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[GUIDE] What's a skybox?

Torley Linden


Ah, skyboxes, a special part of Second Life culture alongside other product types like animation overrides and terrain extenders. Not only can our avatars defy gravity, our buildings can, too. That's right, you can rez (create) something in the air and it'll just stick there. Somewhat self-explanatory skyboxes have been with us since near the beginning of Second Life, and if you're new, you're bound to run across them sooner or later, even if you don't realize it (by checking your height coordinate).

But what do you need to know, and how are skyboxes relevant to you? And hey, how do you get up there, anyway?


Whether you're looking to make your castle in the clouds or purely want to explore that extravagant third dimension, there's more help in...

The Guide o' Skyboxes


As always, let me know what's missing from this guide that could make it awesomer, or go ahead and edit the wiki help page (

). Your suggestions will help spread cultural knowledge that future generations of Residents shall benefit from!


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One handy tip: When building a skybox, start by placing a slender, tall prim at each corner of your parcel on the ground. Then edit the Z-height of each of those prims, to send them up to the altitude you'll be building at. This will give you a visible reference up there, for where the corners of your parcel are, so you don't accidentally overlap your neighbor's land.

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Why is a mouse when it spins?

Because the higher, the fewer.

-- Children's riddle.


The higher your skybox, the fewer neighbors you will see... at least until you reach that zone near 4096 meters where everyone else who's trying to put their skybox out of sight of the neighbors ends up.

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Another handy tip, if you're bored of an evening, try exploring other peoples skyboxes. Just fly up really high and turn your draw distance up. Hours and hours of good clean family fun.

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I've never been able to rez a prim "in the air." I have to have a surface - another prim, or the ground - to create the prim on, or to drag one onto from my inventory.

The easiest way is to be on the ground, create/rez a platform prim to work on there, then sit on the edge of it. Once seated, edit the prim's z-axis to whatever height you like, and you'll move with the prim to the desired altitude.

Make sure you're wearing a "flight feather" if you move the prim very high, since when you stand up there's a very good chance you'll have nothing under your feet - and you want to be able to at least fly back up to stand on your platform.

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Don't get too excited about that Cornell Box, Adeon ... it'd be a simple matter to apply pre-rendered textures that simulate the correct lighting. But my eyebrows shot up the moment he rezzed that, too.

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I did make an edit (after reading all the recommended pages). I know: the sheer effrontery of it!

(I put an explanation of the reasoning behind the edit on the Discussion page.)


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Edit--I made another addition (to emphasize the need for a flight feather, alluded to in the Privacy section but possibly not clear to new Residents; and to mention the wisdom of making a Landmark while inside the Skybox).

I don't mean to be seen as meddling with the page--it's just that I was fascinated by Skyboxes when I first registered for Second Life and recall very clearly the things that I had trouble finding information about!

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I don't know if it's interesting add to the wiki document: "if your skybox is under 400 meters will be shoon on the World Map (and perhaps and may cover oher structures" (or something similar... and in correct English LOL).

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U know, i tried the trick, and it works until i stand fro the chair, the floor and me go down.

why do i fall?

how to make the flor stay on air. thanks for how may help

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Irene Muni had written: "if your skybox is under 400 meters will be shoon on the World Map..."

Torley (I'd guess) had already included this sentence in the "how high" section:

Please consider placing your skybox at a height of at least 500 meters, or it could be seen by others from the ground.

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  • Lindens

These comments are why I love being here! There are great tips here I'll link to from the wiki help page.

@Digital Thanks! I believe in showing actual examples to inspire  Residents' creativity. As credited in the guide, the skybox is made by Trin Trevelion, it can be bought on the Marketplace.

@Ceera That's a good thought to mark the boundaries. Like using chalk on grass, only, well, more Second Lifey.

@Argent Maybe this calls for a statistical distribution of skybox heights.

@Inhandra Thanx!

@ninjafoo The things I've found doing that are rather surprising. o.O

@Ghosty Yeah, that's current "expected behavior".

@Adeon  and @Seth That's exactly what I was going for — I was playing with  prototype global illumination lately and... things are getting closer. I  still crash out a lot, tho.


@Ponsonby  I wish more people would make meaningful meddles to wiki pages. So  THANK YOU for sharing your enthusiasm and personal experiences.

@Irene That's another good mention to crossover to the Limits page. I swear, every Second Life Resident should have that Limits page close by, it inevitably gets referred to soner or later.

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Just to add to this Guilde , theres also tools that allow you to just sit down or use that shoot you in to the sky and rez a platform at a given highted.

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How close should a skybox be rezzed in a mature region to a skybox owned by another landowner or tenant on neigboring parcels?

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