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GaryPreston

Is there anyone else who feels the same as I do about having a Second Life withour mesh?

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Continuation from another thread:

6 hours ago,  Theresa Tennyson said: 

I'm still waiting for you to give us a workable plan to bake normal maps and make it look like the clothing is over the skin. Go 'head...

[Penny Patton:]There are two options I can see off the top of my head, neither are perfect but either is  "good enough" especially as few layer clothing appliers include normal maps anyway so you'd primarily want to mask out the body's normal map where clothing covers it:

1. Do it exactly like diffuse textures. - Yeah, normal/spec maps use their alpha channel to store specular data but again that's not really necessary for layer based clothing as we commonly see it implemented in SL. So instead use that channel as an alpha mask specifically for baking purposes. Outside of the baking process the alpha channel or material maps would be treated exactly as they are now. If no material map is present a blank map is used which refers to the diffuse alpha to determine where the material map beneath shows through. Cons - you lose the specular data stored in the alpha channels for layered clothing material maps.  Pro -You can have skintight clothing that uses the skin's normal map but the clothing's specular.

2. Do it like diffuse textures EXCEPT refer to the corresponding diffuse texture's alpha map to determine where normal maps crossfade or are cut off. - Con - You won't be able to have material layers below clothing show through even for skintight clothing. Pro - You retain the ability to add additional specular information via the material map's alpha channel.

I prefer method one. In either case some way to link diffuse and material maps would be required. This can be accomplished by adding material map options to the layer based clothing UI. 

Done, and I haven't even gotten coffee yet.

When I asked how to have a normal layer with clothing over skin, I meant how to make it appear higher than the skin. Most normal maps are used to show details above and below a base level. If you try to bake clothing onto the same surface as a skin there's very little chance you'll be able to indicate that the piece of clothing is standing proud of the skin because the base levels are the same; in fact it's likely that valleys will appear lower than the skin. 

I agree that wearable clothing shells are entirely possible - in fact that's how Chip Midnight's very early fitted mesh avatar worked. I found that the shells added very little to the rendering load and that in fact an avatar like this could be rendered at a higher framerate than a typical mesh avatar despite technically having a higher polygon count because the mesh structure is so much simpler.

(Incidentally, if you go to the statistics panel and check the actual number of kilotriangles being rendered per frame, you'll see that "alpha'ed out" sections of mesh avatars and clothing layers that are shut off aren't actually drawn in the rendering pass. They have to be downloaded and probably take up memory, etc. but those "switched off" polygons are culled by the viewer.)

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1 hour ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

(Incidentally, if you go to the statistics panel and check the actual number of kilotriangles being rendered per frame, you'll see that "alpha'ed out" sections of mesh avatars and clothing layers that are shut off aren't actually drawn in the rendering pass. They have to be downloaded and probably take up memory, etc. but those "switched off" polygons are culled by the viewer.)

Do they count toward the avatar's rendering complexity? Do you happen to know the specific conditions under which they're culled? (such as the default full-alpha diffuse texture only, or something to make the culling efficient?)

[ETA: I'm asking these frankly puzzled questions because we've been told repeatedly that it doesn't work this way, but might, someday, so I'm eager to discover how long we've been living in the future! :) ]

Edited by Qie Niangao
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On 18/02/2017 at 4:57 PM, GaryPreston said:

I'm interested to know if there is anyone else out there who feels we would enjoy the Second Life experience far more if there were to be a parallel alternative which admitted no mesh avatars, or even no mesh, and gave us back our classic avatars

I'm happy enough with mesh objects, but I can do without mesh avatars, to the extent that I'd prefer it if they had never come in.

(I know that this thread was resurrected to have a discussion about something related, but my post is in answer to the precise topic of the thread. So there :P )

Edited by Phil Deakins

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3 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

Do they count toward the avatar's rendering complexity? Do you happen to know the specific conditions under which they're culled? (such as the default full-alpha diffuse texture only, or something to make the culling efficient?)

[ETA: I'm asking these frankly puzzled questions because we've been told repeatedly that it doesn't work this way, but might, someday, so I'm eager to discover how long we've been living in the future! :) ]

All I can say is what I see... To see this, go to a place with an unchanging background and keep your camera fixed. Then go to the "Statistics Bar" and turn on the "Advanced" option under rendering. One of the lines will be "KTris per Frame." With the fixed conditions this will be a very consistent number; in fact, with Advanced Lighting on it will be exactly the same every frame.

Wear a mesh avatar and start turning pieces-parts on and off. You can see the "KTris per Frame" drop when things are turned off and go back to the previous number when they're turned back on. The rendering complexity won't change. I think this is also related to how many multi-setting mesh objects like multi-position feet don't show the non-textured sections even when "Highlight Transparent" is on. There appears to be a way to make mesh faces completely non-textured when they're created, which you can't do with prims to my knowledge.

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On 19.2.2017 at 7:12 PM, ChinRey said:

Theresa Tennyson wrote:

I met an "other game developer" a few weeks ago. Somebody who's working full time making models for games and movies and thought a line of mesh clothes in Second Life could be a nice way to expand his business. The very first thing he asked me was why are mesh clothes in Second Life so high poly?

Because 99% of clothing makers are just hobbyists without a professional background in 3D creation? Most are probably self taught with only a small amount having taken college/unviersity courses for the different 3D programms nevermind have a professional career in that field.

Then there's three types of hobbyists a) who simply don't realize they should optimize their mesh b) those who do but are too lazy c) those who do and start optimizing their meshes from then on (or from the start). Group c) is unfortunately small.

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On 18/02/2017 at 2:57 PM, GaryPreston said:

I have been active in SL for 8 years now and seen the move from classic to mesh. With the arrival of mesh I was at first very dubious about the outcome. It seems now a great improvement for objects which take up far fewer prims and a relief to parcel owners.

When mesh avatars came along, however, this was a different ballgame. Although there is an improvement in appearance and avatar movement these avatars are becoming so relatively complicated that they take very long to rez properly with the result that even with the newest viewer updates others have to wait ages whilst looking at clothes on an invisible avatar or an invisible head which exposes a rather ghastly looking brain and eyes, sometimes with jaws with teeth hanging down to the thighs and which is a very ugly sight. Maybe in time this will be sorted but at the moment do we have to put up with all this? Please understand that i have no problem with the progress of mesh and those who are content with these irks. it just isn't my cup of tea till it is sorted.

I'm interested to know if there is anyone else out there who feels we would enjoy the Second Life experience far more if there were to be a parallel alternative which admitted no mesh avatars, or even no mesh, and gave us back our classic avatars, of which I still use one and am very happy with it as i still get comments on how good it looks. I would personally welcome that, at least until the mesh avatar rezzing problem is sorted. I know it is a retrograde, or at least a standstill step, but I see it only as an alternative or temporary possibility.

I would welcome your views.

Thanks for reading.

 

I think that is simple: if you like mesh, wear mesh, if you dont or cant wear it, stick with the system avatar. I love my system head better, i can apply lots of tattoo layers on top of it and create a unique look. I wish mesh heads could do that as well, cause I love how smooth they are. By the explanation of some people on the forum, seems for me that the mesh avatars are getting more simple than complicated.

Unfortunately to some people, if you use a non mesh avatar you read ALT to them, so they treat you different. But these people forgets that not everyone have a good computer to render a mesh avatar, or can afford buying a good mesh head and body. Or they dont care how they look, cause they are in sl to talk and explore. They dont care about on how they look.

The beauty of second life is that its a place for everyone - some people come only to meet others, some to learn, some to create, some to take pictures, some to dress up, some to RP. It has something for everyone, just find where you belong .

English is not my first language, sorry about all the language mistakes.

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7 hours ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

hen I asked how to have a normal layer with clothing over skin, I meant how to make it appear higher than the skin. Most normal maps are used to show details above and below a base level. If you try to bake clothing onto the same surface as a skin there's very little chance you'll be able to indicate that the piece of clothing is standing proud of the skin because the base levels are the same; in fact it's likely that valleys will appear lower than the skin. 

You're overthinking the problem. Remember, the main issue is that with the current version of baked mesh, the body's normal maps would be visible through any clothing layers, as if the clothing is painted on. Even just masking out the body normal maps and instead applying a base level (or calculating what would be slightly over the median level) over clothing would, for the most part, solve that.

Ideally I'd love to see a way to smart-bake individual normal and spec maps in a way that works perfectly, I'm not sure how to do that, but even an imperfect method just to allow clothing to be baked to the av mesh like how it works with the system avatar, without looking painted on due to the body spec and normal maps shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

8 hours ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

I agree that wearable clothing shells are entirely possible - in fact that's how Chip Midnight's very early fitted mesh avatar worked. I found that the shells added very little to the rendering load and that in fact an avatar like this could be rendered at a higher framerate than a typical mesh avatar despite technically having a higher polygon count because the mesh structure is so much simpler.

I'm glad we agree. The issue here is that you can only apply one baked texture (or baked set of textures to be specific) to your avatar, meaning you can't have a separate shell devoted to a baked clothing layer. This is definitely an idea worth exploring. In fact, I'd even suggest this would be the best way to do applier based clothing (you know, aside from a new, modern system avatar with improved versions of features we used to enjoy on the old system avatar but are since forgotten by most people, like the ability to have layer based clothing that could be adjusted from skin tight to loose fitting. Really we should not be talking about this because an updated system avatar should have happened simultaneously with the introduction of mesh in the first place.)

8 hours ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

(Incidentally, if you go to the statistics panel and check the actual number of kilotriangles being rendered per frame, you'll see that "alpha'ed out" sections of mesh avatars and clothing layers that are shut off aren't actually drawn in the rendering pass. They have to be downloaded and probably take up memory, etc. but those "switched off" polygons are culled by the viewer.)

SL's single biggest performance drain is already memory bloat, and the memory bloat of at least two, but up to nine 1024x1024 texture maps just sitting there, using up VRAM for no purpose whatsoever, per avatar on screen, is an insane amount of memory bloat by itself, in a 3D environment that is already obscenely wasteful with memory. It's a huge problem and that's why LL's approach to baked textures frustrates me so much. This was their big chance to solve a huge source of memory waste and they passed on it.

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39 minutes ago, Penny Patton said:

You're overthinking the problem. Remember, the main issue is that with the current version of baked mesh, the body's normal maps would be visible through any clothing layers, as if the clothing is painted on. Even just masking out the body normal maps and instead applying a base level (or calculating what would be slightly over the median level) over clothing would, for the most part, solve that.

 

And with the current state of art of human avatars, the big ol' projecting nipples would be too, not to mention Xtreem Cameltoe.

I think you're also overthinking things. Baked on clothing simply isn't going to look good on a highly detailed avatar. I'd rather have baked specular only, get rid of the alpha cuts and use separate shells for the few occasions where texture clothing works rather than waiting to shoehorn in material baking for something that's not going to look that great even if the lighting conditions are right and people have advanced rendering on.
 

 

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8 hours ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

Wear a mesh avatar and start turning pieces-parts on and off. You can see the "KTris per Frame" drop when things are turned off and go back to the previous number when they're turned back on. The rendering complexity won't change. I think this is also related to how many multi-setting mesh objects like multi-position feet don't show the non-textured sections even when "Highlight Transparent" is on. There appears to be a way to make mesh faces completely non-textured when they're created, which you can't do with prims to my knowledge.

I finally got a chance to try this (using alpha cuts on Belleza Jake) and it sure does work this way, and it took me a while to figure out what's going on. Well, partially. I played around with alpha-masking default full-alpha surfaces of another fitted mesh attachment, which defeats "Highlight Transparent", but it still counted in the "KTris per Frame" statistic. Then I set its transparency to 100% (imposing "blended alpha") and suddenly it didn't count toward ktris/fr at all.

Much less successful were my attempts to do this with a standard prim that I attached and tortured into having a ton of tris. It somehow ended up in a weird bi-stable state where most of the time it had the full impact on ktris/fr but occasionally it was as if it were completely detached. I'm too frustrated by the whole thing to try any further right now.

So anyway this is weird and stupid but it could be useful outside the realm of avatars. I mean, all the b!tchin' and moanin' about animating by alpha-flipping mesh geometry may be completely overblown as long as it conforms to this one parlor trick.  Or not. Or maybe some of the time.

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Oh mai gawd :o What an incredibly hurtfull post. *sniffs o.O

I have literally spent hours, no wait, days, no-> weeks on making myself bewdiful. And now I find this post 8-/

Just look at the results of my hard work with mesh below..... You meanie OP!   *runs off crying.....

Goofball_001.png.89b55a02c5354f34ba02f78882428753.png

Edited by Maryanne Solo
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As I understand, mesh must developed outside SL, with professional 3D modeling software. Its professional work. I dont think there is lot of such professionals who leave their jobs and go to SL, to develop the same things, only 100x cheaper. There is not much point to sell at all anything in SL. Better is to sell stuff in RL and just waste this money in SL. 

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At least it makes things more complicated so i´m stuck with my system avatar.

Thinking about the tons of people with low-end PCs not able to see grass and water effects, pointless to render the spots on my avatar ... nvm.

Monti

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8 minutes ago, Ernesto Perez said:

As I understand, mesh must developed outside SL, with professional 3D modeling software. Its professional work. 

Anything significant needs external tools, that's true, but Blender is free and fine for almost everything. It has a willfully esoteric UI and a non-trivial learning curve, but its demands are far from "professional" really. I find it painfully tedious to use, though -- as is prim building, for that matter, except that it's done in-world, like an avatar superpower to sling geometry around.

Thing is, some people seem to enjoy 3D modelling with external tools enough to keep doing it in exchange for whatever recognition and modest income it generates in SL. Not my thing, but maybe only because it's so much more gratifying to script.

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6 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

 but Blender is free

In RL there isnt such problem - software cost too much. In RL dont have "no modify", "no copy", "no transfer". From this point of view SL is very secure system, more secure than most firewalls in real life.....ok, im joking......But my point was - most SL users dont want to know nothing about when things start becoming too complex. In SL exist beautiful software pieces,  worked outside SL, installed directly into computer. Like Pikkubot or SIM scanners. I have also all this stuff installed. But 3D modelling is evan mode harder work and most users dont want to hear nothing about. LSL script is normal, because its not script, not interpretive, its normal compiled and linked C language (I wish it better be C++). But I think 3D modelling is harder work than C language. C language is more common. 

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1 hour ago, Ernesto Perez said:

But I think 3D modelling is harder work than C language. C language is more common. 

Yeah, for sure, although many folks enjoyed prim building which is much less common than using external 3D modelling tools -- but prims certainly are easier to learn from scratch. And the SL build tool needs to be used even to manipulate imported mesh, so... even less reason for pros to bother with SL, I guess.

(LSL is easy enough to learn if one knows C -- really, after the first few languages, another one comes easy -- but still, LSL is at best a distant, red-headed, illegitimate relative of C.)

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I seen some SL alternatives where is in use some real interpretive script language. I hate those laguages. I know only assembler, C and C++ and nothing more and even dont interest. This is why I like SL.  But why Linden dont write some 3D modelling tool? There should be more logical if SL have its own 3D tools for installing into computer. Then I think I plan to learn it also myself. But some 3rd party 3D modelling tools dont get interest, they are from too different world. Also I readed this mesh must be develop professionally. When its not perfectly developed, then you rather loose prims than saving. I just seen one very nice castle in marketplace, "Red Queen". It was like my previous castle (not my production), but more details and fewer prims. It was nice. It was half mesh. I certainly buy it.

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Let us solve this problem for Linden Labs then.

Buy Hexagon 3d software out. (now defunct?) Update it and sell it for a realistic price in the real world.

Have an entry level of the program either free or very very cheap for SL users.

And give me the full version for free because it was my idea. <3 \0/ yay! 

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2 hours ago, Maryanne Solo said:

Let us solve this problem for Linden Labs then.

Buy Hexagon 3d software out. (now defunct?) Update it and sell it for a realistic price in the real world.

Have an entry level of the program either free or very very cheap for SL users.

And give me the full version for free because it was my idea. <3 \0/ yay! 

Or here's a crazy thought....

Why don't labs just keep their prim system, optimise the prim mesh (yes, I have a mesh box created externally that is identical to the prim box yet still is more optimised than the prim box) and simply add commands like Boolean etc and when done the relevant unused faces are removed. That way people can still create in world and create, rather than a linkset object, a fully meshed object that is a genuine 1 object. Sure it wont be as good as a external program but at least is brings back somewhat optimised in world building. I bet you the response would be no... to hard...no one wants that.

The fact of the matter is the program simply is outdated and to complicated to make it more user friendly for those that want to build in world. Not to mention sl is still catering to extremely low end hardware, something no other gaming company would do and this negatively effects second life moving forward.

Since the topic was about in part long load times of things etc. Lets look at textures even. Why cant labs make it so that texture size is relative to the texture face size. Have a small finger ring... sl downsamples the texture to a max 8x8 texture on it. Have a large 64x64 background scene sl allows max 1024 texture on it.

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25 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

Since the topic was about in part long load times of things etc. Lets look at textures even. Why cant labs make it so that texture size is relative to the texture face size. Have a small finger ring... sl downsamples the texture to a max 8x8 texture on it. Have a large 64x64 background scene sl allows max 1024 texture on it. 

Wouldn't that wreck huds, where you want to look at detail close up so you can tell where to click to navigate the menus?

Edited by DaisyCalderwood

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1 hour ago, DaisyCalderwood said:

Wouldn't that wreck huds, where you want to look at detail close up so you can tell where to click to navigate the menus?

I would say depends on the hud, but how much detail do you really need on a hud apart from small icons etc? an emoji is less than 8x8 texture in some instances and still renders fine on a screen on a website. Hud should be no difference. Generally the smaller the space the smaller you need texture wise. Most games only use 1024 textures for large objects where you will notice pixilation. Well made UV Mapped textures being the unique in that a 1024x1024 UV mapped texture with normal and specular will be enough to completely texture an entire body.. head, body, feet, hands, nails, eyes, beard, skin and some times clothing clothing. Why should SL be so different? Why cant hud makers create their hud in mesh and apply a single uv mapped texture on it?

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So far I've resisted going 'mesh' for my avatar. I do have some mesh clothing and some mesh hairstyles.  The thing about mesh bodies is that while detailing is finer and joint articulation is mostly smoother, they don't automatically give the creator (or user if the body is 'mod') a better sense of proportion or realism.  There are just as many unrealistically shaped avatars in these days of mesh as there were beforehand.  Now I know that we can be whatever we like in SL and maybe some people are happy with a female shape that is twice the scale below the waist as above (or indeed a male shape that is vice versa), but to me that somehow defeats the point of getting a mesh body in the first place.

At last people seem to be catching on to the idea of reducing avatar complexity since the introduction of jelly dolls.  Maybe LL could extend the mutual benefits of reducing complexity so that land owners could set a complexity limit for people visiting this land, so that we could see TP message like "Your avatar complexity exceeds the limit set by the landowner".  

I've tried demo mesh bodies but now I'm going to wait until LL introduces the feature where you can apply system textures like skins directly, like was announced recently before deciding whether to take the plunge.

 

Edited by Conifer Dada
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Most SL veterans have steadily co-evolved with the development of the SL body. But imagine the noobs!

I pity the noobs that are trying to wear the systems clothing in their noobie inventory. And when it says'(worn)' in there, they can't see it, because they have some default SL mesh shape on. Imagine the frustration and confusion to find out why a clothing piece says '(worn)' in your inventory but you can't see it.

The SL avatar has turned into a bloated beast over the course of years. It's basically a system's mesh body with its Linden Hair tucked back in the skull, the system's skirt rolled up around the waist, the body and eyeballs turned invisible by adding a full-body transparant texture. Then, there is a layer of high-poly body mesh consisting of dozens of linked mesh body parts, each divided into 8 texture faces, the majority of which are also set to invisible, to prevent them from sticking though your high-poly mesh clothing. That's literally millions of triangle turned to invisible. Yet, ironically, your graphics card, as well as all other people's graphics cards, still have to calculate them all.

[Update - I wrote this in another thread, but I'll paste it here too.] 

I'd wear a mesh head if it weren't for the lack of rigged points and flexibility, and, especially the lack of decent eye movement. It grieves me to say so, but current mesh heads are all dead mannequin doll heads to me. They all have a basic (Caucasian, I dare say) shape. There's some wiggle room, but most people literally look like they're from the same inbred family. Even though the SL system's heads are cruder, lack detail and materials options, they are still more expressive and show way more character and variation. The current, horribly designed and resource-guzzling HUDs* and dependencies on costly add-ons (want to make your eyes look less robotic and turn slightly left or right? Pay L$ 1500 extra) are also a reason I haven't joined the handsome band wagon yet. It's not that I'm stingy. Over the course of years, I repeatedly went beyond trying demos and spent thousands of L$ on mesh heads. They are all gathering dust in a dark corner of my inventory.

Mesh bodies are the same. Set the body fat slider a little higher than 0 (zero) and suffer a see-through ring of invisibileness around your neck. Yes, I asked about the neck problems in groups, fora, instruction notecards, tried neck correctors. It boils down to zero tolerance for body fat. Want to make your feet larger? With a lot of mesh bodies: impossibru. Etc, etc.

* Some mesh head HUDs cause my viewer to warn me about exceeding my graphics card texture memory limit. I have friggin' 11 Gb of texture memory in my 1080 Ti.

Edited by Arduenn Schwartzman

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I was there when mesh hit. It was a interesting time, having to switch back to the official viewer until Firestorm updated, and having someone ask why I was a donut when I was wearing a freebie werewolf Avi.

  • I miss copy/mod hair, which I not only adjusted for different heads, but also took out sculpt lumps for, say, hats or masks, shuffled them around for hairstyles I couldn't find, et al.
  • I don't miss having to shuffle a gazillion prims for each body (seriously, my Clothing folder has a resize section, for each avi I've ever put clothes on). And gods help you if it's no-copy, if I buy clothes from Bare Rose, I only buy the mesh ones because they don't need adjusting.
  • I am thrilled to see how far makers can go in designing new avatars. I don't think the little manticore is even possible pre-mesh with out a lot of AO and sculpt fumbling that could break with a spot of lag or sitting on the wrong thing.
  • I am not thrilled with the forced conformity of the more human avatars, starting with the Standard Sizing, which is notoriously unkind to those who wanted thier guy bodies to be a bit more slim, up to the mesh body market where it's now impossible to find clothes for the lady system body (especially with one ladybody dominating the market, causing the lazier content creators to make stuff ONLY for that body). At least you can still find stuff for the classic guy avatar.

You know, I worried about not getting a decent avatar simply by shaking my inventory and seeing what pops out, but I made something new the other day, so I stopped worrying.

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