Review – The Solarian Fitmesh Feline Furry Avatar from Blue Galaxy

Solarian Dancing - Front View
Solarian by Blue Galaxy (Ash Soyinka)
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Caisteal/149/44/29
Base: 800L
Feline Legs: 200L
Dev Kit: 0L (1L that is paid back to you)

This is something radically new – a full body fitmesh furry avatar.

Full body: This is the whole thing, from head to toe. It comes as one linked piece. No seams. Ok, two linked pieces if you get the legs – which you should. But still no seams with the legs.

Fitmesh: Shape dials work all over this thing. Most of the dials will adjust what they should. Facial dials don’t work because the fitmesh standard never covered them. But you can adjust things like headsize. Foot size works with the ‘plantigrade legs’ that comes with the body, but NOT with the addon digitigrade legs that are needed to be a proper feline.

Furry: Yeah. This one is a furry and sometimes I go furry. This is probably the best furry ever seen in Second Life and so I am going to try and explain just why that is in the review that follows. There is so much that is “right” about this avatar that the things that are wrong are quite forgivable. Though I will cover both.


So, here is the body from the front:
Solarian Front View of Genders
Wait… so… 3 genders or something… yeah. Note that the male is missing something obvious. You’ll have to get that on the ‘mods market’ as so far Blue Galaxy has not supplied it as an addon. That said I did see one example of the item in question on Marketplace when I searched for “Solarian” and then just went into the right category.
– This lack though, makes me wonder what that third gender is supposed to represent.

Here is the body from the back:
Solarian Back View of Genders
This is the same pose as that which I used for my Belleza review, for you to compare. Oh and the shape… is almost the exact same shape. So this is my Belleza shape for Freya, that you can get as a freebie, with some tweaks to the butt, saddle bags, and Love Handles to make the curves fit my style, and Leg muscle set to 50 as I set it on Isis (I lower it on freya to reduce the curve a bit).
– I’m telling you this because yet again a mesh body maker using shapes that detract from the beauty of the avatar… The one that comes with this is a lot better than the one that comes with Belleza, but it still had some issues, namely T-rex arms and way too big of a bottom compared to the top.

Here is the difference between nude and covered:
Solarian - Bits Uncovered vs Covered
This is triggered via the alpha HUD, oddly enough. Not shown in these images is that the upper and lower parts are fully modeled mesh on the female, and there is a ‘dimple’ where the anal cavity would be as well.


The basic Solarian package comes with:

  • 3 bodies (female, male, “femboy”) – you get all 3 in one purchase.
  • 1 HUD for alpha cuts and 8 included colors for each of eyes and body. Eyes can be done individually.
  • A “Readme” notecard you better read because you will be shocked at what is in it… (see below – this is a MAJOR part of what makes this avatar something radical).
  • A landmark to the store.
  • An ‘undeformer’ I have been unable to get to work. This causes some issues I will note below.
  • An outfit that is a lace female top and lace panties for the female or “femboy”. But no male clothing.
  • A shape file that I recommend just putting into a backup folder and forgetting about.

Missing are the cat legs, Digitigrade because I have no idea… the cat furry avatar ships with human legs (plantigrade, google it to learn how wrong this choice is), and the cat legs are a 200L addon, instead of the logical other way around.

With and Without the cat legs looks like this:
Solarian Legs - Plantigrade vs the Digitigrade Addon

Also… get the developer kit sold right next to the body. It says 1L, but it will pay you back 1L when you buy it… so just get it…


Once loaded the Solarian is absurdly lightweight:

Draw Weight:
Female: 6476 (5285 on plantigrade)
Male: 6220 (4836 on plantigrade)
Femboy: 6434 (5170 on plantigrade)

Script Usage:
Body: 48kb
Digitigrade Legs: 16kb

So… that is so low it makes you really wonder. I had to turn down my LOD setting and cam out…
My avatar got too small to see BEFORE she lost her shape… In other words, very high detail, WITHOUT driving up Draw Weight. And those 48kbs… They’re handling full eye, ear, tail, and mouth animation at a level of variety GREATER than furry avatars I have bought that needed 15mbs to do these things…

This thing is so lightweight and low on lag it feels like I am speeding SL up by logging into it… (being silly here… to try and hammer home the point that this avatar is done amazingly right on these points).

If everybody in SL decided to toss out their current avatars and switch to Solarians, lag would be the thing of the past. Other builders should start taking notes when they get this avatar. They should get it to learn something…

Oh and, remember how editing Belleza would freeze up my system… Edit this:
Solarian - Moddable and Lightweight
– what you don’t see in the screen shot is that this is like editing a single solo prim on an empty sim. No issues. And I’m right there in the texture box where I can start “messing with things”. IN fact I can go to the body, rez it, and start unlinking parts and putting new ones on. A Modder’s happy place.

12 land impact when rezzed:
Solarian - 12 Land Impact When Rezzed for Modding
Nice. I could have rezzed this in my old 256m plot of land.
PS: unlinking the tail and wearing it on a human body works, but the deformer is in the tail and it will make your human shape look very strange… so you can do it, but it will look horrible, or comical – depending on your mood I guess. πŸ™‚


Now we’re going to start getting to some less positive aspects…

The HUD is… limited.

The HUD comes in two parts, one for coloring and one for Alphas. You’ll use the coloring one to pick your fur. Do note that it is unusual for a Furry Avatar to give you all of the color choices in one normal priced purchase. As I will note below, you also get the PSD’s for the texture pattern in a download link.

Though they are good I didn’t like ANY of the choices, so I grabbed a different one on Marketplace:
Solarian Cheetah by Llweyndwell
This is by “Aten’Ka [Sun Soul]”
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/170486
Llweyndwell, the owner of that brand, is doing such amazing work that I recommend budgeting in the purchase of one of the skins from Llweyndwell to the avatar price BEFORE buying the avatar. πŸ™‚

Solarian Eye and Fur Color HUD Tab
That said the eyes that come with it are really nice, so I’m still using one of those presets. And you can set a different color for each eye (heterochromia)

So… the real HUD you’ll need is the ALpha HUD, and it frankly isn’t that good:
Solarian Alpha HUD Tab
Now this is kind of forgivable because this is a furry avatar with a rather different body shape. Even if you could alpha things most regular clothing won’t work well. That has NOT stopped people from trying though. That said… this MIGHT be one reason why this avatar is so lightweight. Then again this HUD is about as detailed as that of the Lena Lush body, and that body is actually very heavy on draw weight (but gets light if you edit it and delete the tattoo and clothing layers).
– My thinking here is that with so few alpha cuts, there are less pieces to this avatar. And less stuff, if that stuff is done right, tends to also means less burden on the system.

So… if most of the clothing you will wear will have to have been made FOR this avatar, the alpha cuts are not as important. It would be very nice to have more of them, but I suspect the community will adapt around that limit on this one.


Also… if you have fullperms on your fur texture, you can edit it in photoshop, make your own alpha channel there, and upload the texture for a custom alpha cut…

And guess what… you do. Remember that notecard?

The Notecard with all the stuff in it:
The readme notecard is kind of short and useless, until you get to the dropbox link. download that file… It’s a .rar which is a kind of zip techies like that confuses the heck out of normal people. Macs understand it these days, not sure if PCs do or if you need to get some special program to open it.

But inside of it… are “PSD” files for the textures that came with the avatar, and a blender file that is a template for clothing makers and modders to use to make stuff. People are already turning out mods thanks to this.
Downloables Contents
You can open “PSD” files in Photoshop, or GIMP:
http://www.gimp.org/
Gimp is free by the way…

So is Blender is you think you want to take on messing with that blender file… most of the mesh in SL is either made in Blender, or prepped for use in SL with Blender.
http://www.blender.org/
– But that is an application that will take a lot of dedication to master.

Inside the Digitigrade Leg addon’s folder, is a similar notecard with a similar file you can download, that has similar features to it.

So this avatar really opens up right out of the gate with ease to modify and support for content makers.


Layers:
What layers? There are no layers for layer based clothing. That said there is already one modder on Marketplace who has managed to make a layer based leotard…


Omega:
Nope, not here. But Omega is kind of pointless here anyway. No UV maps from anything else will work with this avatar. Its a very different avatar, and it has a free dev kit.


Clothing Support:
Mostly it has to be made for this avatar. There is a growing list of clothing for the avatar, and most of that is being done as copy/mod so you can tailor it to your needs, and there is even a body of people putting out texture mods to other people’s clothing creations.

Some rigged mesh items will be able to fit – but be very careful to demo and test your AO out with it when you try this.

The avatar does come with some fullperms fitted mesh clothing:
Solarian included fullperms fitted mesh clothes

If you’re looking for more stuff for this avatar, just search Marketplace for “Solarian”.


Customer Support
Its pretty thin at this point. Blue Galaxy has an active mod community and the Blue Galaxy sim is a semi-active place that even has what look like roleplay spots. But much of this is devoted to their older avatar. You would have to ask around to find people to talk with. While the avatar’s dev kit comes with a link to a documentation website, it is a google doc’s page, and not a support portal.
The Blue Galaxy group:
https://my.secondlife.com/groups/6511fa88-b3a4-66d9-c126-affae9bae270
Does not appear to be in active use. At least it has no notices in it. But it might be a place to start.


Ranking:

Pros:

  • A fitmesh furry – this is in itself something long overdue and highly welcome.
  • Mod permissions – a breath of fresh air to have a mod fitmesh body. There are a few others, but each time I see one it is a very welcome sight.
  • Very lightweight low lag avatar
  • Visual appeal – this avatar is just very nice to look at, and animated very well.
  • Most of the skin makers seem to be including for the digitigrade legs in their applier as one purchase.
  • 8 fur colors and 8 eye colors in the base purchase. PLUS the PSD (photoshop / Gimp) file in a download link.
  • Included clothing is fullperms. Modkits already exist for it. The first and last images in this review show me wearing it with a bikini-mod kit I grabbed.

Cons:

  • Selling the cat legs to a cat furry as an addon. This is just baffling.
  • Not as many cuts in the alpha HUD as would be desired
  • Newness means not as much stuff out for it as I would like. I’m hoping that changes soon.
  • Activating the adult bits on the avatar is done by clicking the alpha for those spots on the alpha HUD. Hiding the body in those spots is done the same way… its all in how many times you click the spot, and you’re not paying attention you can get the wrong result…

Ps:
So in these images I am wearing:
*booN CIZ626 hair black/chocolate/purple – Chocolate modded with Red color.
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SAIKIN/129/125/699

I am using the big bosom shape from my Belleza Proportionate Shapes Freebie:
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/FREE-Belleza-Freya-Proportionate-Shapes-And-Physics-Kit/7691358
Because this avatar is fitmesh, unlike other furries you don’t need to dial your head into all kinds of weird numbers and then wear a giant prim over the result. πŸ™‚

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
I reduced the size of this already small home to about 83% of its original because I’m obsessed with being ‘too-scale’.

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 the Solarian Body (800L) is from Blue Galaxy:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Caisteal/149/44/29

The Solarian Digitigrade Legs (200L) are also of course from Blue Galaxy

My skin is from “Aten’Ka [Sun Soul]” for 450L:
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/170486

In the nude pics using the Cheetah skin I also used:
Solarian – Nipples and Bits – Naturals
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Solarian-Nipples-and-Bits-Naturals/7630662
– Because they just looked a little nicer. But its a close call.

I have done two other cat furry reviews in the past, that you can look at as a sort of “how far have we come” experience:
https://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/kinzart-domestic-cat-review-and-how-to-resize-a-furry-avatar-with-precision/
https://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/my-new-avatar-derp-domestic-cat/

In my opinion… this Solarian is the only furry on the market anyone should consider right now. Mod it to other animals… but start here. It is fitted mesh after all. πŸ˜›

Solarian Dancing - Rear View

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. πŸ™‚

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.

Kinzart Queotl (Meeroo inspired) Furry Avatar review

Kinzart Queotl

Kinzart Queotl Meeroo
1000L$
+500L$ for optional traits kit.
Mod, Copy, No-Trans
Kinzart Mainstore

Meeroos have been out for quite some time now. Arguably past their prime, at least on the secondary market where the value of the nests is frustratingly low. But they’ve still yet to be unseated by any new trend.

But with that age, it might seem a little strange to see a meeroo inspired furry avatar coming out this late into things. However, the owner of Kinzart is a big fan of Meeroos and this avatar has apparently been on the table for a very long time.
Kinzart Queotl Meeroo
My recommendation is that this avatar is a great addition to a collection, something every Meeroo fan should get, and for many an ideal choice for your main ‘avatar look’. It is one of three that I am aware of. The others include an official ‘Tiny Mesh’ sold by Malevoy themselves, in a design that looks near identical to that of a Tokushi avatar, and a mod kit Meeroo based on the Chinchilla from Curious Inc. The Chinchilla mod kit is very nice as well, but more toonish – so this is a style choice. If you are a Tiny or enjoy the Tiny look, the mesh Tiny would be your choice, though it is not customizable (no-mod and full mesh).

Avatar Features:

Kinzart Queotl Meeroo Parts List
* Full selection of diurnal coats from the Meeroo lines from North America, Egypt, Africa, Japan, and Scotland.
* Trait pack includes ALL optional traits, and is bought by coat.
* Sculpted digitigrade legs
* Sculpted digitigrade feet
* Sculpted digitigrade hand paws – with independently poseable digits.
* Unrigged Mesh Tail (with 4 poses)
* Flexi Tail option
* Unrigged Mesh Ears
* Sculpty head (in 3 pieces for head, upper and lower jaw).
* Prim Eyes.
* UV maps for mesh parts
* Female and male shapes and skins (PG only)
* Unrigged Mesh Hair

Type/Speech responsive ears, jaw
AUC – Automated Update system – used to keep your avatar up to date, and to strip out optional customization scripts.

Impressions:

In general this is a very impressive avatar. A year ago it would have been cutting edge, but the use of sculpties is now dated in furry avatars.
Kinzart Queotl Meeroo
That said everything fits together very well, the coats really look and feel like Meeroos, and the avatar looks the part.

The use of UnRigged mesh for the ears, hair, and tail is ideal. UnRigged mesh, unlike Rigged mesh can be moved and rescaled to your needs, but gives you the high detail quick rendering options of mesh. That the rest is sculpty may be due to the long development time for the avatar.

Unlike the other Meeroo avatar options on the market, the legs and feet here are separate pieces. This makes it very easy to wear jeans with this avatar, and the cut for the foot fits those mesh jeans I have just perfectly. It does however mean that from time to time these parts can bend improperly.

Strong Points:

Kinzart Queotl Meeroo
The texturing is amazingly well done, leaving you feeling like you are on a meeroo. They are arguably better textured than ‘actual meeroos’ – and not just from being larger with more surface area. The skill is just simply top notch with Kinzart textures. The furry market right now to me feels like a race to the top between Kinzart and DSD, with competitors close or far behind (Tokushi is a hard call, but for me, just behind these two – for reasons of style and my personal tastes, which means they may be on top for others. The skill of all three is not to be missed).
Kinzart Queotl Meeroo

As with other recent Kinzart avatars, scripting is top notch and light weight.
Kinzart Queotl Meeroo
I don’t know if this was true in past, but at present Kinzart is a team of people, and the scriptor on that team delivers a solid punch in a very light tap – pressure point scripting so to speak. A few years back some Kinzart furries were so heavy Kinzart themselves notes customers getting tossed out of sims for wearing them. If that’s your memory of Kinzart, you need to go back over there and look at them again. The current avatars, and some updated old ones, are very well done. If you have one of those heavy scripted old avatars, chances are there is an update waiting for you on their sim (To be frank, it was only 1 or 2 of their dragon avatars from what I can find – I have some old kinzarts, and I find them normal for back when I got them – In fact I used to put them on around friends on human avatars and note how ‘even with all these parts going, my entire furry is still lighter scripted than just one of your shoes’).

This avatar is very animal and ‘realistic’ (for a made up animal on a furry). Unlike other Meeroo choices, it is not cartoony and I end up looking at it a long and trying to place what family in the animal kingdom it would fit into (kinda looks related to a kangaroo and a dingo to me). It would be a perfect creature in fantasy and science fiction roleplay in this design.

The head size is proportionately normal. Most newer furries no longer use the giant heads of old. Plenty of human hairs will fit it, but the snout may get in the way of some prims. A few mesh hairs I have tried fit onto it, but the majority have not.

The default shape is very well done, almost fitting the XS standard size of mesh clothes (leg muscles were much higher, but tuning it down didn’t impact the look much). The shoulders on the female here are slightly mannish, being a tiny fraction wider than the hips – but not too noticeable and easily tweaked.

Weaknesses:

The presence of sculpty parts feels dated. The avatar was in development for a very long time, so my guess is these sculpty parts pre-date mesh in SL. There are 3D modeling tools on the market now that will import a sculpty map and let you save out a collada format mesh file. So this could have been fixed, but perhaps only with a lot of work redoing the textures. That said the sculpty maps load pretty fast and I’ve yet to see myself doing that oldstyle furry-rez wait where look at the collapsed head and floating eyeballs and count to 3-billion…
Kinzart Queotl Meeroo
For sculpty, they are seriously well done – and seem to have sharp definition and no odd seams at the curves. See in the comments below – there’s a reason they were not converted to mesh. And zoom in one on of these – the sculpties really are well done. This is only a weakness in that mesh exists now and in theory renders sharper. But these are still some of the best sculpty parts I have seen. I’ve got a weakness section though, and gotta put something in it.

Customization:

This avatar is built to be modded. Right out of the gate the traits kits offered up a collection of ready to go options.
Kinzart Queotl Meeroo Traits
You can see my recent blog on the Kinzart cat for resizing tips. All of which will work here as well.

Hairs will mostly fit the avatar, but will require some minor edit to pull strands out of the eyes or snout. Nothing unusual for many furry avatars. For rigged mesh hair – do demo before buying. Some will work, most will not.

Kinzart Queotl Meeroo HUD Cover
The HUD is typical of Kinzart, simple yet rich on features.
Kinzart Queotl Meeroo HUD Attachment Settings
Ears, tail, eyes, hands, claws, mouth, tongue, etc – all can be customized. A number of elements can be colored from within the HUD.

Kinzart Queotl Meeroo HUD Hands
Note this. Here on the hands part of the HUD, you can give individual poses to each digit. This is one area where Kinzart is clearly ahead of some competition. Some furry avatar makers do this and some do not. Those who do are much appreciated. It may seem trivial, but almost every day on my copy of the Kinzart cat my eye catches the hand poses I use and it just makes the avatar feel ‘alive and homey (lived in).’ All of that is here in the Queotl as well.

Kinzart Queotl Meeroo HUD Colors

Conclusion:

Like the Kinzart Domestic Cat, I have been very happy with this choice. While disappointed in the use of sculpty parts, my overall impression was very position. Enough so that I have bought it 3 times for alts, and have been considering a fourth purchase. If you want a Meeroo avatar or just a unique animal that still looks “familiar” and not too far out there, it is worth getting.
Kinzart Queotl Meeroo

Unlike the cat, it comes in some of the riot colors. Blues and purples and such. This is mostly true to the Meeroos, but there were four special limited coats during pre-release and for 48 hours shortly after launch. One of these was purple, seen in the shots above because it came with both my Phantom and Congo choices. I’m not partial to it, but it was a favorite of the designer. If you like it, there are some blue choices that are similar. And Kinzart hopes to have more coats with time.

Kinzart Domestic Cat Review – and how to resize a Furry Avatar with precision

Kinzart Domestic Cat

Kinzart Domestic Cat

1000L$
Mod, Copy, No-Trans
106507 – Draw Weight
Kinzart Mainstore

The Kinzart vendors selling this avatar come with no info or labeling. It was something of a wild guess at what I would get when buying it – which is something that for 1000L many might not be willing to do. That said, hopefully this review will give folks enough information to make a choice.

My recommendation, is that if you want a cat furry, this is a very solid good buy. The only other “domestic cat” furry I really enjoy using day to day is the DSD Ocelot – a different but similar looking species.

Avatar Features

Kinzart Domestic Cat Package Contents
* Wide selection of natural fur colors
* Male and Female PG skins, tattoo layer for female M.
UnRigged Mesh digitigrade legs
UnRigged Mesh digitigrade foot paws
UnRigged Mesh digitigrade hand paws
Paws have retractable claws.
UnRigged Mesh Tail with 4 position choices
UnRigged Mesh Head, Jaw, Eyes, and Ears.
3 texture choices for nose tip and paw pads – individually settable.

Extra texture maps for some parts.
Type/Speech responsive ears, jaw
– No optional pieces.

AUC – Automated Update system – used to keep your avatar up to date, and to strip out optional customization scripts.
Kinzart Domestic Cat AUC
– Don’t wear it like I did, or it will rez at a funny angle. Its one use once rezzed, so delete the rezzed one when done, and just rez another when you need it again.

Impressions

This is a very impressive cat avatar, and shows Kinzart has come a long way in quality since I last gave them a look some two years ago. Parts fit together well, and move gracefully with my AO – even after a significant resizing (more on that later).
Kinzart Domestic Cat Sitting
They are not quite up to the level with mesh seen in Dark Spot Designs – where you have animated unRigged Mesh in elements such as the rabbit’s foot and leg. But Kinzart is a close second.

The use of UnRigged mesh makes this avatar ideal. UnRigged mesh, unlike Rigged mesh can be moved and rescaled to your needs, but gives you the high detail quick rendering options of mesh.
Kinzart Domestic Cat Sideview
The legs and feet are separate elements. A number of recent furry avatars have fused these into one piece – which presents complications when wearing pants, unless a special foot option is provided. By keeping them to two pieces here, you can wear most pants with just the feet – particularly good with mesh pants. However it also means there is a seam at the join between the leg and foot.

Strong Points:

Kinzart Domestic Cat Front Texture
The cat is very well textured, with a rewarding attention to detail that leaves the fur feeling natural. The choices in colors are broad – covering many cat varieties. The style choice of hair behind the legs and under the tail was off-putting at first, but quickly grew on me.
Kinzart Domestic Cat Back Texture

The script memory is so light as to be non-existent. This is no minor point – this thing is super light weight, even with the HUD going.
Kinzart Domestic Cat Script Info
The avatar looks very catlike, appealing and ‘cute’, but without being cartoony. That is a very difficult balance to strike. In every competing cat I’ve tried, they either look catlike -or- attractively cute by being cartoony. This one just looks like a cat, but not something Dr. Evil would carry around.

The head size is proportionately normal. Not a giant cartoon furry head. As a result, as I note below, it works with human hair, and even fits rigged mesh hair !!!

Weaknesses:

I avoided buying the Kinzart cat at first due to the unanimated mesh tail. I have seen both a mermaid tail and the DSD Rabbit single-piece leg/foot that were capable of motion. I’m a big fan of flex tails for furries as I like to see it flow around as I move about.

That said this is a preference issue and not quality issue – and this mesh tail is amazingly well done. So well done that if I were now offered a flex tail I am unsure if I would want to use it. You cannot get this level of detail out of a flex tail. It would be nice to see some animations in it, but I have no idea if this can be done (the answer, if possible, might be in how the mermaid tail I’ve seen animates, or the DSD bunny’s feet).

I had some trouble lining up the paw pads with the wrist after a resizing. The default female shape of the avatar is 5′ 10″ Agent, 6′ 5″ prim height – which is a tad oversized in today’s era (my prim height is 5′ 4″).

The tattoo layer for female parts is a nice touch and good way to do the M version, but seems blurry. There was no tattoo layer for the male chest, but it can be made by modding the female tattoo to be upper only.

Customization + Resizing a furry avatar the right way:

There is no included head hair with this avatar – but the shape of the head is such that most hairs can easily fit it. Unlike every other furry avatar I have tried, I have even been able to fit rigged mesh hair to this avatar – both before and after resizing it. I’ve rarely seen anyone use the head hair that shipped with a furry. So I list this under customization rather than weakness – this avatar has no need for an included hair, nor even for modding hair you buy. Just shop right alongside your human friends and sigh at the other furries trying to move that last strand into place.

The whiskers use the same attachment point as the head – use ‘add’ when wearing them. They are default white – so you can tint them to match head hair choices.

Kinzart Domestic Cat HUD
The HUD is simple yet rich on features. Ears, tail, eyes, hands, claws, mouth, tongue, etc – all can be customized. A number of elements can be colored from within the HUD.
Kinzart Domestic Cat HUD Page 1
Kinzart Domestic Cat HUD Page 2
The four options for nose and paw pad textures, individually chosen, was a very nice bonus item. Funny how such a little thing helps to add so much character.
Kinzart Domestic Cat HUD Page 3

Resizing by the numbers

The included shape seemed to be a tall version of the Standard Sizes XS – mesh clothes at that size fit me with no pop through. But because of how tall the avatar was, and my own shape being 11 inches shorter, I felt a need to resize when applying my shape.

My first attempt involved selecting all the parts and using stretch – this put everything into the wrong alignment, and was not precise. I then got out the linkset resize script I “sell” (a freebie, and one which is actually put out by the lindens on the wiki, I just package it for convenience). This script works by only needing a single copy in each object (root prim only). You put it into each piece, and then type in chat:

/4 0.842697
(my shape height divided by the avatar’s default shape height equaled that number).

– and it shrinks everything in chat range that you own that has the script by a multiple of that amount. MUCH MORE PRECISE than a touch based resizer.

After doing this I only had to do some minimal movement of parts – putting the head in place to where the eyes were, moving the jaw back into position (take before screenshots to compare), and changing some head and eye shape dials to get the eyes just right.

I then took the script -out- of all the parts, detached them, and wore them again. MAKE SURE TO REMOVE THOSE RESIZER SCRIPTS once done. The free one I put out needs to be removed by hand, deleting it from the contents of the object’s root prim. Not being a touch based script, its more controllable but more manual (I prefer this, touch based scripts make it very hard to walk around in SL – I click the back of my avatar so I can move and mouse turn, and instead I get a pop-up window… /grrr… I’m always having to delete touch scripts or trash no-mod items with them).

The final result, as I hope my screenshots show, was just perfect. Because the default Kinzart Cat also uses the XS stanard size, or something amazingly close – my screenshots still look as the purchased cat will, just shorter.

This same number has been great for changing a lot of my furniture made for giant avatars down to my own scale.
Using the Linkset Resizer Scripts

Conclusion:

Very happy with the avatar at this point. So far it feels just right. Would like to see a little more info about it from Kinzart, and would like to see legs and a tail that lacked the under hair for comparison.

Kinzart Domestic Cat Vendor
Some will be bothered by the lack of ‘green’, ‘purple’, ‘raver glow blue’, and ‘neon magenta’ colors – but I like that the avatar, at least presently, only comes in natural tones. Let those canine freaks go purple and glowing blue. πŸ˜‰

Cats are proud and should have more dignity than that. :p
Kinzart Domestic Cat Standing

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