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Revision as of 11:44, 26 October 2010

This guide shows you how to move your build, such as a house or store, from one parcel of land in a Region to another. It presumes you have camera movement and object editing skills. Take your time, enjoy the videos, and take care with fine details so nothing is lost. This guide focuses mainly on moving larger, complex builds but the principles apply to builds of any sizes. Digest it thoroughly so you understand before actually making the move.

KBcaution.png 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 as-presented such as primitive count. Also, if you're reading this guide in Second Life's built-in browser, the videos below won't work. Load this in an external browser to watch them.

Before you move

  • Verify the destination parcel is at least the same size in square meters as the source parcel - A parcel's prim capacity is tied to its dimensions. If not and your source parcel has filled up its prim allocation, 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 - If they're of similar shape — such as both being square — it makes it easier to transition. Similarly, observe the terrain — 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 should be recorded independently.

There are a number of ways to do 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. This is good for saving images of your settings as-is. However, this has the disadvantage of making you re-type the text.

You can also use an external text editor like Wordpad on Windows or TextEdit on Mac, but if you find that too cumbersome, Second Life has built-in notecards. Here's how you make one:

  1. Click Inventory button on the toolbar in the bottom-right of the Viewer window.
  2. In the Inventory window, use Create > New Note.
  3. Rename the note to the name of your parcel so you can find it later.
  4. Double-click the note to open it. It's a simple text editor.
Notecard FTW.png

Before starting, decide whether you want to record your parcel settings in a notecard or external text editor. Open that so it's ready for pasting into. Now, here's how you record your settings:

  1. Move your avatar to the desired parcel. You'll see its name in the middle of the menu bar.
  2. Go to World > About Land.
  3. Click 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 want to transfer. Note that a few, like 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's a template you can copy-and-paste directly into a notecard or text file, then fill out. Adapt it to suit your needs.

Tips for moving your objects

Preparatory advice

Proficiency at moving your camera is extremely important since Second Life objects are three-dimensional and it's easy to miss what might be obscured behind a wall viewed at one angle. Learn more about Camera Controls.

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

Set the following options to simplify the process of maneuvering and taking your objects:

  1. Open Edit menu > Preferences.
  2. Click Graphics tab and check Custom. Increase your Draw Distance to at least 128 m. If you have a very powerful computer, you can increase this even further, but make sure performance is smooth — a low, choppy framerate makes it difficult to select objects.
  3. Set Objects detail to High (moving the slider to the far right) to help you visually identify what to select.
  4. To improve performance while moving, you can uncheck Water Reflections and Atmospheric Shaders. These make Second Life objects prettier but a more basic look can be easier to work with.
  5. Click OK to save settings.

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

  1. Enable View menu > Property Lines to show your parcel's boundaries.
  2. Enable View > Land Owners to add a colored overlay over parcels. Parcels you own are green, land owned by groups you're in is blue, and other parcels are red.
OMG land colors.png

Also, in the Tools menu:

  1. Enable Tools > Enable Select Only My Objects.
    • If you're moving a collaborative build, contact your co-builders and show them this guide to have a mutual understanding of what needs to be done.
  2. If you're having problems selecting larger objects, disable Tools > Select By Surrounding. This makes it so 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 Tools > Show Hidden Selection to speed up performance, because selecting many objects with complex outlines is slow. But you may want to leave this on if you're selecting a building with stuff in it, like a house with lots of furniture.

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. 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. Watch a video demo:
  5. If needed, disable Advanced > Rendering > Object-Object Occlusion. Technically speaking, occlusion culling boosts performance by not rendering objects you can't see based on an octree, but it can also make it difficult to select objects comprehensively in some cases. As stated, disabling occlusion culling degrades performance, so remember to re-enable it after the move is done.

Tips for optimizing your objects before taking

  • 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 confusion and deselecting the whole batch, which is painful to resume. Here's how to unlock objects:
    1. Enter Edit mode (remember, Tools > Select Tool > Edit 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 it again. If every object in the selection is locked, the checkmark will be 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 above steps to ensure everything is unlocked. Consecutive passes can help verify anything (like a lamp in a small room) you may've missed on the first go.
  • Link as much as you can - This is especially true if you created the objects and/or have full permissions to them. 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), but you can safely do this on most basic structures, like walls and roofs, in close proximity. Linking is also important because it makes it more convenient for you to reposition objects after rezzing them (instead of inadvertently tearing out the floor of a house, for example).
  • Give your new linksets sensible names - Objects named "Object" in your inventory are uselessly confusing, because you need to rez them to see what it is — both a waste of 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 Xstreet 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, but it's worth a look to save you some inconvenience.

Linden trees

Linden trees are the system-provided foliage which are 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:

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, View > 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.

View > Beacons 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 very well see your build as an isolated collection instead of being very close to neighboring builds.
  • You can't easily see parcel boundaries when you're thousands of meters up - When you're at both the source and destination parcels, it's a good idea get the center coordinates:
    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 Xstreet.
  • 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 find judicious use of megaprims useful if your skybox is large and you need to rez it in pieces, or you may prefer to rez multiple prims such 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 from the pie menu.
    5. Under the Objects 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'll also be transported into the sky near-instantly.
    6. Click the Stand Up 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.
    8. Follow the general rezzing advice described below, but be aware your parcel boundaries aren't easily visible in the sky.

Practice taking objects

Reassembling pieces in the "real thing" will be like a jigsaw, so you may want to sketch an organizational structure you can follow.

  1. Clean your Inventory's Objects folder. This is where new objects you take end up, so you may want to drag other stuff into a separate folder or sub-folder so it won't distract.
  2. Enter Edit mode: either right-click on an object and select Edit from the pie menu or use Tools > Select Tool > Edit.
  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 Shift key and clicking multiple objects.
  6. Notice the Tools window says how many objects are selected, and how many prims (primitive, single objects) are within them.
    • Try to keep your selection batches small. You can't select more than 4,000 prims because we've established more than this is highly likely to result in error. Learn more about why. As described earlier, selecting many objects slows performance because all their outlines need to be rendered. In addition, rezzing many prims into a Region at once causes significant slowdown, decreasing reliability.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Beware of coalesced object caveats

Coalesced objects are useful, but have a number of problems you need to be aware of, including both perceived and actual content loss. As handy as they can be for complex builds, minimize using coalesced objects unless you've practiced a lot with them. Make sure to see "Inventory: How the Coalesce feature works" for more info.

Take your objects

Are you ready? The big moment is here. Hopefully you've practiced so you're familiar with taking and rezzing objects from one location to another. Here's 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 from the pie menu or use Tools > Select Tool > Edit.
  2. Click and drag, or Shift-click nearby related objects. For example, a desk and chair set.
  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. When you've made a comprehensive selection, right-click and choose Take from the pie menu.
  5. Wait a few moments, longer if you've selected 1,000s of prims, and the objects should all disappear.
  6. For the first times at least, you may want to open your Inventory's Objects folder to confirm the object made it in. If you've taken multiple objects, the last object selected has its name shown here.
    • You may be curious to rez and see what's in it, but unless the objects are all copyable — and don't say "(no copy)" next to them — don't do it. Be aware of permissions, because losing a no-copy object without backups likely means it's permanently gone.

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. Use World menu > About Land to open or refresh this new parcel's settings.
  4. Start overwriting previous settings, either by typing in the same values or copying-and-pasting.

Rez your objects on the destination parcel

Before rezzing, check the Region's performance. Also try to do this when there are few or no other avatars in the Region, for they add load and increase the odds of error. For example, if you try to move a 1,000-prim set of objects when time dilation is suffering, prims move asynchronously, and some may be left behind in the confusion. This sad situation is best avoided altogether.

Set your group tag

This only applies if your source parcel had a group it was set to, and is important to make sure objects stay 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 Groups tab.
  3. Click the right group.
  4. Click Activate button (on the right). If group tags are visible, you'll see it above your head.

Every object you rez while you're wearing this tag is automatically set to this group. (You can assign groups retroactively, but the above steps prevent you from forgetting to do that.)

Position yourself and rez

  1. Move your avatar to the center of the destination parcel, and fly up a fair amount to get a good vantage point. The point is to be able to see your whole build while rezzing it without having to keep moving.
    • 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.
  2. Optionally, move your camera into overhead bird's-eye view. Or you may prefer to view your build isometrically. Whatever gives you the most perspective on your build.
  3. Go into Edit mode.
    • This is really important because 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 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. 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 go directly to rezzing another object.

The above doesn't exactly apply to object rezzing systems, which are more forgiving if you misplace an object.

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

Inspect everything

Once you've got the structure of your build in place:

  1. Fly around and check out everything at 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. Invite friends over and have a party!

Congratulations! You've made the big move! Have an awesome Second Life!