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Hiding a City & Raising the Water Level (over 100m)

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Hi everyone, 

I am facing an odd challenge with my SIM today. I am making a Machinima projects that requires two sets:

1. A full, TALL, modern City

2. AN ONLY ISLAND in the middle of nowhere with only water as far as the eye can see. 

I have already built the city and some buildings over 100 meters. My plan was to simply raise the water level to hide it all once I get to the island scene, but just now am I realizing that SL's water limit restricts that. Now I am stuck with the tops of a bunch of buidlings sticking out when I raise the water to the max level. It would be such a pain to have to edit this! 

Is there a relatively simple way to raise the water level above 100? I've looked into heightmaps, but they seem beyond my skills. 

Perhaps it is possible to raise the ground temporarily so that my city is underneath (I know Avatars won't be able to access, which is fine) and would this fix my problem?

Many thanks for any help you can offer. 

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Even if you could raise the water level on your own region high ehough to drown your city, that water level would only affect your own region.  The water level on adjacent regions or in the Great Void Beyond would still be the same, so you wouldn't have "only water as far as the eye can see" (unless your eye can't see very far, of course).

Wouldn't it be easier to just take the city scene to your inventory as a coalesced object when you don't need it?


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Hi there, 

Thank you for responding. I own a private island/region without any other visible regions around, so I have before been able to create the "water as far as the eye can see" effect, while hiding other sets underneath the water. I once recreated the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan with no problems. 

This is the first time I've encountered the water, height issue since my city is so tall now. 

Because multiple Avatars worked on the city and permissions are all over the place, it would indeed be a pain to have to pack up into inventories and then replace all the city pieces. I may not have a choice, I suppose :(

If anyone has any other alternate solution, I'd be happy to hear. Many thanks, again. 



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  • 3 weeks later...


On that page scroll down to: "Notes for Creating Height Field Maps for Second Life"

There you can find info about raw-file. There is also sample raw-file:

Channel Number Gray Value Range Description
1(red) 0-255 Height Field
2(green) 0-255 Height Multiply Factor
3(blue) 0-255 Water Height of sim in Meters

Notes on Channels

  • Channel 1(red) is the raw terrain heightfield data. In its simplest form it represents the ground height in meters of every point on the map, where black (grey level 0) is 0 meters high and white (grey level 255) is 255 meters high. However, the height of the terrain is often modified further by values in channel 2.
  • Channel 2 (green) is a grayscale map that is used as a multiplier to scale the data in channel 1, resulting in the final height of each point on the map. The formula used to combine the 2 channels is: original height (channel 1) * multiplier (channel 2) / 128. A few examples will help to illustrate their interaction.
    • 32 -- Divides pixel values by 4. The resultant elevations will be 32 / 128 = 1/4 of the original
    • 64 -- Divides pixel values by 2. The resultant elevations will be 64 / 128 = 1/2 of the original
    • 128 -- No effect : 128 /128 = 1 times the original.
    • 255 -- Multiplies pixel values by 2. The resultant elevations will be twice that of the original : 255 /128 is about 2.


  • Channel 3 (blue) is a gray value that sets the water height of the sim in meters. A sim can only have one water height, so fill the entire channel with one value. The default water level found in Second Life is 20 meters. This is the level of all "void" water, as well as the water level on the vast majority of existing sims. The water level can be set to other values on a per sim basis, but this should only be done in special cases, since it leaves a noticeable vertical gap between sims whose visible water edges abut but are not at the same level. The water channel is not affected by the multiply channel, so the maximum height of water is 255.
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