to know how to slice up your furry and use the parts you need. I normally also use a furry tail, the “Jerboa Tail” but I took it off in the back shots to show off the Belleza avatar.

FATE eyes
– The most laggy thing I have, the scripts got a lot lighter weight in version 3, but the avatar render cost is still high.
As such I replaced them after this review with eyes from the brand By Snow

ON*SU Starter Apartment
I’m standing by the closet of this home, only sold on Marketplace:
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/ONSU-Starter-ApartmentTexture-Change/6010111

The Pose Stand is my own freebie, but the pose is not in that freebie, and was from “Ran Peccable” / “taisaya AO”:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Meet/251/102/22

And of course the Belleza Mesh Body:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Belleza/127/74/26

OLD & OUTDATED: Mesh Bodies: TheMeshProject vs Belleza with a little on Slink Physique

Update 3: (September 13th, 2015) Well I finally did do a new review of Belleza:
Belleza V3 Mesh Body Review

The Reviews below no longer apply to any current avatars other than TMP. But in the time since I have found TMP has a number of issues with joint bending, and still exists in a closed off system. So… I am changing the text to be somewhat difficult – please look at my current review(s) listed above.

Kind of baffled because this remains my most popular blog entry… despite applying to nothing current in SL. If you’re on this page, you really should click that link above for Belleza V3 and tell whoever sent you here to change their links…


UPDATE 2: (July 12th, 2015) Obviously the review below is severely out of date with regards to Belleza and Slink… Belleza just recently had a new update fixing almost every issue it has had in the past. Its going to be interesting re-reviewing that one because so much changed. But a half year gap meant it fell way behind in popularity against other entries, and so a new review is going to have to look at things all over again. Slink also got an update, that made it quite good. Its not a body shape I enjoy, but the quality is now there. And… I looked back at the Lena Lush / Perky bodies again and found that ‘Lena Lush’ at least is almost unique in a certain niche area: large bosom avatars that have normal bodies… so it too needs an actual review now…

UPDATE: An Update to Belleza came out around midnight SL time, Nov 6, 2014 (or right at the end of Nov 5). It fixes some major issues, but adds a new major issue. See the revised Belleza Section. I will also come back and re-review Belleza in the near future.

Mesh Bodies are taking off in some corners of Second Life and I’ve recently been thinking of joining in on this.
There are surprisingly few reviews on the subject.

The only one comparing them that I could find was here: The Mesh Body Reviews – Belleza vs Mesh Project vs Wowmeh (naked) – Updated

– Which is pretty good, and I suggest reading that before or in addition to my points. My plan is just to cover the concerns I still had after reading that review.

While there are more than three entries in this field; Belleza, TheMeshProject, Slink Physique, and Lena Perky are the only ones that have a ‘normal’ shape. Fusion has one that comes close (called Androgynous for some reason) – but it still has bulky limbs and a bosom with nipples that have a very strange look to my eyes (they look almost like a torus).

Lena Perky was quickly off my list because its alpha system is simply not sufficient – too large of sections for most clothes wearing. In addition if you have an AO with an animation that raises your arms above the shoulder, the bend point for the Lena Perky is the same as the default avatar
– both of which are anatomically flawed.

Slink, Belleza, and TheMeshProject do not have this shoulder issue. Each is a little different and I’m not sure who has the best anatomy.

My main concerns in a mesh body are how well will it fit my wardrobe, and my preferences in skins.

Alpha Cuts:

For the wardrobe we need to know how good the alphas are and how well the body parts line up with the default avatar, as your wardrobe will be worn by that default avatar even as it goes invisible. Here are the alphas for Belleza, TheMeshProject, and Lena Perky:
And here is Slink’s system:

The Belleza has the best arm and leg cuts – significantly so. The TMP is second, but has the best chest cuts.

The upper neck cuts of the TMP are very specific which allows for a mutitude of tops to be worn… You can cut out by left or right, front or back – all individually. It means a LOT of clicking around setting up outfits, but also that you can get pretty good cuts… This is by far the best alpha-cut system of the choices I have seen.

The Belleza has a flaw in linking front, back, right, and left cuts. If you have an asymmetrical outfit this is a fatal flaw. Even if not many outfits have different cuts in front and back and Belleza cannot handle this common situation.

All of these amazing cuts are wasted from so simple a requirement being missed.

Hopefully that will be addressed someday – but I suspect it would require a whole new ‘cut up’ of the ‘faces / sides’ of the object and be a major undertaking.

The Slink one just doesn’t have enough cuts, period. Its not as limited as Lena’s was – but it comes close. It is in bad need of an update to this.

Clothing Fit

When it comes to fitting the body into your clothing… TheMeshProject falls down severely… In a flaw that is so bad it is shocking this made it out of even early testing: Notice the white there – that is the TMP body’s arms. Notice where it is not – inside the main body. This means most clothing with sleeves will suffer pop-through, and if your alpha cut doesn’t line up perfectly, you will have an odd spot somewhere.

Thus the initial image in this blog article – my arms poking out.

Here is the effect on a glove that is a perfect tight fit to my alt’s normal arms:
Normal, then TMP, then TMP with the closest Alpha Cut available.

Belleza does a better job fitting into the default avatar’s dimensions: If TMP did that, the contest would be over…

Notice how absurdly large my hands are in that Belleza image. This is another benefit of Belleza and TheMeshProject over every other competitor. Both use fitted mesh for the hands – so your hand size dial works on them. This does NOT work if you use the optional ‘Slink Fit’ version of Belleza.

TheMeshProject goes a step further though, the foot size dial also works, as its feet are also fitted mesh: And here you can see that a dial setting of 50 is close to ‘Slink Size’. But Slink Size may actually be too big for proper human proportions on an avatar under 6-feet or maybe even under 6’6″… My normal foot size dial was 16. Your foot should be “the same size as the length of your forearm”.

Unfortunately while you can get as big as Slink feet, The Mesh Project feet still float too high above the Slink ones to be able to wear rigged mesh shoes (unrigged however might work) made for Slink.

Belleza feet CANNOT be resized, but also come a lot closer to slink: The brown ‘blotch’ on the left foot there is my slink foot, resting just inside the Belleza one.

This almost means “some” of your slink shoes might work.

Belleza CAN be used with an optional ‘for slink’ body letting you wear your slink hands and feet… but this body requires an absurdly high “torso and leg muscle slider setting of 50″… 50 on the Belleza does not look as ‘muscle bound’ as it does on the default SL body or on other mesh bodies – so try it before you freak out over it.

Even once you set your torso muscle to 50, the hands join wrong. The left hand has a gap and floats a distance away from the body, and the right hand is overlapped by the body:

Right:
BellezaRightSlinkHand
Left:
BellezaLeftSlinkHand

Mesh to Body join – neck seams

If you make it past all the above concerns, your next issue is the join between the avatar and your default Second Life head (unless your avatar is Irish, in which case you can buy one of the heads from Slink or TMP that have distinctively north-west-European facial bone structure – and will then look identical in shape to anyone else using the same head).

The Mesh Project can fit perfectly to the default avatar’s head if in styling you use the ‘retrofit’ option. I have no idea what the other option does as this one works so I used it and moved on. They then have a tattoo layer to blend one of their 36 skin tones to yours. Unfortunately my avatar, using Angel Rock’s Botswana Seal (choice inspired by my slight Nigerian heritage), exists in the ‘zone of pigments’ between their tone 30, 35, and 36. But most non-African skin tones and a few African ones are covered. – You might not see it, but I find the face slighter darker than the body tone here. However the blend is very well done and should work for most people.

Belleza now mostly fits on the neck:
Front:
BellezaNeckFront
And back:
BellezaNeckBack
– I need to play with the shape dials and see if that minor seam can be fixed. This is however, workable whereas before it was so bad the item went into my “oh well” list of purchases.

With the neck fit, Belleza will get featured in an upcoming blog post by me, because the body shape… is amazing. And now I want to show that, while also discussing its remaining issues.

On my alt that bought the full version of Belleza, I used the Omega system to apply her skin to the Belleza. Pre-update this exposed massive problems. After a recent update – it is much better, but exposes that the Belleza mesh might not be colored pure #ffffff (white), or might have some shine, bump, or other attributes. I plan to review Belleza again and examine this. That said – if you got Belleza and trashed it for the bad neck, get the update. The neck is much improved now. I for some reason took my screenshots with a built in skin for contrast, so you’ll have to wait till I can show you this.

On TMP, no matter what I do to mess with the shape dials, I cannot mess up the join. It remains perfect.
On Belleza it is slightly off in the back, but good in the front.

I did not check this closely on Slink. It seems to match up at the neck, but it uses an attachment for the blend rather than a tattoo layer which is just… peculiar. The attachment comes in a pack of several for different body fats starting at 5 and moving up in units of 5 – not consistent with the standard sizing clothes system, which means more alpha cuts will need to be used to hide parts of the body made too fat as a result…

The Bosom Shape

The next issue, and the issue that cut Slink out of the running for me, is how each of these models the bosom. Slink deforms under the bosom, and this can get quite severe:
This is the bosom at 100. The deformation there is easy to see by 53, and starts at 16… it starts before the bosom even starts forming… Notice how the under-bosom shadow is moving out from the body.

Belleza is much better:
At 100 there is visible deformation, but nowhere near as bad as Slink. This starts at a dial of 55, but is not easy to see until 71.

Belleza is the ONLY one of these three to include a nipple option that adds more shape and texture detail – a major plus for belleza as skin designers often make this part of the body to look good on the ‘flat’ default avatar, meaning it will often have baked in ‘bump / shadow’ that looks less appealing on a mesh body.

TheMeshProject does the best job here, in my opinion. Here it is at size 100, just to show an extreme:
From 30-100, I was able to get usable results. Here you can see a ‘break-away’ is only just starting to happen – and the shadow is still where it belongs. At my normal 48, it looks perfect.

Skins:

Appliers are now out there for TheMeshProject and Slink.

Most of what you will find is for Slink – I think its been out longest and I think a lot of merchants assume its the one to support. My concerns above make me feel this might be jumping on the bandwagon too soon. The Slink body needs more corrections than the other two…

TheMeshProject’s website, ‘themeshproject.org’ will list out a huge list of merchants supporting it. If you start going to those shops you will quickly find that many of them in fact don’t even have a single item for it. Some of them… don’t even exist. They must have left SL or something.

In fact I had exactly one successful result in the skin category: Sinful Curves. And if you search for ‘themeshproject’ or ‘tmp’ on SL’s marketplace – most of the results as of this blog posting also point to that store. That store btw, does have very good skins… But none get as dark as I desire to go.

A much better way to find “the mesh project” items is the flickr group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/themeshproject/
– because this appears to list actual things. And will lead you to merchants with more things. Once I found this group I was finding MeshProject items everywhere. But still none go as dark in skin tone as I desire to go.

I get my skins from Angel Rock and that shop has been very hesitant about supporting mesh products. Appliers have only just begun to show up for them. Which is frustrating because they are the only shop in SL that seems to make African and Asian skin tones that really look of those ethnicities, but not by using the ‘cheap photo pasted into the UV map’ trick some low-end skin shops use. The skins at Angel Rock are super high quality (and they do have some Latina and Caucasian skins as well BTW).

As for Belleza, the neck issue above means any attempt to blend one of their existing skins to your own is likely to have issues.

Using an applier means going to the Omega system and buying a device that will ‘toggle’ your Belleza to be “Omega ready” – after that any Omega applier will work on the torso and legs, but NOT the hands or feet. So Omega is really only good if you use the Slink-fit version of Belleza.

Omega also works Lena Perky if you get that, and for EvE – which I plan to review soon.

Belleza might have appliers for it soon, the developer kit is now FREE to buy in their shop, for anyone. No need to get approved. Get it, and you can updates your stuff. BUT… the UV map for Belleza feet and hands is radically different from the SL avatar, so you will need to make all new photoshop files for this…

On the other hand my favorite skin designer does have appliers for lolas and phat azz… so I can get my skin onto a Belleza… BUT… Not onto the hands or feet.

To get a skin onto the hands or feet with Belleza you need a Belleza specific applier, or to use the Slink hands / feet and set your torso muscles to 50…

Concluding thought:

Sadly I feel all of these need work. Each of them gets some things right and other things wrong. The errors are not matters of style and preference but go to the heart of usability.

Belleza has critical issues with the alpha system and slink hands.
Slink has too few alphas and a highly deformed bosom.
TheMeshProject has arms that cannot fit inside clothing.

My opinion now is that the Belleza is the most ‘ready for market’. Its issues are the easiest to work around. That is a change as of 11/6/2014. TheMeshProject having a locked developer system means a LOT of skin designers have yet to be approved to make skins for it – and the arms issue is MAJOR for anyone who… wears tops with sleeves… which is most everyone.

If Belleza fixes the seam with the slink hands… and addresses my alpha map concerns, the contest would be over. But if themeshproject opens up applier design and fixes the arms – I would call it for them. Slink… would need to fix its bosom and adjust the alpha system in the chest area.

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