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  • How to move a build

    This article  explains how to move a build, such as a house or store, from one parcel of land to another. It assumes that you have camera movement and object editing skills. Take your time, enjoy the videos, and take care with the fine details so nothing gets lost. We focus here mainly on moving large, complex builds, but the basic principles apply to builds of any size.

    Important: Most of the following video tutorials were filmed in Second Life® Viewer 1.23 or newer. You'll need this version to see certain features, such as primitive count (now called land capacity), as-presented.

    Before you move

    • Verify that the destination parcel is at least the same size in square meters as the source parcel. A parcel's land capacity is tied to its dimensions. If your source parcel has filled up its land capacity and the new parcel is smaller, you won't be able to fit all your objects on your new parcel.
    • Familiarize yourself with the shape of both the source and destination parcels. The transition will be easier If they are similarly shaped. Likewise, observe the terrain — for example, if the source is craggy and the destination is flat, you should terraform the destination to match. Otherwise you may need to reconsider how certain objects are positioned.

    Record your About Land settings

    Each parcel you own has different settings; if you have multiple parcels, each one's settings should be recorded individually.

    There are a number of ways to record settings. You can use your operating system's built-in screen capture feature, such as the Snipping Tool on Windows Vista or Grab on Mac; the disadvantage is that you must re-type the text. You can also use an external text editor like Wordpad on Windows or TextEdit on Mac.

    If you find this too cumbersome, use Second Life's built-in notecards:

    1. Click the Inventory icon on the toolbar to open the INVENTORY window.
    2. Click the + button at the bottom left and select New Notecard
    3. Right-click the New Note in your inventory to rename it with your parcel name, so you can easily find it later.
    4. Double-click the note to open it. It's a simple text editor.

    Once you've decided whether you want to record your parcel settings in a notecard or an external text editor, make sure you open the tool you've chosen so that you can paste into it when ready. Then:

    1. Move your avatar to the desired parcel. You'll see its name in the middle of the menu bar.
    2. Right-click the the parcel and select About Land.
    3. Click the GENERAL tab (if it isn't already selected).
    4. With your mouse, select the parcel Name.
    5. Use Edit > Copy to copy the name (or the shortcut Ctrl-C).
    6. Click in the notecard or external text editor.
    7. Use Edit > Paste (Ctrl-V).

    Repeat the copy-and-paste steps for all parcel settings you wish to transfer. Note that a few, such as the OPTIONS tab's "Landing Point," will not apply to the new parcel (in this case, unless it's located at the same relative region coordinates).


    To make it easier for you, here is a template you can copy-and-paste directly into a notecard or text file and fill out. Adapt it to suit your needs.

    Tips for moving your objects

    Preparatory advice

    Proficiency at moving your camera is extremely important. Second Life objects are 3D, and it's easy to miss something obscured behind a wall when viewed only at one angle. If you're uncertain, learn more about Camera (point of view) controls before proceeding.

    This video shows how to select objects, either by Shift-clicking on them or dragging a selection rectangle:

    How to select objects from Torley on Vimeo.

    To simplify the process of maneuvering and taking your objects:

    1. Select Me > Preferences.
    2. Open the Graphics tab and click Advanced.
    3. Make sure the slider next to Draw distance is set to at least 128 m (the default).
      Tip: If you have a very powerful computer, you can increase the draw distance up to 512 m, but make sure performance is smooth — a low, choppy frame-rate makes it difficult to select objects.
    4. Under Mesh detail, set the Objects detail to High by moving the slider to the far right.
    5. To improve performance while moving, you can uncheck Atmospheric Shaders and set Water Reflections to Minimal. A more basic look is often easier to work with.
    6. Click OK to save settings.

    If you want to see where your parcel ends and others begin:

    1. Select World > Show > Property Lines to show your parcel's boundaries.
    2. Select World > Show > Land Owners to add a colored overlay over parcels. Parcels you own are green; parcels owned by groups of which you're a member are blue; and other parcels are red.

    Also, in the Tools menu:

    1. Select Tools > Enable Select Only My Objects.
      Tip: If you're moving a collaborative build, contact your co-builders and show them this guide to make sure you have a mutual understanding of what needs to be done.
    2. If you're having problems selecting larger objects, disable Build > Options > Select By Surrounding. Now your selection rectangle selects an object as soon as a small amount is within its range.
    3. If object outlines make it hard to tell what you're selecting, disable Build > Options > Show Hidden Selection to speed up performance. However, you may want to leave this on if you're selecting a building with objects in it, such as a house with lots of furniture.

    Tools menu options for selecting & moving objects from Torley on Vimeo.

    Advanced menu options

    We do not officially support these features, but they can help you immensely if you've practiced. If unsure, familiarize yourself in a public sandbox region to avoid destroying your content.

    1. Learn how to enable the Advanced menu.
    2. Enable Advanced > Disable Camera Constraints (not needed in 1.23 and later) to increase the distance you can zoom your camera out. This is useful for getting the big picture on a big build.
    3. Disable Advanced > Limit Select Distance to select objects that are further away, making it easier to select objects on a very large parcel.
    4. If you have underwater or partially submerged objects, disable Advanced > Rendering Types > Water to hide the water so you can select them without being obscured.
    5. If needed, disable object-object occlusion. Check Show Develop Menu under Advanced, then select Develop > Rendering and uncheck Object-Object Occlusion.
      Tip:Technically speaking, occlusion culling boosts performance by not rendering objects you can't see based on an octree, but in some cases it makes comprehensively selecting objects more difficult.  Disabling occlusion culling degrades performance, so remember to re-enable it after the move is done.

    Tips for optimizing your objects before taking them

    • Be sure to unlock all objects before taking them! Rezzing even a single locked object along with many unlocked objects prevents the entire selection from being moved at once — the positioning arrows won't show up. This may result in deselecting the whole batch. To unlock objects:
      1. Enter Edit mode (Build > Select Build Tool > Edit Tool or Ctrl-3).
      2. Draw a selection rectangle over as many of your objects as you can.
      3. Click the Object tab in the Tools window.
      4. If there are any objects that are locked, Locked will be checked but grayed. Click Locked once to lock every object. Wait a few moments if it's a large number of objects; then click Locked again. If every object in the selection is locked, the checkmark is solid and only requires one check to unlock all objects.
      5. Select the objects again to verify that they're all unlocked. The Locked checkbox must be unchecked.
      6. If you didn't already select all objects on your property, repeat the steps above to ensure everything is unlocked. Consecutive passes help catch anything (like a lamp in a small room) you may have missed on the first go.

    Unlock all objects in a selection before moving from Torley on Vimeo.

    • Link as much as you can. This is especially important if you created the objects and/or have full permissions to them. You can safely do this on most basic structures in close proximity, like walls and roofs. Linking makes it more convenient for you to reposition objects after rezzing them.
    Important: Don't link different scripted objects, because that may mangle their functionality — for instance, linking a TV set to a couch may confuse which does what.
    • Give your new linksets sensible names. Objects named "Object" in your inventory are hopelessly confusing because you need to rez them to see what they are — a waste of both time and space. Name each object descriptively before taking it.
    • Use an object rezzing system. By using clever scripting, tools like Rez-Faux, Ilse's Big Build Rezzer, and others on the Second Life Marketplace let you package a collection of objects and reposition them neatly upon rezzing. Each one's specific usage varies, and they only work if the objects are moddable.

    Linden trees

    Linden trees are the system-provided foliage that is listed in your inventory's Library > Objects > Trees, plants and grasses folder. They have a number of tricky caveats to them, such as not being highlighted when selected. They also can't be linked to objects, making them even tougher to transport, although they can be included in a coalesced object. Watch this video to understand the caveats:

    The trouble with Linden trees from Torley on Vimeo.

    Invisible objects

    Don't forget about these! Objects like visitor stat counters and ambient sound generators may be invisible. Some of these are scripted to show upon command, so consult the documentation for each one. If you can't remember where you left them, Advanced > Highlighting and Visibility > Highlight Transparent shows them. Similarly but to a lesser extent, Highlight Transparent also helps find partially invisible objects, like gradient light rays and textured glass windows.

    Advanced > Highlighting and Visibility > Cheesy Beacon can locate other special kinds of objects. Learn more.



    There are some special things to know for moving builds that are high in the sky, often called "skyboxes":

    • It may be easier to select your skybox than a build on the ground. Since there tends to be less clutter the further up you go, you may be able to see your build as an isolated collection instead of one very close to neighboring builds.
    • You can't easily see parcel boundaries when you're thousands of meters up. Get the center coordinates for both the source and destination parcels:
      1. Be on the ground.
      2. Move your avatar to the center of the parcel.
      3. Look at the middle of the Viewer menu bar for the first two coordinates. For example, "Yendra 34, 54".
      4. Note this and fly up.
    • Get a flight assist. This allows you to fly high without your avatar sinking back down. If you've built in the sky before, you probably already have one. If not, search on the Marketplace.
    • You'll probably need to rez a guide platform on the ground. You can't rez objects mid-air by simply drag-and-dropping them from your Inventory. Unless you have special tools, you need to rez them near existing objects in the sky. Here's how:
      1. Rez a cube near the center of your destination parcel.
      2. Resize it to 10x10x0.5 m or whatever fits your needs. You may prefer to rez multiple prims so that you have a rough idea where your borders are. (You can also tell by looking at the menu bar: if the info changes to a neigboring parcel's as you fly or walk, you've obviously traveled beyond the limits.)
      3. Sit on this prim.
      4. Right-click the prim and select Edit.
      5. Under the Object tab, change Position Z to the desired height of your skybox and press Enter. This will be near the lowest or "baseline" height upon which your skybox will be rezzed. You will also be transported into the sky almost instantly.
      6. Click the Stand button towards the bottom of your screen.
      7. Try dragging a test object (not your skybox) from inventory. Notice how the cursor changes to show you can rez when you position it on top of another object. Practice this at least a few times.
      Tip: Follow the general rezzing advice described below, but keep in mind that your parcel boundaries aren't easily visible in the sky.

    Practice taking objects

    Reassembling pieces into the "real thing" is like a jigsaw, so you may want to sketch out an organizational strategy.

    1. Clean your inventory's Objects folder. This is where new objects you take end up, so it's a good idea to drag other stuff out of the way into a separate folder or sub-folder.
    2. Enter Edit mode: either right-click on an object and select Edit or use Build > Select Build Tool > Edit Tool.
    3. Right-click an object to test. You should see its outline highlighted (yellow for root prim, blue for all others).
    4. Click and drag to select multiple objects.
    5. Alternatively, try holding the Shift key and clicking multiple objects.
    6. The Edit Tool window says how many objects are selected and how many prims (primitive, single objects) are within them.
    7. Try to keep your selection batches small. You can't select more than 4,000 prims because more than this is highly likely to result in error. Learn more about why.
      Note: Selecting many objects slows performance because all of their outlines need to be rendered. In addition, rezzing many prims into a region at once causes significant slowdown, decreasing reliability.
    8. Rez a couple of cubes or a small bunch of other objects you don't care about and try selecting and taking them all at once.
    9. You'll see them appear in your inventory with a special "stack of blocks" (commonly referred to by some as a "broken Rubik's cube") icon. This is a coalesced object.

    Difference between 1-prim, linked, & coalesced objects from Torley on Vimeo.

    Beware of coalesced object caveats

    Coalesced objects are useful but have a number of potential problems including both perceived and actual content loss. As handy as they can be for complex builds, minimize coalesced object use unless you have a lot of practice with them.

    Take your objects

    Are you ready? The big moment is here. Hopefully you have practiced and are familiar by now with taking and rezzing objects from one location to another. Here are the steps you repeat for each object or coalesced set of objects:

    1. Enter Edit mode: either right-click on an object and select Edit or use Build > Select Build Tool > Edit Tool.
    2. Click and drag or Shift-click nearby related objects.
    3. Move your camera around the objects to make sure you haven't left out any important parts. If you have, reselect or Shift-click to add more objects.
    4. Once you've made a comprehensive selection, right-click and select Take.
    5. Wait a few moments (longer if you've selected 1,000s of prims); the objects should all disappear.
      Tip: For the first few times at least, you may want to open your inventory's Objects folder to confirm that the object(s) made it in. If you've taken multiple objects, the last object selected has its name shown here.
      Warning: You may be curious to rez and see what's in the file, but unless the objects are all copyable — and don't say "(no copy)" next to them — don't do it. Losing a no-copy object without backups likely means it's permanently gone.

    Move a build to another Region 1: Take your objects from Torley on Vimeo.

    Migrate your About Land settings

    After you've recorded your parcel settings:

    1. Teleport to the parcel you're moving to.
    2. If your recorded parcel settings aren't visible, open them.
    3. Right-click and select About Land to open or refresh this new parcel's settings.
    4. Start overwriting previous settings, either by typing in the same values or by copying and pasting.

    Rez your objects on the destination parcel

    Before rezzing, check the region's performance. Try to do this when there are few or no other avatars in the region, beacuse avatars add load and increase the likelihood of error. For example, if you try to move a 1,000-prim set of objects when time lag is heavy, prims move asynchronously and some may be left behind. This sad situation is best avoided altogether.

    Set your group tag

    This only applies if your source parcel is set to a group. If it is, you need to set the tag so that objects stay put instead of being auto-returned to your inventory.

    In About Land's General tab, make sure the ownership and group are set correctly. Otherwise you increase your risk of losing content.

    If applicable, ensure your own group tag is set correctly to match the parcel's:

    1. Click Communicate on the toolbar.
    2. Click My Groups.
    3. Right-click the correct group.
    4. Select Activate. If group tags are visible, you see the tag above your head.

    Every object you rez while you are wearing this tag is automatically set to this group. (You can assign groups retroactively, but you might forget — it's better to follow the steps above in the first place.)

    Set your group tag to make objects stay on a parcel from Torley on Vimeo.

    Position yourself and rez

    1. Move your avatar to the center of the destination parcel and fly up a fair distance to get a good vantage point. You want to be able to see your whole build without having to keep moving while rezzing it.
    2. If your parcel is very large (like over 8,192 m2) or extends high into the sky, you'll probably need to fly around and reposition yourself occasionally.
    3. You can move your camera into overhead bird's-eye view, or you may prefer to view your build isometrically. Use whichever method gives you the most perspective on your build.
    4. Go into Editmode.
      Warning: If you rez objects while out of Edit mode, it can be very difficult to reposition them!

    Repeat these steps for each object or coalesced object:

    1. Rez an object once you have a good idea of where you want it to go.
    2. Wait a few moments until the "Selected objects" count in the Tools window stabilizes. Again, this is slower with large amounts of prims and poor region performance.
    3. Move the object using the usual positioning arrows.
    4. When satisfied — and only then — click elsewhere to deselect the object, or proceed directly to rezzing another object.
    Note: The above doesn't apply exactly to object rezzing systems, which are more forgiving if you misplace an object.

    Repeat until your build is complete. You will likely need to do some fine-tuning, and the moving process may expose leftover flaws from the original build that you want to improve on — here's your opportunity!

    Move a build to another Region 2: Rez your objects from Torley on Vimeo.

    Inspect everything

    Once your build is in place:

    1. Fly around and check everything out from various angles. Fine-tune as necessary.
    2. Terraform the land to better fit your build.
    3. Click on scripted objects to make sure they still work as expected. (If you're familiar with scripting, you can take advantage of this opportunity to recompile for Mono.)
    4. Congratulations, you've made the big move! Invite friends over and have a party!

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