Learn building at the Ivory Tower of Primitives – Video Tip of the Week #34

Friendly greetings! Torley here. I’ve been busy with many forthcoming wonderful video tutorials to keep you entertained + educated!

A view up to the hillThis week’s installment is more of a tour than a tut, but I’ve had a number of requests to do it β€” behold, the Ivory Tower (Library) of Primitives in Natoma, a historic location which has proved helpful for many Residents who want to learn how to build and needs to be highlighted!


00:37 – Find the Ivory Tower!
02:35 – Explore the Ivory Tower!
08:45 – Visit the sandbox next door!
09:27 – YOU can build!

In mo’ exciting vidtut news:

  • I recently did a lovely Q&A session with our Volunteer Mentors. Some FABLICIOUS questions got asked, my answers flowed forth, and you can read the transcript on the kewl VTeam Blog. Go there to learn more about making our Second Life better.
  • I’ve started including the version each video tutorial was filmed in after the beginning titles, because as vidtuts age, things do go out-of-date, and this will help lessen confusion. For the record, I usually tend to film in versions “ahead of the curve”, and am using the 1.20 Release Candidate (wha? LEARN MORE) which is not the main viewer yet. But it will be.
  • Remember that the Tip of the Week and Quicktips can be sorted by category to find the stuff you’re interested in easier! After a good idea from Melissa Linden, I’ve also defined what the different categories mean.

Grateful & gracious for your enthusiasm so I can help you better,

Torley Linden https://i0.wp.com/torley-linden.s3.amazonaws.com/little-watermelon-eye.png
Watch 150+ Second Life video tutorials, free & fun!
     Please subscribe, rate, and favorite my vids on YouTube
β€” it helps me make more of them for you!

About Torley

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

70 Responses to Learn building at the Ivory Tower of Primitives – Video Tip of the Week #34

  1. Ewan Mureaux says:

    Meet super low rendering cost Torley!

  2. Martin Magpie says:

    The basic information is the same Torley. I don’t think ppl need to waste their time by changing and uploading new textures; just because the skin “dazzle” blue changed. I thought that was kind of petty and just a LL plug that was not necessary.

    Ivory Tower rocks and it’s about time it was recognized for it’s great contribution to SL!

  3. Ewan Mureaux says:

    Look I’m sorry but this has to be asked and I can’t see anywhere else where one of you lindens might read it.

    So can someone just give a straight answer for once, please?

    Which side of the road are we supposed to drive on and is the 75 speed limit m.p.h or km/h? Why isn’t highway code in the TOS?

    Torley, katt or a publics work type would be great if you could finaly let us know.

    ps: 1.20 looks best with JB Krafts’ black skin. Much more sexy.

  4. Max Kleiber says:

    While I find Torley’s vidtuts to be highly useful and always entertaining, permit me an off-topic comment:

    I almost never look at this blog anymore, since the grid status posts have been moved to a separate page. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

  5. Elvis Orbit says:

    Great Video I am going to have to go and visit there. Thanks for the introduction.

  6. “Learn building….”

    here is a TIP.
    Face Lights and Body Shine Attachments CAUSE LAG! Take em Off!
    1. Default Viewer setting are not set up to Even show the “LIGHT” feature
    2. Adding Light to an Object adds Shaddows this = MORE LAG due to Forcing your viewer to Render More Shaddows
    3. LIGHT FEATURE When Used Properly Will Give a Good effect EX: Street light in a Dark alley
    4. FaceLights RUIN enviroments that Designers specifficly build to Be Dark low light areas

  7. Curious, and new to second life, I’ve been designing for 3d for years – can 3d studio objects be imported? And can objects be scripted to communicate?

  8. Dekka Raymaker says:

    @7 to 1. I think the answer is no, you can upload texture representations, know as scuplties. to 2. yes, being the short answer, objects can be scripted to communicate.

  9. Winter Ventura says:

    Thank you for this, Torley.

    Actually probably one of your best vidtut’s yet.. Don’t always rush the pacing so much.. this one had a nice, relaxed pace, and sometimes you seem in such a rush.

  10. Ewan Mureaux says:

    Traffic cop discusses the lack of SL road law!

  11. Verdana Klaar says:


    While yet playful that starts sounding a bit like a nursery rhyme.

  12. Alvi Halderman says:

    When you open a NoteCard It sounds Like a Dog…LOL!!!

  13. Vee Richez says:

    My first ever blog response, but I’ve been inspired. LOL
    I LOVE THE IVORY TOWER OF PRIM. Its how I learned to build
    and I still use the top floors as reference to this day. πŸ™‚

    but what I really wanted to say is:

    Ewan, do you really think you can stick to just driving one side of the road? I thought you travel both sides……maybe it just depends on which way you happen to be going at the time as to which side you’ll be driving on. I suppose that applies to many of us.

  14. Al Sonic says:

    Torley: Thanks for taking your class on a field trip πŸ˜‰

    @6CheerGirlβ€” Pretty good advice. Here are some clarifications for anyone reading your tip:
    #1, IIRC, “Default” untouched settings are based on what it thinks your computer can handle, so some will render lights by default and some don’t (and are thus not “lagged” until they turn them on).
    #2, SL does not have any cast shadow rendering… yet.
    #5, aside from miners and spelunkers, nobody πŸ™‚

  15. sirhc DeSantis says:

    Wow over a year here and i never visited this place. Thanks Torley Melon – and yes more on building as I am still useless lol

  16. Aquarius Paravane says:

    @3 – Ewan, if you can reliably drive on your chosen side of the road you are way ahead of most people.

    @Torley – good job – and its worth going back once in a while, you don’t pick up everything in one visit. I’ve also seen people leave because there’s “nothing happening there”. It’s like a museum exhibit, you read and do, nobody stands there lecturing you. So, next stop, Robin Sojourner’s texture tutorials on Livingtree?

  17. Aquarius Paravane says:

    @6.5 – me, depending on circumstances – but a headlamp is not a facelight!

  18. Vee Richez says:

    Adding on to (comment 17):

    I agree a tour of Robins Texture Tutorials on Living Tree would be the next spot after Ivory Tower of Prim

    and I’ll add one more: The Particle Laboratory at Teal

    between these 3 some major building skills are covered.

  19. Bryon says:

    Thanks Philip Watermelon!
    And welcome to Mark Kingdon!

    So, is Philip Linden still the governor, in a Putin fashion… or is “M” the new governor now.

    Or is Philip the King and “M” the Prime Minister? ha!

  20. Martin Magpie says:

    @6. In regard to question to Question 5:

    Who the hell “does what ever” in “RL”?

    Who cares SL is not real life. Guess if you really need a real life simulator there is always Sims 2; Heck I recently found out Sims 3 is coming out.

    Who the hell walks around with sparkles on his crotch? Philip Linden.
    Who the hell dresses like they are on an acid trip? Torley Linden.

    Do they do those things in RL? Hardly.

    Let yourself go; enjoy it πŸ™‚ It’s not first life and let’s hope it’s not meant to be or I might have to compare it to the days of Hitler.


  21. Marianne McCann says:

    particle lab… ivory tower… can the texture tutorial be far behind?

  22. Angsty says:


    “Release Candidate 1.20 is not the main viewer. But it will be”

    *Shudders in horror*

    Please, do not FORCE the 1.20 user interface upon your users UNTIL you also give us the ability to revert back to the “Classic: skin.

    Need to wash my eyeballs after just *thinking* of 1.20 UI!!

  23. Lumiere Noir says:

    Hey Torley! Thanks so much for this wonderful video tour of the Ivory Tower! I’m very thankful for your effort on this indeed. The things you were seeing up near the top floor are parts of a work in progress. I started making a vehicle lab ages ago, and realized that I needed to do a lot more research before I could speak comprehensively, or even slightly authoritatively on the subject. I’ve been doing tons of research, have gotten sidetracked many times, but I’ve come up with some great vehicles and proofs of concept and so on. (part of it was I had to learn to script, by golly!)

    Recently Jopsey Pendragon (I’m delighted Torley that you’ve done a tutorial of his outstanding Particle Lab in Teal) and I were talking and I learned that he was making a vehicle tutorial too. He didn’t know about mine, nor did I know about his…so we’re in talks and it’s possible we might collaborate on a vehicle module or a vehicle lab that might be housed somewhere in a Second Life near you…possibly sometime this summer…like August or September or so.

    Speaking for myself, I’m thinking of rebuilding and expanding the ITLP somewhat. I think it needs to be somewhat wider, and less dense primwise. I might go in for some megaprims which is something I’ve been doing a lot in my Planet Mongo project (**Shameless plug** please feel free to visit, hoping to open in a week or so…it’s on my picks or search your SL map for Planet Mongo). Anyway in time I want to cover more aspects of Second Life in the Ivory Tower. I won’t say what they are here…that would feel as if I’m making promises, and I don’t want to make promises unless I can be sure that I can keep them!

    ** Extra shameless plug** I want to give thanks to Avi Arrow and the officers of the Ivory Tower who work hard to keep it a peaceful and fun place, and for helping to guide me in the running of the institution. Also several volunteer groups are working to translate the text of the tower into several different languages!

    Thank you so much for your support over the years, Torley! The Lindens have ensured that the Ivory Tower project will be ongoing!

    It has to be!…the Lindens keep adding so many new features to cover!

    Lumiere Noir, creator and curator of the Ivory Tower.

  24. Ener Hax says:

    the ivory tower is always my anchor. anytime i get stuck and think i can’t build some shape, well i head on over and presto! some inspiration always hits (usually in a whole new direction) πŸ™‚

  25. Kazuma says:

    I’ve always mentioned the Ivory Tower to new players who are interested in building, in fact I keep a folder with all the tutorial steps. I went a few years ago to better my understanding on manipulating prims and it really helped to fill in the gaps. Its probably time I head back there to see what new techniques have been added and run through the whole tutorial again lol

    Thanks Torley for bringing Ivory Tower some much needed attention!

  26. I keep a notecard handy with scripting tips for beginning scripters. The very top of the list is a visit to the Ivory Tower of Prims, because most scripting involves manipulating prims, so a good scripter has to know at least the basics of building, which they get from that amazing little place.

  27. Pingback: Art Galerie de Souza « A Second Look

  28. I mentioned this to Kate, and now to you: ever since the grid status page was separated out, there’s no link on the startup page to the LInden blog, so a lot of people, especially newbies, don’t know to check it. A lot these entries are just as important in their own way as knowing when the next rolling restart is going to be, so they should be linked to at startup.

    All IMHO, natch.

  29. S J says:

    I find it ironic that Torley puts out a post on building just after they killed the creation of new megaprims.

  30. Silk Aeon says:

    Instead of this old sh@t BETTER FIX NOTECARD PROBLEMS. GROUP IMs!!!! AND OTHERs BUG Were REPORTED LAST 2 YEARS !! WTF I need to change region to open next notecard from group? …

  31. Saii says:

    Impressive video tutorial. Like always. πŸ™‚
    Fun to watch. And in this case showing the best place in Second Life in my opinion to start learning how to build.

  32. Kitten Radio says:

    To quote Lumiere Noir himself for what I am able to say about this Video Tip: “Hey Torley! Thanks so much for this wonderful video tour of the Ivory Tower!” Is quite possibly the best possible thing that can be said about this! Its always a beautiful thing to see more people gaining experience with building, and The Ivory Tower has always (to me atleast!) catered to a wonderful amount of builders who are just starting out!

    Personally, I must also thank those that continually come to the ITLP as well as send more people its way, for what use is scripting, if you dont have a worthy object to put it in! Plus, I LOVE seeing the builds you guys put out! Mind boggling says it all for a fair few builds!

    -Kitten Radio
    One of the friendly ITLP Officers

  33. Spank Lovell says:

    PLEASE make dazzle optional! It does just as its name suggests. It Dazzles too much especially in dark environments and screws up carefully placed lighting.

    Please make this optional guys, enough people have asked for it now so dont force it on us. Some of us dont have the smarts to go into XML to change it.

  34. Cybin Monde says:

    @ 7 – i can’t post the URL here, but if you look at the older Headlines (from the main page) you will find one entitled, “Hexagon 3D modeling software exports to Second Life”. i hope that is what you are looking for.

    @ Torley – great topic! i agree with the others, a vid on the texture tutorial would be a nice way to round out the Particle Lab and Ivory Tower vids. …and, thanks for all your work on these!

    @ Lumiere – wow.. possibly a 3rd iteration? i may have to grab some more screenshots of this one. i still direct people over there if they have even an inkling of wanting to learn how to build something. thanks for providing such a wonderful resource to the community!

  35. Verdana Klaar says:

    Over one day that blog entry is here and only 36 replies ???!!!

    There is definitely something rotten in the Realm of Landmark (Bill Checkspeer). Or what ?

    1) People at not interested in the topic ?
    2) They do not find any way to complain ?
    3) the weather is great and sunny and they are taking a break RL ?
    4) They cannot lo in the web site ?
    5) they CAN log “in-world” ?
    6) they have cancelled theire account ?

    Pls check one point only.


  36. SAIRUS Aeon says:

    OMG .
    I Think am addict to Torley videos & tutorials, ..

    As Always another great vid .
    Thanx Torley , i love it .

  37. Verdana Klaar says:

    Please no heart-attack Sairus

  38. I almost want to marry Torley hihihi πŸ™‚

  39. BUT….. NO DAZZLE !!!!!!!

  40. coventina dalgleish says:

    Well it seems the posts are low because people have given up WHY DON’T YOU FIX THE DAMN GAME teleports are again a joke.

  41. Mono says:

    cheergirl.. how about logic
    facelights are just 1-3 prims
    they take none of your videocard unless you got a good one

    on the other side most of the new hairs have sculpts: hairs vary from 3-90 sculpts
    wear no more hair lol.. oh and no more shoes

  42. U M says:

    Oh gesh someone is at the faking me again here. That “UM” IS NOT ME………As LL Knows……

  43. U M says:

    @ fake UM. LL knows your not me so just to inform you. Your fooling nobody but your own childish self……..If you so scaried in showing your own name as you are. Its nowonder your doing this. Have your stupid blog games but knows what your doing and were your coming from……Then again people like you that sit and BIT*** about the game have no real life and need this game because they have no real life to go to. Enjoy it because i know your a sorry version of a human life. Your just a chicken thats scaried to show one self……..

  44. Lumiere Noir says:

    Thanks buddy! Long time no see in world…but I don’t get out so much, mostly busy making things!

    I haven’t read forms in a long while until now. Thanks for all the kind words all of you that didn’t write in with complete non-sequesters!

    (breaks out rabies shots for the rest of us)


  45. Bad Day Again says:

    Not really impressive today. SL will become THE source for this century’s metaphors for disappointment if you don’t get the reliability question ASAP. No one will ever accuse an SL person of insisting on excellence. How sad.

  46. Tegg B says:

    Maybe UM isn’t fake but that’s their initials, there’s no copyright on the letters “UM”.

  47. Martin Magpie says:

    Spotlight much?

  48. U M says:

    growup tegg……………….

  49. U. M. says:

    @48 Thanking you. My initials are being U.M. but he thinks he can be the only to use them . I even changing it to put the “.” in there so he no more complaining, but he insists on being a whiney crybaby namecaller to me all the times.

    You need to be stopping it mr. U M thinking you can be the only with those letters. Other peoples can use them too.

  50. Tegg B says:

    Grow up Usagi Mwhatever

  51. Silk Aeon says:

    Interesting was this a secret how to working with simple shapes?
    Seems Lindens never tire wonder a newbies with basic things. Maybe LL will makes something to resolve more advance things? Like fixing unwanted rotation while changin X Y Z degrees, fixing non changing sizes while typing in edit prefernces numbers? changing Flex items not resizing while attached? Fixing dissapearing item from invenotry for two days after creating and accidently changing by other time at attach? and fixing Sculpties loading?? Stoping constant rebaking of non changing texture leaking a memory? AH??? Don’t hear an answer..!
    Where is a work of new CEO?
    And when this damn disssapearance skirt PROBLEMS will be resolve?!! I report about this since Windlight second beta version and still not fixed!!! (gone more then half a year!!)

  52. U M says:

    Well how about the screen like multicolored pixle screen that is either in the front or side of a avie while standing. Anyone else have this issue occure while using the release client?

  53. Chrysala Desideri says:

    everybody i followed the instructions on wiki and am a happy user of 1.20 RC w/ old-schoool skin. It only takes a couple minutes to carry out changing the files in 3 folders… sure will be better when we can just push a button, but don’t throw the 1.20 baby out with the “omg my eyes and brain hurt after 20 second using this skin” bathwater.

    have fun and friendly greetings!

    also, ivory tower is full of win.

  54. Verdana Klaar says:

    @53 Silk said “Where is a work of new CEO?”

    Obviously in San Fransisco, no ?

    As for “what” instead of “where”, which obviouly was what you meant, i believe he is learning how to manipulate prims and all. Or may be he’s attending an “in-world” class on how to take high quality snaps from a former tutorial by the sooooooooooo lovely Torley.

    No… i was joking, that is not the role and duty of a CEO. No. No and no. I guess he shall right now being investigating why some skirts do not rezz correctly for some of us around. Which is far more mission-critical for him as a matter of course.

    Well, anyway let us sum-up the situation since 1 to 2 weeks or so :

    1) Torley is sooooooooo cool (square heads massively applause)

    2) Katt is bad/ugly/boo to some stupid persons here (Pavlov syndrom’s affected residents have already called the mind-police of collective unconsciousness)

    3) The CEO is “M” and is occupied with adjusting a James bond girl skirt (from the James Bond girls group that we can join for free – just so as we can be refunded for the skirt).

    4) there is no point #4

    All this is so obvious, nay ?

    Some resisdents are funny πŸ˜€ “Their world their delirium”.

    Agnus dei
    Qui tollis pecata mundi
    Miserere nobis

    Non sum dignus… (*wall*)

  55. Verdana Klaar says:

    @25 Ener said : “the ivory tower is always my anchor. anytime i get stuck and think i can’t build some shape, well i head on over and presto! some inspiration always hits”

    that is exactly what i call NO inspiration. And that is the entire difference bewteen creativity and technique. Between Van Gogh and authorized copy-painters of his works. Between tragedy and melo. Between a good steack and a fast food. Between David Lynch “unheimlich” onirism and the average Steven Spielberg blockbuster. etc…

    And btw the Ivory Tower itself is definitely not a creative place to me. Just another yawn in (the) world.

  56. willumpjuh says:

    Great .. OpenID support at least works for me now ….


  57. WiLLuMPJuH says:

    Don’t believe the previous poster .. he’s an imposter .. ^^

  58. Sierra says:

    There is an OpenGL limit on the number of lights, I think Torley touched on it once at some point

  59. Your Conscience says:

    I have to agree with #30. I find it interesting/ironic/ominous that Torley puts up a post about building with prims after LL gets rid of megaprim creation.

  60. Your Conscience says:

    Now there’s a good tutorial topic for you! Since LL _does_ support the megas from the old days, why not have a tutorial on them, eh?

  61. Penguinfan Beck says:

    Umm… why is SL offline now without any warning??????? This is rediculous.

  62. Ravanne Sullivan says:

    Tutorials on how to do anythng in SLβ„’ are rapidly becoming moot since SLβ„’ is failing yet again. I tried to TP from one location on my sim to another nearby and instead found my self in some random location and unable to TP, move or do almost anything. And of course, nothing in the status page about any problems.

  63. Ghost Menjou says:

    Verdana , shush your mouth for once.
    LL is doing a great job ,but you don’t see that things need time to get fixed.
    I am a Network Engineer and a Network Administrator.LindenLab’s systems are quite complex.Bugs will always exist and outages are normal on such a large scale operation.

  64. Lumiere Noir says:

    @56 (Verdana Klaar)

    It’s a reference work. It’s not intended to teach creativity (can one teach that? No! Were you expecting the tower to teach that?) One can work to nurture creativity in others, but to me creativity is the audacity to produce art in the face of limitations at the high end…and solving problems using innovative methods on the low end. Both are important and deeply related. Second life is abundant in its limitations. Marcel Duchamp said that “Poor tools require greater skills”). I’m not saying I think that the building system is poor by any means, it’s just as limited as is the scripting system.

    It’s the job of the individual user to bring his or her own creativity and inspiration to bear to produce work of personal expression…or commercial expression…or whatever. The Ivory Tower is a work of documentation of the medium of the Second Life building system, and that’s it. I never saw it as my mission to teach users design or ‘creativity.’ I have worked to provide a comprehensive tutorial of the nature of prims and their editing. Each lesson covers its topic exhaustively because I believe that the creativity is best served through knowledge. The more you know about what is available to you, the more creatively you can combine elements in new and inspiring ways.

    Creativity is often very hard work. That’s just how it is. I don’t think anything done well is done easily. Often times doubly so in SL.

    So…I’m curious. What is it that you make in here?


    I have a love hate relationship with the work of David Lynch. I despise the movie Eraserhead…I watch it and can’t wait for it to be over. When it’s over, it’s like an enormous oppressive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. A year later I want to see it again, and I hate it again…a year later, it’s the same. I can’t get enough of his work. I’ve seen everything he’s ever done and have most of it. In a year or so I’ll be ready to see “Inland Empire” again. Spent all weekend watching the Gold Box edition of Twin Peaks and adored the first season and bits of the second.

  65. Martin Magpie says:

    I hope places like the ivory tower will be in the LL handpicked Spotlight and places like Coca Cola.com island won’t be.

    I think that is clear enough.


  66. Verdana Klaar says:

    Lumiere Noir, please re-read my post (56). That is a reply to a resident pretending to “find” inspiration when visting the Ivory Tower.

    To this i reply : no, you won’t find inspiration in that, you will find some ideas that you will reproduce more less. Some form of ready-made (however into which the “ready-made” Duchamp’s concept is not applicable in any manner, btw).

    As for what i’m doing in here, since you asked, i’m only doing very simple things. You can find some by checking my picks if it’s of any interest for you.

  67. oyunlar says:

    thanks you all the topic beatiful

    best Regards

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  69. Oyunlar says:

    Great Video I am going to have to go and visit there. Thanks for the introduction….

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