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Phoebe Ayres

Thinking of getting a mesh avatar

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Hi everyone

I'm thinking of getting a mesh avatar to replace my current non-mesh one, but I really have no idea about anything to to with them. Are they better than non-mesh ones? What are the disadvantages? 

I am not at all familiar with any of the terminology (like "appliers", for instance), so please feel free to treat my like Iike an idiot. :matte-motes-wink-tongue:

Phoebe

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The mesh bodies arent for everyone... I did purchase one... but I just can't find the appeal.

I should mention though, that I have a mesh body (Toddleedoo) for my child avatar - which I love. EVERYTHING I purchase is made exclusively FOR this particular mesh body. The fundamentals are the same as far as operation, and while it seems complicated at first... both systems come with notecards that explain everything pretty clearly... but there are a LOT of functions and features, so it's a good read.

As far as the adult body... not everything you may want to wear will work with it. A lot of it will, yes... but definitely not all.

It's pretty, and the body itself looks great. But as far as dressing I have a lot of issues wearing the clothes I want to wear and making it look right.

The "appliers" are necessary for skin matching and such... this often costs extra or isnt available at all. Some skins come with appliers automatically, some designers charge extra, some designers dont make them. I LOVE my skin, and I haven't found something in 2 years that I would change it for... but being that the skin is 2 years old, there's no applier for it. Same problem with my tattoos. I'm not ready to give them up just to join the latest craze... but... I am a creature of habit and I'm not the type to take too kindly to change :)

The "appliers" basically stick the skin/ tattoo textures right on your body (it's pretty neat)... it is also necessary for some clothing, which gives you that, what I feel is, an old "painted on look" that went out of style ages ago. But... that's MY opinion.

The issue with the appliers that I notice (and my biggest pet peeve that applies to the mesh bodies, the mesh boobs, and mesh butts) is that a lot of times (and I do mean A LOT) the clothing doesnt res and the avatars appear naked. Now, I personally don't care to go displaying my no no's (virtual or not) to random people... and I dont like seeing other people's avatars naked. I have kids and other people in my household and it's quite uncomfortable when they see my screen and there's giant boobs flashing about.

No offense to the mesh body users and people who like the style, but most of the people that I see who wear them dress very racy and slutty. Great if you're looking for that sort of thing too. But I like to wear clothes and with the style I personally have (ae: dressed) the mesh body just isnt necessary or worth the investment / hassle.

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The main advantage of mesh bodies is, that they make your avatar look smoother. Which is not a suprise, if you consider that the classic avatar has never been updated since Second Life started over ten years ago. The main disadvantage is, that you are now limited in your choice of clothes. Clothes that are made out of flat textures will not work anymore, if they do not come with an applier, which basically is there to try to solve this problem, by adding the texture on the mesh body, too. This will result in your older clothes getting unwearable for you and that you will have to pay attention if the right applier is included for your body with any future purchase of clothes.

Mesh clothes will of course still work, but like always not everything fits. Be sure to get a meshbody that allows you to make parts of it disappear, because normal alphalayers that come with mesh products of course just work on the classic avatar.

In short:

+ looks smoother and can give a more realistic look

- more trouble with clothes

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On the up side, they look better than the standard avatar. I don't think they look as much better as some will say, that or the demo avatars are not very good. I am often in crowded places and I personally can't tell if anyone has a mesh avatar or not. And I would think there must be some around due to the amount you hear about them. And I have a pretty good computer and run my settings between High and Ultra, so if they are that much better you would think it could be seen, and I don't see it.

On the down side is the money you need to spend on one. And its not just the avatar, its all new clothing for them. And if your anything like me, I don't change my skin much so I would need to not only buy the avatar but all new skins too, now your really talking big money. And most of my 50K inventory would be useless and I still like a great deal of it.

Bottom line for me is, I will wait for SL-TNG and see what that brings.

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Syo Emerald wrote:

In short:

+ looks smoother and can give a more realistic look

- more trouble with clothes

I want to add this:

+ looks great when lots of skin is shown (i.e. wearing bikinis, or nothing at all)

However if lots of clothes are worn there is no need for mesh avatar because the clothes cover the mesh. Then there is no advantage at all compared to the default avatar - only more trouble.

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If you're a normal, average shaped, fairly slim  person then you can get a good shape with the standard 'system' avatar mesh.  Even if you're a bit on the portly side, you can get a realistic shape on the sliders.  But if you want to be obsese in SL, then a mesh avatar might be a better bet - if you can find an obese mesh that you like!

I've not gone into mesh avatars myself but my observations are:

Mesh avatars can provide better detailing in some areas of the body and they can also give smoother joint articulartion at extreme angles.  

A lot of mesh avatars look like they've been designed by people who have never seen a real human being!  Just because someone knows how to make a mesh avatar doesn't mean that they're good at design.  

If you have a mesh avatar it's as well to be aware that your 'beauty' will be lost on a lot of people who can't use graphics set to max . There's a glitch that makes some mesh items look like they're made of stretched chewing gum attached to a far-away point.  This can be solved by turning off 'hardware skinning' in graphics, but that also causes a poor, blotchy lighting effect on some mesh avatars for some reason.

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The difference, even for the many bodies now that are 'normal anatomy' (boobs and butt) - is striking.

As noted above the mesh avatars are dramaticly smoother.

Due to a recent blog noting that the lindens are adding code for people to 'auto derender' anyone over a certain ARC value, I went looking at the ARC's of some mesh bodies and at how detailed they were. Several of them are on very low ARCs, and seem to be no more polygons than the default body. So... almost comes down to an issue of asking the original mesh maker "why couldn't you just round some of this off a tad?"

- This is probably just me seeing that from lack of knowing the technical details. But I think the end of it is that of all the things you might wear, its going to be on the lighter end of the burden. I'm still finding my hair to be the worst offender for SL rendering resources.

 

Some of them have quite good alpha hiding systems for wearing clothing. I long ago threw out ALL of my pre-mesh clothing. So system clothes are non-concern for me. If you wear system clothing I guess this would be a valid issue. But it you're willing to wear painted on clothing - you're probably not going to care for the difference of a mesh body anyway. Even with the alphas fitting all mesh cloths... gets interesting. And you will go from one shape that was a standard size, to some 10-20 in the inventory sorted by what parts of the body you've got under an outfit... and tus deformed to be shrunk at the edge of the alpha... :)

 

Some of the mesh bodies break down very fast as high or low dial settings (Slink's boobs can barely go above 40 before they show defects underneath, almost none of them can go under that) - and boobs in particular has issues. Some of them also have bad physics... and the boob physics will move your entire chest, or the butt physics might move your genitals as well (Belleza's update fixed this, but other brands still have it).

 

You need to check your hand size and foot size when wearing them. People used to having hand and foot at 0 from the pre-mesh days who have been using slink hands/feets that they forgot to update will be in for a shock... All but the slink feet will respond to the size dial now (slink hands respond, but I think they purposefully left feet unresponsive due to the many shoes that are still not fitted - IMO they should have just put two sets of feet in the package. One that is old and one that is fitted...).

If you show a lot of skin the difference in having on of these is extreme - and everyone around you will start looking like play-dough / claymation to your eyes.

If you wear a lot of burqas, useless.

If you're in between, like most people - try out some demos with your usual wardrobe and decide.

 

One thing to be wary of in mesh heads: NONE of them can respond to shape dials. So that is a ticket to the clone army. It'll have you looking for droids outside seedy space bars in no time.

All of that said - I have yet to get a mesh body for this avatar, but on my alts I have now bought TheShops TMP, Slink, Belleza, Fusion, Lena, and Eve.

I'm missing wowmeh (which is no longer available), and brazilia (because they so-far only do cartoon extremes. Fusion is the same but has two normal variations), and I have none of the pre-fitted anime bodies. And there's another small shape I was missing because it was too small - no body curve and near flat chested.

I wrote a review of three of them, but it was before I'd bought the full versions of some, and was getting friend assitance, and will be getting an update because Belleza's recent update seriously improved things.

https://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/mesh-bodies-themeshproject-vs-belleza-with-a-little-on-slink-physique/

 

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Conifer Dada wrote:

If you're a normal, average shaped, fairly slim  person then you can get a good shape with the standard 'system' avatar mesh.  Even if you're a bit on the portly side, you can get a realistic shape on the sliders.  But if you want to be obsese in SL, then a mesh avatar might be a better bet - if you can find an obese mesh that you like! 

If you have a mesh avatar it's as well to be aware that your 'beauty' will be lost on a lot of people who can't use graphics set to max . There's a glitch that makes some mesh items look like they're made of stretched chewing gum attached to a far-away point.  This can be solved by turning off 'hardware skinning' in graphics, but that also causes a poor, blotchy lighting effect on some mesh avatars for some reason.

Fusion "Might" have an answer for you. I forget, but I think they had that. They had all kinds of body types not covered in some other places.

The glitch of stretched out should only happen if someone is on a no-longer supported pre-fitted mesh viewer. Or things like cache errors. I saw it yesterday on my old mac, then a mandatory update happened and it was gone.

 

 

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Thanks, ladies, for all your advice. I might possibly stick with what I've got for the moment (despite not being entirely happy with my boobs, although I've had no complaints...)

Pheobe

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I have just recently tried almost every mesh avatar there is and here are my top holders plus reviews;

Belezza; great shape, user friendly, very good alpha hud, downsides, not so many designers make appliers for that one and is a bit pricy, don`t remember the exact number, but was between 3500-3900L

The mesh project, great shape, however it offers just one clothing layer and one for tattoos unless you buy the most expencive version which is 5000 (and still offers only 2 clothing layers), not so user friendly more so if you are new to appliers and everything, the good side is that many designers offer instalers (appliers) for TMP body

Slink Physique; good looking shape for a decent price but you`d need to get hands and feet separately as it looks awful with default sl hands/feets..many designers offer appliers for Slink so that`s a good side, it is also user friendly and has good alpha hud, customer support is amazing and the price is almost half from what others charge; think it was around 1200-1500L

Lena perky body, I only tried a demo, and it has a very nice shape, price is also good BUT there is a visible seam on the waist, you can see where the two parts of the mesh meet, that was a deal breaker for me...

All can blend nicely with your SL head and good skin makers offer a blending layer to cover the neck seam..

Wow meh; currently unavailable but that may change...

What is good about all those is they are fitted mesh, meaning, you can play with your SL shape and it will also change the shape of the mesh body, you can really get the look you want fairly easy plus, no need for mesh breasts etc...

So called system clothes looks amazing as all those bodies are high poly so the textures are christal clear compared to SL default avi...Mesh clothes can fit, but not always cause you depend on the alpha hud you get with the body, the alpha you get from clothing designers works only with SL default body...

If you like tight looking clothes, sexy etc, mesh body would be a good idea, however, if you prefer mesh clothing then I`d advise against getting one.

Hope this helps,

Max:)

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MaxMare wrote:

 

If you like tight looking clothes, sexy etc, mesh body would be a good idea, however, if you prefer mesh clothing then I`d advise against getting one.

Opinions of course vary on this.

I would say just the opposite.

Mesh clothing works perfectly fine with most of these bodies once you get the hang of the alpha HUDs. System clothes will just stand out more as flat painted on things, when the body under is so good.

System clothing is akin to taking a beautiful person and putting them in a torn up clown suit. Mismatching to put poor quality old technology over something so nice.

That is my opinion of system clothes on these though - but I don't like system clothing for anything, and haven't since long before mesh even came about - I've always seen it as technical flaw that limited how nice SL could look.

 

While it may be opinion that mesh clothes is or is not wasting the look of the mesh body - it is simply wrong that it cannot be worn together without flaws. So if one likes mesh clothing - there is no reason to avoid a mesh body.

 

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I think I got missunderstood here...I am not against mesh bodies, far from it, I actually own several mesh bodies and attachments and yes they mostly did good with alphas, but you will not get everything to work when wearing mesh on a mesh body even with shape modifications and that`s a fact...another reason why I said I`d advise against it is, if you are wearing mostly mesh clothing then your body is kinda covered always, so not much gained there...btw there`s nothing to get a hold of really, you just hide parts of your mesh body to fit mesh clothing item using alpha HUD, not rocket science? 

Regarding system clothes, I would agree it doesn`t look so good on default avatar mainly cause of  textures being downsized to 512x512, however it looks really great on mesh bodies as they have more polygons then default SL one....besides, If textures are done well, there is no reason why they wouldn`t look realistic....

The idea behind my previous post was offering my opinion to someone who needed information, if you noticed I made a comparisson among all those I`ve tried (and own/use) which I believe can help someone who is new to it and unsure of mesh body advantages and down sides...I`m sure your input may help just the same...

 

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It's too bad lots of people who made awesome stockings or tights with the appliers for just the feet but not the body, don't update their old stuff to now work with the bodies. They just make new things that aren't as good as those older favorites. I wear so much mesh clothes the body isn't needed at all though, and no matter what that neck seam is always visible and looks really bad, especially when I leave windlight at region or whatever, so I can see a sim with the lighting intended.

I always make it a habit of looking to see who else is wearing a mesh body, and I can easily see it on the 5 out of 45 people at an event, and it just looks bad.  As a 3d modeller myself I'd have made that seam right up under the jawline, not mid neck. That part is a huge drawback, that blending attachment at the neck sometimes looks even worse. That's the piece I spot on every avatar wearing a mesh body.

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BloodDoll Lulu wrote:

I always make it a habit of looking to see who else is wearing a mesh body, and I can easily see it on the 5 out of 45 people at an event, and it just looks bad.  As a 3d modeller myself I'd have made that seam right up under the jawline, not mid neck. That part is a huge drawback, that blending attachment at the neck sometimes looks even worse. That's the piece I spot on every avatar wearing a mesh body.

The seam is at mid neck because that is where the seam is for the default SL avatar to switch between body and head textures.

Belleza started with it all the way up and the results...

... Needed an update to fix that mess.

Some of the bodies are pretty good at the neck seam and some are not. I find The Shop's TMP does the best job here. Bodies like EvE will fail there because they have added layers of shine/wet that many people don't know how to turn off, and don't realize are there if they're not using windlight / advanced lighting.

 

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That meshproject one is a headache and a half just to get the demos working..

I gave up lol

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I just got the BELLEZA Venus mesh body and it's really very nice..

Plus didn't have to run all over town gettin stuff for it..hehehe

Much more user friendly for sure:smileyhappy:

 

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Wow i really!! Really love this Belleza body..

Are there any others out there i can try out?

 

I wanted the WoWmeh to try but reading the comments in that one link it doesn't sound like they are around anymore? Are they gone?

I don't know if the mesh project is one place or a bunch of places,but whatever i tried before i wanted to try real bad but none of the stuff worked together..

The hud didn't recognize the style button and when i would click it and kept saying i had to wear the shape and the hud saying your shapes are installed and will last 72 hours..

i was just clicking and getting nothing..so i gave up..

hehehe i only have 4 days off work and it was ticking away LOL

but i may try it again when i am more patient..

also,they sure don't make it easy to find,i would figure tey would be on the MP but never can i find any mesh parts or bodies on there..now without grinding and using all my searching skills that i have to rememer for the MP hehehehe

If someone can post some slurls and links and any information,i would be so grateful..

After trying this Belleza body,it's gonne be hard for me to think about going back to my old one..Especially since my skins match it and can use my own face:smileyvery-happy:

 

 

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Ceka Cianci wrote:

I just got the BELLEZA Venus mesh body and it's really very nice..

Yeah.

On alts I have both MeshProject and Belleza...

I think Mesh Project is making a HUGE mistake with their locked in HUD / approved developer system. I keep seeing what, from my end, looks like shops that gave up on getting in. Their website lists a HUGE list of merchants that support them - but most have no products for them. Somewhere in there... something got off track.

Belleza, I was very critical of at first - but they seem to be doing all the right moves. And their update hit most of my issue list, and I hear talk that another update is in progress that will hit more, and add a second body for curvier shapes.

 

I really like the shape of the MeshProject. And before Belleza none of the other came close enough so I will willing to let myself go through TMP's hurdles for that wonderful body shape, and was -this close- to getting it on Pussycat despte the arms issue meaning most of my wardrobe would be trashed...

(The TMP arms are offset from where they need to be, and so poke through sleeves).

But then Belleza's update gives a body I am torn between in liking. I like one, then I switch outfits on the alt, and I like the other, and vice versa.

But with Belleza... I have no hassle to deal with...

Except for its Alpha HUD... it has a horrible Alpha system - with front/back/left/right all on the same click, and the alphas often only hide the body layer, but not applied layers.

 

Do yourself a favor and go to Omega and get Omega's Belleza converter - it will let you use Phat Azz and Lolas appliers on the belleza body. That will open up a lot of products that haven't put out Belleza appliers. Belleza's last update included a bit of code to make it even more Omega friendly. But be warned that any lolas that uses a 0.5 repeat texture won't work... only the ones that use a texture repeat of 1 (the ones that use the SL body UV Map).

 

As for finding themeshproject products... the ONLY reliable source I've found is flickr... there's a flickr group for the body and for the head - and both are mostly full of spam. But in this case... the spam is what you want... it will tell you who has product out, if the spammer was nice enough to list what products were in their images (which most of them do for at least the item they are trying to spam).

 

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I actually just got back from getting the omega relay..

I bought a top that needed it..that was really painless..

I have to say i almost don't want to wear clothes because this body is so awesome..

after all the years of seeing the older ones and all the work arounds just to get a decent look,then put on this ..

I was just taken back and had to look at it for a long time.. I didn't think anything this smooth would ever be in here hehehehe

Thank you for the information also..

I know i'm gonna need as much as possible..

And ya i hope mesh project gets whatever is going on ,worked out..i really wanted to try that one..it looked amazing..

=)

 

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I think the problem you describe with TMP is due to the fact that they HAVE to do all different than every other SL business.

The TMP has a fully wearable demo, but it only shows you how the body looks, not how the HUD work. The Style mode HUD does indeed not listen to the demos of anything... so you can not see how it really works before you get a paid version. Many has bought TMP installers and tried to use them on the free TMP body with the Style HUD, only to find that this don't work.

All other SL body part sellers who have a demo has a demo where you can test how it works, and not to mention how the alphas works. The Slink for instance, has a tattoo layer with "Demo" printed on that you can't turn off, but you can try all the alpha layers with mesh  clothing and also try demos of skin and clothes.

I still love ny TMP body and thinks it is the best made for looks, but that Style HUD is really annoying. It is so full and I can't take out stuff I bought. You know, some times you buy things and then think it wasn't as nice and you just delete it from your inventory. I can't delete from the Style HUD, but have to click past the stuff I don't like every time I will change appearance.

Another thing, I bought the Deluxe version with 2 clothing layers and two tattoo layers, only to find that there is a glitchwith alpha issues. It is a clever explination as to why it is so, but I can't tell you. I read about it and found out that it was the problem I had. Tattoo layers turning off or goint blotchy like ink splatches. 

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TMP's closed complex system gives THEM all kinds of control over their brand image and user experience. Those are things common in other places, but not in Second Life (if you're a Mac person or iProduct person (iPhone, iPad, ApplTV), at least in the USA - TMP's HUD system won't be so alienating because you're used to being dragged around by a brand giving you only its choices.

In SL that is NOT the norm.

But TMP was fine with it when they had no good competition.

In reviewing all of these, I've found all of them have very big issues, flaws, or weakpoints. Things like the bosom on Slink being a smashed up mess above size 48. Or the shoulders of Lena moving up when the arms raise, and the alpha HUD being so... scant.

TMP does everything right.

Except for the HUD, and the arms.

But we need to note those arms - they are nearly unusable. Try to wear TMP with any mid-sleeve outfit like a t-shirt and you might as well not even bother.

- So TMP is not as good as we often think. The body is so amazing... we all desire to ignore the arm issue - an issue that makes the body flat out unusable for most mesh tops.

 

I think Belleza is going to be a show stopper for TMP. Its the first big competitor that gets most of the things right (the alpha for Belleza is HORRIBLE - everything else is near perfect. But by making enough copies of your shape you can work around that alpha HUD. You CANNOT shape your way out of the arm problem with TMP - the shape dials won't move your arm up higher on the rigging.

Belleza's nuissance, is minor. And its HUD is easy to use. Its developer kit, is easy.

Its only potential ender is that its foot and hand UV maps are very weird looking - fingers in unnatural positions in order to capture the best pixel ratio - for 3D art this makes sense. But SL skin developers... are often low skilled (some of them are high skill, many are not). And that UV map is going to severaly slow up the spread of appliers to the 'full belleza' body. But this won't kill belezza, because the slink version of the body uses normal UV maps (as does the body part of full-belleza), and then slink hands and feet - slink hands and feet have a UV map that is almost the same as the default UV (get the slink personal HUD, and apply the skin template for the SL avatar to your slink hands or feet - you'll see its just slightly off at the ends of the digits).

 

Cost wise, Belleza is absurdly over-priced. $3995. Your current skin's appliers will likely work. $99 for the Omega kit.

But so is TMP. Especially so because you can't use your own skins even if you're a skin maker with your own textures. So at the minimum you are looking at $2500 for the regular version (its foolish to buy the $5000 version, but people don't know thus until they see the flaws in it mentioned above... word hasn't spread enough yet). But then you need a new skin - likely another $1000.

Similar price ranges put these two in the same field...

And Belleza doesn't have the same user-hasle.

 

 

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I own the slink physique. Main reason I bought it was I already owned a set of Slink casual hands plus the Slink high and the Slink flat feet. I do like it as the price was reasonable but if one doesn't already own Slink hands and feet it could be quite a bit of cost. You can wear it without them but it looks better.  It does come with a neck join to hide the seam between a default SL head and the body which is nice since I don't have a mesh head.

 

I haven't had too many issues with mesh clothing because the slink HUD allows you to hide body parts if needed. I like the Slink physics but not sure how that would work with mesh breasts or behind.

I haven't found a skin/shape combo I like that works well yet. That is one downside.

I don't really  miss system clothing. Maybe it's because I've only had a SL account for 2 years and have primarily bought mesh clothing. I've tried a few things with appliers but they look painted on.

 

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I can't believe how terrible the Mesh Project HUD is.  The icons are almost illegible, the white on white color scheme is blinding, especially in their white shop, and it is so bloated and slow...you can't even remove or sort anythng from the bloated slow-loading HUD. Plus it is such a memory pig, the main world starts having all kinds of texture flashing and popping so you can barely see what you are putting on!  :matte-motes-crying:

When it works, it works great - the clothes and body are beautiful. But there are not enough clothes that can be found, "inventory through HUD" is a total failure of a concept, and trying to change clothes or mix and match, especially in a busy area, is hopeless.

Great comments on this thread, I will have to check out the Belleza mesh.

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