How do I take pictures or snapshots of things inworld?

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Second Life lets you easily take screenshots of the things you do or see inworld.

Kb snapshot 001.png



These pictures can be saved to your own computer's hard drive or to your Second Lif® inventory. Save as many snapshots to your hard drive as you'd like. Snapshots saved inworld to your inventory cost L$10, just as if you uploaded a new image to Second Life.


Snapshot Preview

Open the Snapshot Preview window by clicking Snapshot on your toolbar or go to File>Take Snapshot (Ctrl-Shift-S).


Snapshot Preview includes some features long-requested by Residents, and ultimately gives you fine control of how you preserve your Second Life memories. When first using your Snapshot Preview tool, it will appear on your screen in a condensed version. Click on More>> to expand the tool options. Once you've clicked on it, the More>> button changes to say <<Less. Click it to hide the expanded menu.


Kb snapshotPreview screenshot.pngAs indicated under Snapshot Destination, there are three modes:Send Snapshots via email


This option, formerly known as Send a Postcard, allows you to email a picture from within Second Life to an outside email address for free. Share what you're seeing with a friend!


KBnote.png Note:

Note: The maximum size for a Send via email snapshot is 1 megabyte, or a little over 1,000,000 bytes. (Learn more about bytes) If you go over that, File size will turn red and you won't be able to send your email. Adjust the file size of the snapshot using the drop down menu; the manual Width and Height settings; or lower the Image Quality slider.'


Taking Snapshots to Inventory

  1. Click on the Snapshot button. The Snapshot window soon appears with a preview of your snapshot.
  2. Select Save to your inventory (L$10) if you wish to upload the snapshot. Your inworld balance will be deducted L$10 and the snapshot will be saved to your My Inventory > Photo Album folder.


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Save to your Hard Drive


The Snapshot Preview provides the option of saving Snapshots to your hard drive. Select Save to your hard drive and click the Save button. This option includes custom features:


  • Save: Choose a location and filename for your snapshot. Click Save for your next Snapshot to save to the same file as the previous snapshot during your login session. Snapshots saved with this method will appear on your hard drive with a _001 appended to the end of the filename you chose. New snapshots will be given the same name as the previous file, with the number incremented by 1.The arrow next to the Save button provides a Save As... option which lets you select a new location and/or filename for each snapshot.
  • Size: Click this drop down menu to select the image size. The Custom size option enables the Constrain Proportions option for Width and Height.
  • Format: Snapshots can be saved to your hard drive in PNG, JPEG or BMP file types.



KBtip2.png Tip:



Capture: There's a dropdown menu only available in Save to your hard drive mode which defaults to Colors, and takes normal pictures.


  • Depth gives the per-pixel depth information of a scene.
  • Object Mattes gives a unique color to each object inworld, making it easy to create mattes and other advanced post-processing in an image editor like Photoshop. It also has a retro green-and-blue effect which can be used artistically.


Kb capture screenshot.png


Show interface in snapshot: The user interface of Second Life includes the Toolbar, menus, windows, and other things you use to interact and change things in the world. By checking this box, the UI will show up in screenshots, which can be useful for making tutorials like teaching others how to build, or even diagnostic purposes like showing someone else a bug instead of describing it to them in words.Show HUD objects in snapshot: Heads-Up Display objects are useful, but can get in the way of picture-taking. This automatically hides them so you don't have to fumble around.Keep open after saving: This keeps the Snapshot Preview window open after you've saved a picture. Useful if you're going to take multiple pictures in rapid succession and pick out the best later.Freezeframe (fullscreen preview): Prvides a fullscreen preview of the snapshot. (Uncheck to turn off Freezeframe.)


  • The first thing you'll notice is the screen flashes and may look a little blocky, especially if you're at a high resolution. Don't worry; this is just a preview, not the final result.
  • What you'll also notice is that the rest of the user interface (Toolbar,menus, windows, etc) has disappeared; the world is "frozen" and you can't move around. Don't worry about this, either: if you click the Discard button, everything will go back to normal and you can click Snapshot again.
  • While in Snapshot Preview, the cursor turns into a magnifying glass with a + on it, so you can click-and-drag to get better shots. (It's the same as normally holding Alt and clicking the mouse button.)
  • Another important thing that might be confusing at first: whenever something changes within the "scene" (for instance, if you zoom to a different angle) and the snapshot requires an update, the screen will appear to drop away with a cool visual effect, like a Polaroid.


Select Auto-Refresh to have the snapshot image automatically refresh instead of using the Refresh Snapshot button. File>Take Snapshot (and its shortcut Ctrl+Shift+S) will behave like Refresh Snapshot if the Snapshot Preview window is open.


Depending on the method you selected for saving your snapshot, click Send, Upload, or Save to save your snapshot. Click Discard if you don't like this snapshot and don't wish to pay for it. The snapshot will be discarded.


Quiet Snapshots to Disk

You can disable the "whirrr-click!" sound and snapshot animation that happens whenever you take a snapshot. Go to the Advanced Menu and select Quiet Snapshots to Disk.


Additional Snapshot Tips

Snapshot Shortcut: Press Ctrl+`. (This is sometimes the ~ key, and is usually located next to 1 and above Tab.)


KBtip2.png Tip: Tip: You can use Ctrl+` to save several snapshots of something quickly and easily. Then, use the Upload Image tool in the File menu to upload the best shots to Second Life. This way, you don't have to pay for shots you don't want, and don't have to decide which images to keep while you're still taking pictures.


Check out Torley's Snapshots FAQ or view Torley's Advanced Snapshot Magic - Video Tutorial.


KBcaution.png Important: Caution: When taking snapshots inworld that include other Residents, please be sure they have given you consent to take their photo.