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    Editing terrain

    Jeremy Linden

    Land owners or members of groups with the Always Allow Edit Terrain ability assigned to their role can edit terrain. Members in a role with this ability can edit terrain on a group-owned parcel.

    Important: Assigning Always Allow Edit Terrain to a group role gives the members in that role full access to the Edit Terrain tool. This includes the Abandon Land option.

    Before you begin: environment considerations

    What type of environment are you making?

    Simplify the process of creating terrain by planning properly in advance. Creating and loading textures will be much easier and faster, and you'll have greater continuity and visual appeal.

    What are the slope extremes?

    Steep slopes can have undesirable effects on terrain textures, depending on their complexity, contrast, and saturation. A texture might look great on subtle, rolling hills but terrible on more extreme slopes. Be aware that textures will "stretch" or "smear" on steep slopes, and more experimentation may be necessary to make them look good.

    Are there adjacent regions?

    Crossing region boundaries can be a tricky situation, so it's always best to develop adjacent regions in tandem. If you own adjacent regions, the job of matching texture sets is straight forward. However, if someone else owns a region adjacent to yours, it's a good idea to ask the owner for copies of the textures being used on it.

    Practice, Practice, Practice!

    Before trying this tool on your own land, teleport here, where Torley Linden has set up a Terraform Box. Test the Edit Terrain tool and become comfortable with it, then head to your own land to terraform with confidence.

    Creating terrain textures

    The Edit Terrain tool allows you to create many different textures for your land.

    To access the Edit Terrain tool, right-click on your land and select Edit Terrain. This opens a tool with many different options for terraforming your land.


    The Edit Terrain tool contains seven land edit options:

    • Select Land - Use this option to select the land area you want to edit. Click and drag your mouse on the land. The selected area shows outlined in yellow. If you do not select part of your land, the tool defaults to the whole parcel area.
    • Flatten - Makes the selected area flat.
    • Raise - Raises the selected area.
    • Lower - Lowers the selected area.
    • Smooth - Smooths gradients to create a natural slope of the selected area.
    • Roughen - This option gives the land bumps and ditches.
    • Revert - Undoes terraforming based on the terrain's baked shape, or baseline terrain elevation. Several clicks may be necessary to return land to its original shape. 
    Note: Mainland regions can be raised/lowered by +/- 4m. Private Regions can be raised/lowered by +/- 100m.


    These Bulldozer sliders allow you to adjust the size and strength of your edit tool.

    • Size - Adjust the slider to determine the size of the area affected by your bulldozer Choose the size of your land edit tool.
    • Strength - Adjust the slider to determine how subtely or radically the landscape is transformed.
    • Apply - Use this button to apply your edit option to the whole selected area.

    Show land owners

    Select World > Show > Land Owners to color code the land according to who owns it:

    • Reddish brown is land owned by others.
    • Green is your land.
    • Aqua is land owned by a group of which you are a member.
    • Grey is public land (rare).
    • Purple is land in the auction system.

    Buy Land

    The Edit Terrain tool provides the option to purchase land set for sale. Click this button to open the land purchase confirmation Window. The confirmation window provides information about any tier changes that might be incurred by making this land purchase. For more information about finding land to purchase, see Buying land.

    Abandon Land

    Land which is abandoned immediately reverts ownership to Governor Linden. Use caution with this option and keep in mind that you do not get Linden dollars in compensation for abandoned land.


    You may want to break a parcel of land into multiple pieces, for example if you want to sell part of it. Select the section of your land by pressing down the left mouse button and dragging to create a rectangle around the land you want to subdivide.Then click the Subdivide button.


    If you want to connect two or more pieces of land that you own, drag a rectangle that overlaps each of the land parcels you want to join and click the Join button to combine them into one. You can now use the About Land tool to set the features for this new piece of land. Please note that you can't join land across region boundaries.

    Edited by Jeremy Linden

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    User Feedback

    AFAIK the "About Land" paragraph is outdated. There is no option for "Edit Terrain" in About Land window ( Second Life 3.3.0 (251182) Mar 15 2012 11:29:12 (Second Life Release) ).

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