A Guide to Building in High Fidelity for Second Life users


Hello everybody! In recent days, I’ve been talking with a lot of excellent builders who are beginning to use High Fidelity for the first time. Most of these folks are extremely well accomplished and even well known on Second Life, most with 8+ years under their belts. This is a very exciting moment! However, with this comes an understanding of the Second Life work flow, and High Fidelity has many things that work differently.

In the interest of helping builders across the metaverse better understand the equivalencies and differences between the two platforms, I’ve started this thread. Please feel free to contribute your thoughts. Here are some of the first questions I’ve been asked, and my attempt to answer them.

Can I build right in High Fidelity?
HiFi does not yet have in-world mesh building tools, however once you bring your models into HiFi, you can edit their properties, locations, scripts, dynamic behaviors and more. The upside of this is that you can work on your models in Blender, Maya or other tool, and then bring them into HiFi individually to assemble them.

Can I use prims in High Fidelity?
Second Life prims, or procedural primitives, are a handy and quick way to iterate and come up with models in SL and OpenSim. We do not have an implementation for prims in High Fidelity. For numerous technical and design decisions, we feel mesh is the best way to go. However, if you are used to working with prims for layout or preparation of models that you then work with in Blender or Maya, you certainly can continue to use them. What matters is that the final export comes as an FBX file. Long-time & renowned worldbuilder Yadni Monde created this nifty video showing how he designed a world first, roughly, in OpenSim/Inworlds, and then exported the prim content into Blender, which he then used to create a stunning reproduction of New Orlean’s Jackson Square in mesh.

Can I used sculpties in High Fidelity?
SL builders often use numerous assets called sculpts. These are displacement maps applied to a base piece of geometry which displace the vertices using point data stored in an image’s channel and rez a 3D model. A very clever way to store mesh data in a system’s existing image storage system, rather than adding mesh support directly to the back end. While this is an ingenious workaround and provided some very stunning effects, considering the way it works, the technology is a bit unpredictable, unorthodox to many folks outside of SL, and can produce inefficient geometry. So, High Fidelity doesn’t use sculpt maps. However, the same way you can use Blender or Maya to import and convert your prim geometry to meshes, you can certainly do the same with your sculpted prims. Be aware, though, that this unusual geometry can be inefficient, so if you do this, we recommend you clean up or retopologize sculpts if you are noticing a performance hit or render problems.

Can I use LSL to script in High Fidelity?
High Fidelity does not use Linden Lab’s proprietary LSL script. We use QT’s Javascript engine, with an ECMAScript 5 implementation, for running scripts. We’ve found Javascript to be the most common language of the internet and the engine light and fast enough to serve most users’ scripting needs. On top of the QT Javascript implementation, we’ve added our own Javascript API, with special methods designed for High Fidelity-specific functionality. The rabbit hole goes quite deep here, as you can make different types of scripts: Interface scripts, which are executed on the local user’s machine (like an HUD), Entity Scripts, which are attached to an object in-world, such as a door which opens when you collide with it, and Domain Scripts, which operate strictly on the domain’s host computer, which can be used as a central authority that cannot be spoofed or hacked, such as a system for tracking scores in a game.

How can I operate a sim?
In High Fidelity, we call them domains. One of the great things about HiFi is you can run a domain on any machine you like, including your local machine on the net. If your connection has decent bandwidth, High Fidelity’s domain technology, called Sandbox runs surprisingly smoothly in the background of your computer. On Windows, you can find the Sandbox server controls located in the system tray. Even if your system is on a connection which is constantly changing location or using dynamic IP addresses (via DHCP), like taking your computer to a cafe one day and back home the next, your domain’s Sandbox server registers itself with our domain name service, so folks who have your domain name will always be able to connect to your Sandbox no matter where your machine is. This is a particularly liberating aspect of the High Fidelity architecture: you own and control your domain yourself! There are no tier or setup fees. Of course, if you wish, you could also run your Sandbox instance on the cloud using AWS, Digital Ocean or similar service, on dedicated co-located servers in a data center, or a combination. Once you install and run your Sandbox domain, you can find its free temporary place name given to it by High Fidelity’s name server, or you can pay a small fee (currently $20) to register a custom place name of your own for a year. To visit your domain, a user simply needs to enter the corresponding place name in the ‘Go To’ menu:

You can purchase a place name from the Place Names item in your account’s drop-down on the High Fidelity website, here:

Click Create a Place Name and enter the name of your domain, for example:

If you happen to have a Place Name coupon code (lucky you!) you can use it on the checkout page. Then just associate the place name with your domain and you’re good to go

More questions? Got some insights, ideas, workaround or solutions to share? Please, be a hero and post them here!

pinned #2


Thanks for this post. We need all the help we can get.

I have found the scripts from David Rowe for editing and camming
allow me to build a bit more like I am used to in SL.

Also, use fbx export from blender with the posted settings and the autodesk fbxconvertor

and use the Amazon web server s3 it will save you a ton of headaches.

Quick checklist for Blender 2.73 - 2.74

  • Models must have properly assigned materials
  • Set specularity to near zero to avoid unwanted shine
  • Textures are optional
  • Any textures must be UV mapped
  • Textures must be 1024 x 1024 or smaller
  • Export as FBX 7.4 binary
  • Select Mesh
  • If using textures set Path Mode to Copy and check Embed Textures

It is a lot to learn but if you can get your own mesh builds in here without hours of trial and error it makes the experience encouraging. I am blown away by some of the textures on models that in SL just looked good but when I bring the same model in here it’s light years ahead.


This are the blender settings i use. Do not forgot to enable to save the images into the fbx. On this image the button behind path mode is not clicked so no textures get saved in the fbx.

Make sure you set scale to 1.0 before you export in blender.


okay, whatever image Richardus just posted, it gives me a login dialog. oO


Yeah, checked it and fixt it.
My private wiki. For some reason copy image is doing copy link.

Fixt it.


Blender model super shiny in hifi?

Turn this slider down


Thankyou for this.
Yadni’s video simply says “export the prims to Blender” .
If this is possible its the first time I’ve heard of it.
Can you point me to where this is explained in detail?


Hello =)

To export your created prims (without textures but with faded colors if you tinted them) you have to use a third party viewer named Singularity Viewer, right click your selection of prims/linksets on grid, more, more, export and pick .dae

In blender, import that .dae file.

Hope that helps =)


You can also export prim/sculpt/mesh builds as a dae using Firestorm viewer.

Full instructions are here on the Firestorm wiki.

  1. http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/fs_import_export
  2. http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/collada_export
  3. http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/fs_export_rules


How is high fidelity going to explain to new secondlife users that there’s no chat and im system default enabled ? Besides without chat users not know what the other use for chat script, if the use one.


There are these things which will um properly convert prims to mesh with boolean things i believe.
But much as you can let ur mum drive you to your friends sooner or later your gonna want to learn to drive


We are looking into implementing chat properly. In the meantime, feel free to explain the general purpose Metaverse Chat app in the meantime. That being said, let’s not turn this thread into a controversy about chat implementation. :slight_smile:



No fighting needed @Caitlyn, it’s just something secondlife user go trop over. It’s just good to know.there’s sometjing hifi works on.


There is also Mesh Studio in SL, too. I’ve used it a few times.


I used it to, and in rare case still use it in SL. But for me it feels like DAE is not so good mesh as FBX. But yes, it works.


Model not looking quite right?
Loaded all the maps in but its strange
load debugFramebuffer.js
to to that go to edit-running scripts type it in the search window
It has a bunch of radio buttons splits the screens and lets u view each map on your mesh separately
so u can check the normal maps and stuff loaded
(the maps names are outta whack but u can still see whats loaded)


anyone have a solution to animated textures in hifi? The sl script has frames and slide options.


Ok I’ve gotten used to exporting prim linksets from opensim into blender via collada format, and optimizing the mesh in blender for reimport to opensim. In Opensim we are limited to 8 materials per mesh. Is there a similar or higher limit in Hi-Fi?
I am disappointed that my lsl skills won’t translate to Hi-Fi, but is there a script function libary like the lsl library that we can reference for the javascript functionality?


I’ve imported a model with over 50 materials just fine. I had to separate the model by material first though. (Separate -> By Material, in Blender), and then export all of the parts highlighted together.

So, at least in terms of material counts, you’re way less limited here.