Tip of the Week #4: How to use beacons and highlights

Heyhey! It’s me, Torley Linden, back with another video tutorial treat for you: the beacons and highlights found in the View menu. Don’t know what they are? Or maybe you do, but haven’t really found a use for them? Do you know how to track down particle-spamming objects? Watch on and learn!

I know, this vid is a little over 5 min., and in doing so, I broke a previous rule I laid out. But I’d argue this is for the greater good. I’d thought about covering this topic for awhile, but it was thanks to some of the Resident comments I got that inspired me to go forth.

What else is new on the video tutorials front? I’d like to mention at least a couple:

  • Amras Alder’s started a video tutorial blog, with the first two in his series about hiding HUDs and hiding the ugly horizon gap. He’s off to a great start and I hope he’ll keep it up! At my encouragement, he’s also added his vidtuts to our Video Tutorials page (nearing 500,000 views, rock on!) β€” if you make vidtuts or know someone who does, encourage them to add to it too. We’re all better off with this pooled knowledge, ya?
  • For those of you extra-short on time, Otenth Paderborn’s done text digests of my first 3 TotWs. I appreciate this, and it’s doubly useful because I got some emails from deaf Resis and others who’d prefer his format. Likewise, I hope Otenth keeps this up… thank-you!
  • On the Second Life Wiki, which I’ve blogged about previously, I’ve begun a “Creation Portal”. This came out of a talk with Rob Linden about making an “umbrella” for content creation resources, including vidtuts. It’s still very embryonic, so please visit, and add what you think will help your fellow Second Lifers.

What’s Second Life Tip of the Week (SLTotW) #5 gonna be? Like they say in showbiz, stay tuned! Keep the feedback flowing, and thanks for watching. I’m here to make your Second Life easier, fill in the gaps, make the connections.



Torley Linden is a Product Manager & more who regularly contributes to the Official Linden Blog. Read Torley’s previous posts. Curious about how WindLight is coming along? See project updates.

About Torley

Who am I? See http://torley.com/
This entry was posted in Community, Creativity & Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Tip of the Week #4: How to use beacons and highlights

  1. LittleRed Snook says:

    Love it, Torley! I’m one of the geeky people who love the special details to play with on SL, so you made my morning. πŸ™‚

  2. Natasja Koenkamp says:

    Love those tips of the week. Even the ones i probably will never use, i just love watching them! Tori Rules! Yayzerama!

  3. Tanya Spinotti says:

    Bravo, Sir! The tear off menu was a revelation in itself, as well as the main topic.

  4. Aska Hynes says:

    Wow that is a bunch of good tips that will definitely help land owners when it comes to grieffer attacks. Thanks Torley! ^^

  5. Daniel Voyager says:

    Another Great Tutorial Torley Linden, Love the extra information etc and again its helped me alot. Great Job πŸ™‚

  6. Dekka Raymaker says:

    I can see why you needed to break your 5 minute rule, even at 6 that was fast, i need to watch that a few more times, oh and I was wondering about the loop sound script, that was helpful in it’s self.

  7. Krimson Gray says:

    I use beacons frequently, the only problem I have had is that I have not been able to see them when enabled using the latest viewer. Otherwise, they are a great way to track down lag sources and other nuisances.

  8. Ute Hicks says:

    I admire how you greet and welcome passers-by when you are filming a scene and giving a tutorial at the same time. What a brilliant multitasker. I would get flustered and lose my train of thought. Nice work.

  9. OpenAndSay Ah says:

    Don’t worry about the length, you do great work and that’s always appreciated. Thanks.

  10. Simondo Nebestanka says:

    So many great tips there! Thanks Torley.

  11. MarmelaGramela Doesburg says:

    VEry senseful tools indeed – ***but when was the last time that the highlighting functions in the land – objects settings actually woked when I needed them?***

  12. Meghan Forder says:

    Are you sure the tip of the week wasn’t just the tear off menu? That was brilliant!

  13. AMD64 user says:

    Hey this is a helpful tutorial, thanks Torley. It is nice to have something positive to type in the blog for a change. πŸ™‚

  14. Amanda Ascot says:

    Hi, Torley! Awsome video, this time, but all of your videos are that! I manage almost an entire mainland sim, I’m on the security team on another, and perform some security-related functions on two others — all volunteer work. I wish I could find a way to actually make a living here in SL. Any tips on that? :)Needless to say, I use beacons quite frequently, especially when dealing with those infantile particle attacks that SL’s script kiddies seem so fond of. Oh, Mario (and Batman, and Bill Cosby) — we love you so! I see people running around when we’re surrounded by flying garbage with that “ZOMG, we’re all gonna die!” frame of mind, and then calmly tell them how to turn of particles, and that I’ll take care of the problem. I’m sure after this blog post the number of people who panic at the sight of particles will drop faster than than the particles fly.

    Here’s one for you, though. You have an object somewhere that you’re trying to find. You know who it belongs to. You have no idea what it is or where it is. You want to *see* it before you return it, and it doesn’t show up when you highlight objects from the land management menu, probably because it’s very high, very low, very small, or hidden with that clever invisibility texture. A beacon *might* mark it’s X-Y coordinates, but doesn’t tell you where it is. You know my question. How do I find this danged thing? We need a special beacon — “Read-my-mind-and-find-it-beacon”. Just a suggestion for a future “upgrade” — in addition to beacons we really need something to actually *point* to anything that a beacon can indicate, or that land management can highlight, leading us directly to it (or maybe give us actual x-y-z coordinates) and that persists until intentionally cancelled.

    Creation Portal: Wonderful idea, and I hope to see this keep growing. There are a lot of very fine resources available, but they’re sometimes hard to track down. One thing, though. I know the LSL Portal is Linden Lab’s baby, but that “other” LSL Wiki is actually a better scripting resource in many cases, and should be listed there right along with it. I didn’t put it there, because I don’t know how Linden Lab would react to the “competition”.

    About those residents who are hearing disadvantaged: I don’t have that problem, but as a visually-disadvantaged person (I’m close to being legally blind without correction) I’m acutely aware of the special needs that many people have. I know it would be a lot of extra trouble, but maybe you could get someone to close-caption your video tutorials with very short sentences describing what we’re seeing. I think it’s wonderful what Otenth Paderborn is doring, but actual videos are too good to pass up, and closed captioning would go a long way to making them more accessible.

  15. ari blackthorne says:

    SAWEEET! Thanks Torley!

    The tear-off was new to me, definately – a cool little hidden feature.
    I’ve known about beacons – and have used them, but never very efficientlyt. The example griefer attack you have shown – and how to handle it was a perfect example… THANKS!

  16. KMeist Hax says:

    Torley Linden, you’ve made my day. One thing I’ve always hated is being unable to find these stupid tiny screaming cubes that spam “DESUDESUDESU” into chat while spewing Mudkip sprites in the Linden sandboxes. While it was easy enough to find them, the underage kiddies who use these objects decided to start making them REALLY tiny. Thanks to you, me and my friend’s anti-raiding AR crusades can continue.

    Where’s the Torley Linden fanclub?

  17. Blinders Off says:

    ((I admire how you greet and welcome passers-by when you are filming a scene and giving a tutorial at the same time. What a brilliant multitasker. I would get flustered and lose my train of thought. Nice work.)) I second the thought. Noticed that myself. Good job.

    Torley, two requests if I may:
    1. Slow down a bit? Even at 6 minutes, ya were talking so quickly that I had trouble following what you were saying, and some of the text flashed so quickly we didn’t have time to read it. I’d rather see a 10 minute video that I can follow than a 5-minute rushed one.

    2. Have someone add the text summary (summary, not full transcript) along with the video when you post it. Yes, that’s a valuable addition to your videos and people might like to start collecting Torley’s TEXT hints. πŸ˜€

    Thanks for the work. BTW… you been on estrogen treatments lately (or vice versa… your voice is kinda masculine for a girl). You know that email-cialis might not be all that reliable…. ;D

  18. Moose Maine says:

    Once Again Torley consistently provides another outstanding product, that helps us vets as well as the new folks. We all need a Torley in our organizations. SL outta be carefull, someone might just try to hire Torley out from under them! (pssss, give him a raise!)

    Keep knocking them out of the Park Torley! Great Job!

  19. Pingback: [Tip de la semana] CΓ³mo usar los faros y luces Tecnolives

  20. Karyn says:

    Excellent tutorial. I also agree with Amanda’s comment about finding lost items. Who knows how much floatsam is around the grids!

  21. Dianna Voight says:

    OOh Torley, thank you very much for this very helpfull tutorial.
    The grid is under attack for 3 days and i this is the kind of help that will bring quiet and peace again as long as more people and land owners know how to use the viewer resourses as much as the griefers
    Thank you very much for worry about it and publish this video. πŸ™‚

  22. mimi says:

    OMG this is so great! I’ve been having lots of particale spamers in my clubs! Thanks to Torley no more!!!! *smiles happily*

    Torley You’re great! Can’t wait for next weeks tip!

  23. Ahh, there’s the width, I always had trouble finding that spammy stuff, the beacons always were waay too small.

  24. Tillie Ariantho says:

    You are always that good mooded, it’s really fun to watch your movies. πŸ˜€

  25. Procella Fairymeadow says:

    Thanks Torley! I wish I knew this two days ago when i got griefed for the the first time. Now I’m prepared if it ever happens again. πŸ™‚

  26. Luna Larsen says:

    Another great tutorial, ty torley πŸ˜‰

  27. Theodore Folsom says:

    Torleys tutorials FTW! =) I could watch em the whole day long πŸ˜‰


  28. JackJack Oh says:

    The tip is really nice, why next week u’ll not use the tip for explain how Risk Api block ppl? I know it’s a little OT about your work, but nobody wants to give me a better answer than “keep trying”… and seem that 40% of transactions are blocked right now! Are us resident become all frauder?

  29. Brenda Maculate says:

    @12: A Torley Linden Fanclub… Hmmm… That sounds like a good investment of L$100… πŸ˜€

    The other Lindens might get jealous! πŸ˜€

  30. mimi says:

    if theres a torley fanclub it would be great… or a website with all of his videaos.. and many others that help ^^

  31. Hydrogen Excelsior says:

    πŸ˜€ very great tips! cheers

  32. Cookie Fizgig says:

    Hey Torley… You are the best! I have learned so many things from your tips. You have helped a not so tech savy person feel smarter….
    If someone starts a Torley fan club…..I am in!

  33. Ketter McAllister says:

    So THAT’S what beacons are for!

    Torley’s vidtuts FTW, indeedily-do! Thanks, T!

  34. Detox Watanabe says:

    lol, just lovely.

  35. Superb installment of yet another video tutorial, Torey. Even if it tells me something I already knew, I just keep on watching and listening to see what you’re up to next πŸ™‚

  36. Ketter McAllister says:

    In case people didn’t already know [shameless plug of one of my favorite blogs alert mode: ON], Torley has an amazing blog over at torley.com.

    Torley, you should so do podcasts. Your cheery, friendly voice, full of SL wisdom and such, should be heard more often.

  37. Ron Crimson says:


    next time you play a human female avatar, expect a marriage proposal from me.

    LOL πŸ™‚

    …Oops, I’m already married. Whoops, nevermind. πŸ˜€

  38. Holy13 Writer says:

    Just a thanks for these.
    Keep ’em coming.
    They add to the experience each time.

  39. Shaman Lightstone says:

    Another great Tutorial! Thanks. I hope you go into more detail on the ‘Client’ tool menu. I’ve searched the wiki and a few other places and haven’t found an explanation of what each menu item is and does, so I am leaving it up to you to inform us. I’ve dropped by your office/playground a few times, but never catch you there. Hope to meet up and see what kind of caffine you use.~.^

  40. Susannah Clary says:

    THANK YOU Torley! If anyone starts a fan-club, let me know! I, for one, did not find the pace too fast at all – just right in fact! But I do agree with the above commenters regarding “closed captioning” for our hearing impaired friends in SL. These tips are too valuable for ANYONE to miss! I do wish I had seen this last night, however, when trying to track down a malicious particle emitter at my club! Ah well, I am now well-armed for the next attack! Thanks again Torley, and keep it up!

  41. Kid Kuhn says:

    I accidentally popped up a hidden camera control thingy a few times but I cant remember how. It doesnt seem to be in any of the menues. This control allowed me to lock the camera in one position so that I could walk around with my avie without the camera moving! I would love to know how to get this tool up again, and how to use it. It looked a bit complicated.

  42. Deirdre Masala says:

    This si a great tutorial! We got so many spammers in ur club, and I had some lessons in “security” and finding out sound- and particlespamming abjects…. But ht possibility to hide the particles during the search, and the with of the lines (btw hope that the bug here will be fixed soon): GREAT! Thanks!

  43. Tmayla Rotaru says:

    With all the griefing currently going on in a couple of places I hang out, this set of tips will get put to good use [sad to say that, but true]. Keep making SL easier for us non-tech folks and thanks.

  44. John Kim says:

    Hey Torly. I like your tutorials and i was wondering if you could do one on how to script. I would appreciate it if you could. πŸ™‚

  45. Neard Harbinger says:

    Gotta love these things. πŸ™‚

    I noticed it’d gotten redone, and hadn’t had time to really mess with it and figure it all out, so this is great! Now I know what all that stuff is again. πŸ˜›

    Keep up the good work!

  46. Tegg B says:

    Coolo Torley, yep it was fast cause I’m an old fart, but NP, I just watched it again to get it all πŸ™‚
    You can replay it for free people πŸ™‚

  47. Dusky Jewell says:

    I have always used the beacons, but did not know that I could detach the submenus–and duh–never thought about turning off particles in griefing attacks. Thanks for the tuts will pass the info along –very much appreciated. πŸ™‚

  48. Bradley Bracken says:

    Thank you Torley! Great stuff. Just learning about the tear off feature was enough to make me happy. The rest was sweet icing on the cake.

    I’m going to have to watch a few times to get it all, but fortunately you make them so pleasant that I don’t mind at all.

  49. Dakota Liotta says:


    I am looking for someone who would be willing to create a few characters in second life for me and my work. We are willing to pay for the man hours. This is a completely new realm of entertainment for me and I am learning everything fast, while trying to create a project for a large semiconductor company out of OC…..If you are willing to help or know someone who would be willing, please let me know!!! We have an entire plot that we would love to see come to fruition on Second Life!


  50. Rosen Janus says:

    Yes, it’s helpful, but when there are several particle emitters in one area. It’s hard to find out the trouble emitter. That’s why I have a JIRA request for an option to have a line be drawn from emitter to its “child” particles.

  51. Pingback: Thoughts and Other Such Things. « Bits of Virtual Reality

  52. Cookie_Juran says:

    You Rock…umm nice looking avatar BTW…lol

  53. Pingback: The Grid Live

  54. Jabath Steuart says:

    much improved beacons in the RC viewer! thanks for drawing my attention to them.

    little ‘tip’ i just accidentally discovered… ctrl-n is the shortcut to turn beacons on and off, but if you press ctrl-shift-n, they will come on temporarily until you release the ctrl key… probably not much use to anyone at all!

  55. Dello Martov says:

    The tips are excellent, Torley! I’ve been meaning to ask, are you using the SL Viewer’s video capture utility or FRAPS to create them?

  56. Gypsy Paz says:

    Love the video tips, even after playing activily for over a year I find these useful!

    How about one explaining all the little color codes on the mini map πŸ˜‰

  57. Evenstar Klaar says:

    Torley…enjoying the tips of the week, although it’s a little disconcerting hearing a male voice coming from a female avatar. πŸ˜‰ On another note, I would love to be able to really “hide” my online status from buddies from time to time – this means the little pop-up “Evenstar Klaar is online” would not appear even though I have selected “do not show online status” on my buddy list. It sort of negates the point of hiding because they can tell I’m online anyway. Is there a work around?

  58. Tehya Oh says:

    I know im A bit late in making A comment ,, but I Was on the move again ,, any way thank torley ,, that Was more than informative to me ……….

  59. I’ve posted text summaries for Tips 4 and 5 at http://otenth.homefries.org/archives/227

  60. HD1080i says:

    i do machinima – and i seriously need windlight to turn off all beacons and all beacon features, else i have this red vertical line in my region that i cant get rid of, and this arrow that wanders into my view when using joystick flycam to create video.

    ALSO i am now getting these red – green – and blue cones on everything and the only way to turn that iff is uner beacons > Hide particle – which removes them and then als removes all my scripted flashing lights and indicators done with particles that i DO want in the video.

    PLease ALL beacons OFF selection that works, and leaves particles non beacon related , intact and working….

Comments are closed.