Add a loft to your Linden Home in Second Life

Just one room and way too many conflicting wood patterns!

How to add a loft and half wall

Just because you can’t move the walls or floors around on your Premium Linden Home doesn’t mean you can’t add new ones, or even cover the old ones with a new wallpaper or paneling pattern. When I acquired my Tahoe “Maple Floorplan” Linden Home it was just one big, long, narrow room with a siding pattern on the floor and walls that made it seem even longer and narrower! Here’s how I added a loft to one end to create a separate 2nd floor space, along with half-walls to minimize that weird useless area near the floor that sloped walls create in an A-frame. I also added down lights.

Below is the after photo. Adding furniture will soften the room considerably:

New modern loft, half-walls on sides with a wood top trim board, and lighting. Bright and cheery! The loft is built using only 3 prims, both the side walls are a single U-shaped prim that goes under the floor. The 3 spot-lights are 1 prim each.

For this project I went for a very clean, bright, modern look. I added a second floor loft, with a low front wall, topped with a translucent smoked glass railing (which could also be one-way glass if you want more privacy in the loft.) Three down facing down/spot-lights were added at the peak of the roof. The vertical half-sidewalls just above the ground-floor level are white wood panels made from a prim, with vertical batten texture, the texture doesn’t really show well in this photo. The side walls have a wood color top to mimic a trim board which gives the top edge definition. The ceiling below the loft has the same white panel texture as the side walls (it is one of the standard interior wall and ceiling textures provided by Linden Lab for the Tahoe series homes.) You could, of course, use any texture or color you desire for the surfaces. It was pretty easy to build, the only cost was a few pennies for the teleporter I used in place of space-consuming stairs (and if you are willing to live with a very simple teleporter and know how to use LSL scripts, you can build one using my free Second Life LSL teleporter script.) So all the changes you see here used only 9 prims/land units, including the teleporters! Keep reading for instructions on how to build these additions.

How to do Build a Loft in Your Linden Home

The loft shown here is built from 3 prims. One prim is the loft floor, a second is used for the low wall at the front of the loft, and a third is used for the glass railing on top of the wall.

In order to match your new loft or walls into your existing Linden Home you are going to need to get matching textures for them. Fortunately Linden Lab provides them for you all in one place and free.  This is a huge time saver compared to trying to figure out which texture was used.

Use the World Map to find the InfoHub for your premium home neighborhood. Make sure the Infohub checkbox is checked.  The location of the Infohub will be marked with a blue "i" in a circle as shown.

Start by opening your “World Map” while at your Linden Home and finding the InfoHub for your neighborhood. You will have to hunt around for it, it is labeled on the map with a “i” symbol. (See image at left.) Once you find it select it and teleport there.

Once you arrive at the InfoHub look for a product board that allows you to Buy the textures for L$0 (free!) The textures will be placed in your inventory for you to use. Here are what the texture boards look like for 4 of the Linden Neighborhoods:

Look around the Infohub for the Texture Board. This is the Tahoe Neighborhood Board (the ones used in this example.)  Each premium neighborhood has a different board with textures specific to the neighborhood's homes.

Shareta Osumai Neighborhood

Meadowbrook Neighborhood

Elderglen Neighborhood
If you don't like the textures at your Infohub you can go pick up ones from the Infohubs in other neighborhoods.  There are also lots of free textures provided in the "Library" section of your Inventory.  Of course you can also buy excellent quality textures from a lot of sources in Second Life also.

Once you have the textures, start building! I’m going to assume you know the basics of creating and working with “prims”, if not, you can find lots of good tutorials on how to make and edit basic prim shapes on the web.

The Loft Floor

Start by creating a block prim for the loft floor. Stretch and move it to fit into the space where you want the loft floor.

Here are the settings I used for the Tahoe Maple loft:

Name the prim, any name you want works. 

Stretch the loft floor to the desired size.

Optional: set the floor to emit light. 

I set the floor to emit light, that way it serves as a light source for the area below the loft. This is optional, as the light will also shine above the floor in the loft area. This may be too much light for some people! I like lots of light as my computer monitor tends to render SL a bit dark.

Advanced Lighting Update: You will now see additional light settings not shown in the image above. To the right of the white "light" color box there will be a grayed out box with an "X" through it. Click on that box. In the texture selector window that opens, click on "Blank". Set the values below it to:

FOV = 3.0
Focus = 0.0
Ambiance = 0.0
For viewers with Advanced Lighting activated in their graphics settings, the light will now only shine down into the room below the floor, rather than shining in all directions and passing through walls and floors.

Ceiling and Floor Textures:

Next select the bottom face of your new loft prim for editing. This bottom face will be the ceiling for the area below the loft.  Select textures from the packages you picked up earlier for your neighborhood at the Infohub.  I used the LDPW_TAH_Interior_Roof_PaintedWhite texture from the Linden Tahoe Textures collection for the ceiling. The settings I used for Repeats/Face, Repeats/Meter, and Texture Offsets are shown below. (Tip: if the images are too small, click on them to open a larger, easier to read image.)

Select the texture for the ceiling on the bottom of the loft.

Sample settings for the ceiling texture for bottom of the loft.

Now we need to add a floor texture to the top of the loft floor. Make sure Select Face is still selected and then click on the top of the loft floor prim. Select a texture for it. For my loft floor I selected the LDPW_TAH_Floor_WoodBoards wood pattern. That’s the same wood floor pattern I selected using the Linden Home Control Panel for the floor downstairs. Again, here are the settings I used (be sure to look at the settings I used for Repeats/Face, Repeats/Meter, and Texture Offset as those settings are the key for getting a realistic scale when working with textures!):

Select a Loft floor texture

Sample Settings for a Loft floor texture

Along the front edge of the loft I placed a wood pattern. Once the wall is installed, as shown in the image below, the wood edge is needed to add definition and visually anchor the bottom of the loft. This wood pattern is shown outlined in yellow in the next image.

Front edge of loft outlined in yellow.

Here is the texture and settings I used to create the wood edge effect:

Front edge texture.

Suggested texture settings for front edge.

Completed loft floor. It seems a bit detached at this stage, adding a front wall will help that. 

At this point I also made changes to the existing Lindon Home’s A-frame walls and ceiling. These changes were made using the Linden Home Control Panel located by the front door of the Home. The sloping ceilings were changed to the white plaster texture with stained wood borders. The end walls were changed to the painted white wood paneling texture which matches the loft ceiling (texture named LDPW_TAH_Interior_Roof_PaintedWhite.)

The Loft Front Half Wall and Railing

The loft wall is the section outlined in yellow. 

To make the low wall at the front edge of the loft create a new prim. We will then stretch the prim into a wall shape and move it into position. Next step is to create a trapezoid to fit the sloping wall shape in the Tahoe A-frames. It may take some experimentation to get the shape so that it doesn’t protrude through the roof or walls on A-frame houses. Tip: be sure to check outside to make sure part of the loft is not sticking out of the side of the building!

OK, here's how to create the trapezoid wall:

Create a prim and name it.

Select a texture for the loft wall.

I’m using the same texture as the ceiling on the loft, for consistency. 

Select a texture for the wall. Set Mapping to “Planar” for this prim!

Notice that this time I set “Mapping” to Planar. This is important because in the next step you adjust the taper to distort the prim and create a trapezoid shape. If you don’t set the texture mapping to planar you will get an oddly distorted texture pattern.

As always, watch your Repeats/Face, Repeats/Meter and Texture Offsets. You can experiment with them to get what looks good to you. If you do decide to experiment, be aware that it takes a bit of time and practice to fully understand how they change the texture’s appearance.

Stretch the rectangular prim to fit the space. For A-frame buildings adjust the Taper “Y” setting to create a trapezoid.

Adjust the Taper “Y” setting to slope the sides

The Top Smoked Glass Rail

Ok, you could use any color or tint of glass you want for the top rail. Or try using a one-way glass that allows people in the loft to see down, but nobody downstairs can see into the loft area.

Here’s the rail:

The smoked glass rail, outlined in yellow. 

Again you start with a prim and stretch it to fit the space, just like for the wall. If it is an A-frame you need to give it a trapezoid shape just like the loft wall above. 
(Tip: just shift-drag-copy the wall you made above!)  Here are the settings to create it:

Create the prim. 

Now change the color and transparency to make it into "glass."

Set transparency and tint color for the glass. 

Stretch it and shape it to fit.
Shape the glass by changing the Taper "Y" value.

Link It All Together:

One last trick.  Edit each of the prims in your loft and select the "Features" tab.  Now look for the Physics Shape Type and select "Convex Hull."  Do that for all 3 prims.  Now link the 3 prims you used to make the loft together.  To do that edit one of the prims and then hold down shift while selecting the other two.  Now press the link button in the edit window.  The loft will become one object and the prim count will drop to 2 from 3.  You just saved a prim!

The finished loft from upstairs looking from the back toward the front of the A-frame:

The Finished Loft. 

That’s it! The loft is done. I added some spot-lights at the ceiling. And I guess I did mention half walls for the ground floor to get rid of those angled A-frame wall issues. But this article is already too long, so I’ll write a new one on how to make the half walls. Here’s the article: How to Build a Half-Wall for your A-frame.

Oh, also the teleporter. There are no stairs (they take up too much space) so to get up to the loft and back down you need a teleporter. Or you can fly up and down or jump I suppose. You could also add stairs or a ladder but they look pretty bad. I suggest that a teleporter is a more elegant solution. Of course, I sell them. So perhaps I am biased.

Link to my Teleporter with Rotation. You only need one teleporter, it's copy-able, so you can clone it to make more!  You can also make a teleporter yourself, although it is not as good a unit as the one I sell.