Torley’s tips weeks 4 and 5

Tip of the week #4: How to use beacons and highlighs

General tip

When you are in a menu with a ========= at the top, you can tear it off into its own movable window.

Beacons and highlights

The various beacons (3-D cross-hairs) appear under view menu; these will help you find specific kinds of objects (including griefing objects that are spewing particles).

When you turn on the highlight beacons under the view menu, you won’t see any change on the screen unless you are in the edit mode, or use View > Beacons Always ON

Types of objects:

  • scripted items with touch only: red beacon (shows only scripted objects that activate when touched)
  • items with scripts in them (shows ALL scripted objects)
  • physical objects: green beacon
  • sound sources: yellow beacon (show whenever the sound is playing)
  • particle sources: blue beacon

Highlights are an alternative to beacons, makes objects slightly red (but not sound sources). You can use either or both.

In Edit > Preferences > Graphics you can change the width of the beacon (currently only up to 10).

When you turn on beacons, in the lower right corner of the viewer there will be a list of the beacons that are currently on.

Dealing with griefing objects

You can hide particles several ways: In the View menu, click “Hide Particles”, in the Client menu > Rendering > Types > Particles (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-=, CMD-OPT-SHIFT-= on Mac). [Torley didn’t mention it, but you can also turn particles to 0 in your preferences.]

If an object is spamming particles, use the View menu to turn on the beacons for particle sources while hiding particles, and you will more easily find the griefing object and can return it to owner (assuming you are on land where you have the power to do that).

Tip of the week #5: Useful “Show” options in the Tool menu

General Tip

World > Force Sun > is a local effect. You can set the sun on your viewer to Sunrise, Noon, Sunset, or Midnight. No one else will see this change in the lighting.

Show Hidden Selection

Create a cube as an example (easier to see if you blank the texture and make it gray).

When editing, a yellow glow shows the edges of objects. “Show Hidden Selection” will show all the edges, even the ones inside the object or on the back.

Show Light Radius for Selection

When editing an object you can make it into a light source in the Features tab (check the box); you can also choose the color of the light and three other variables.

To see the effect of making an object a light source, you must be using Nearby Local Lights in Preferences > Advanced Graphics (whether you can see this depends on your computer’s graphics card). It’s easier to see if you use World > Force Sun > Midnight.

Show light radius for selection shows you the sphere where the light will reach (the actual effect is affected by falloff).

You can also select objects owned by other people to see the light radius.

Show Selection Beam

Default is on; these are the dots that appear between you and objects you are editing. These dots are a particle effect, and you can change the dots’ color in Preferences > General > Color For My Effects. This is a viewer-side control: Disabling it will hide everyone’s beams on your screen but everyone else will still see your beam if they still have it enabled.

Torley’s tips toned down

If you prefer information in a concise form, I’ve watched Torley Linden’s video “Tip of the week” so you don’t have to. Here in brief are the salient points of the first three weeks (with links to the videos on

  1. Turning off typing animation and sound
    • Ctrl-Alt-D (Opt-Ctrl-D on Mac) to open client menu. Go to Client>Debug settings. Type in “PlayTypingAnim” and set it to “FALSE.”
  2. Moving camera further and better
    • Disable camera constraints is an option under the Client menu (Ctrl-Alt-C). Alt-click and zoom will work at far greater distances from your avatar. This does not yet persist across sessions, but it will in a future release of the client.
    • Limit select distance is another option under the Client menu which will allow you to select objects at a distance.
    • Camera zoom time: Client menu>Debug Settings>ZoomTime will let you change how fast your camera changes position (for instance when you press ESC to bring the camera back to its default position) from a cinematic pan to instantaneous (0 seconds).
  3. Interface tricks
    • You can move minimized windows; the client will remember where they were when you closed them; they will snap to each other. The minimized edit window will show ghosted images of some of the edit buttons if you move it; this is a known bug.
    • Pie menu: If you right-click and hold, you can move over a slice and release to select the option.
    • You can close all windows using an option under the file menu or Ctrl-Shft-W (Cmd-Shft-W on Macs).
    • IM tabs: Alt-left arrow or Alt-right arrow to move across tabs (Option-arrow on Macs), or click and hold to scroll across; if you tab into the contacts tab, you will then be limited to tabbing between groups and friends.

Go vote for Natalia

I use an RSS aggregator (Bloglines) to track quite a few SL blogs and websites. One of my favorites is Natalia’s Second Life Diary Blog. Natalia combines step-by-step tutorials (mostly female fashion), site-seeing, and delightfully low-key role-playing narrative. I encourage you to check it out.

And if you’re so inclined, vote for her in the Miss Second Life contest:

The Miss Second Life Finals is this Sun Feb 25, from 9:00am-11:00am SL/PST. If you are around a computer, please vote for me! The website is (The voting will be between 09:30am-10:30am SL/PST). Just select Rank 1st under my picture and click the Vote button. That’s it! You dont need to be in Second Life or even have a Second Life account to vote. But the votes *MUST* be cast between 9:30am-10:30am SL/PST to be counted! Thank you so much in advance! 🙂

From: Day 152: Redemption Through Shopping

Blasting past three million

There’s been some slowdown noted on the SL blog, and on the front page, the resident statistics say there are now 3,025,109 residents, 1,014,117 of whom logged were online in the last 60 days, and 27,724 in-world right now. I haven’t noticed any major lag.

It should be noted that that’s 2,000,000 signups in the last two months.

First Look viewer

I’m using the First Look viewer, which is a test version of the SL client software that runs on the live grid (in contrast to test viewers that run on the beta grid). And it is great so far. Seems much faster and smoother.