SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

Tip: Save money on texture uploads and ID your archived stuff

Remember this post that I made quite a while back? – Dollarbies at ETD

And then this post about archiving all the hair that I bought there? – Update and a useful tip

Well here I am with a tip that will save you a LOT of money in the long run, if you want to be able to identify all the stuff you have in your archives.

Let’s take a look at all that hair. Now, I could upload all the pics that I took for that post, and use each one to texture that style’s archive box. Or I could perhaps place all of those pics (in texture format) in a single folder called ‘Pictures of ETD hair in archive box number ##’. Or I could even put them into a notecard, if I was concerned about adding lots of items (those individual pictures) to my inventory.

But, no matter what, I would still be paying 10L$ per picture to upload them. At a total of 19 styles, that would cost me 190L$. And this is where my sneaky little tip comes in handy. I opened my Photoshop (you can use Paint Shop Pro, or The Gimp – which is a freebie image editing program) and resized all of those screenshots. First, I cropped them all to a uniform square size, then I resized them all to 128×128, which is a quarter of the size of a standard 512×512 texture upload in SL. Then, I created a blank 512×512 texture in Photoshop, and pasted 16 of the pictures in a 4×4 grid onto it, and I also wrote the name of each style in each individual picture.

I ended up with this:

I then uploaded that picture, at a cost of just 10L$. And here’s where the crafty bit comes in. Hop behind the cut to read more.

First of all, I could place that single pic into a folder called something like ‘Hairstyle photos’, which would allow me to see at a glance exactly which style I might want to pull out of my archives.

Secondly, if I managed to fit all those styles into one box (at a total of 2648 individual hairstyles I really don’t recommend that, but this tip could come in useful for other archive boxes, for outfits etc) then I could put that whole texture on the outside of the box, so that when I rez the box I can see exactly what’s in it.

Lastly, using the texture repeat and offset settings, I can use that single texture to identify 16 individual hairstyle boxes with the style that’s in them, just like this:

Since there are four textures in each row and column on the image, I need to divide the 100% of the image into four, which obviously gives me .250, so my texture repeat settings for both vertical and horizontal are .250

Then I just moved the offsets around in values of 25 until I had the same, single image on each face of one box. Two examples follow:

Another good thing about this is, if you want to keep the boxes out in-world, your SL viewer will only need to load one texture: the big one with all the pics on it. So not only are you saving money (only 10L$ upload fee instead of 160L$) you’re also saving load time!

You can do this with any items you have, for example outfits. As long as you make your blank image 512×512 and try to fit your cropped images into variants of that ( two-by-two at 256×256 or four-by-two at 128×256) then you could easily identify your outfits and anything else you want to quickly get an idea of, all while saving money on uploads!


October 18, 2008 - Posted by | hints and tips, inventory management, second life, textures |


  1. Brillig!! This deserves a link back to you…as soon as my kids get off the machine. (They’ve been waiting kinda patiently for the desktop….)

    Comment by Harper | October 18, 2008 | Reply

  2. *tsk* Kids, eh? Don’t they understand that mum needs her computer time, too? ;-)

    Thank you for the linkback, and I hope this tip proves to be useful for other people that read it. I know it’s already saved me a lot of money in uploads!

    Comment by Mar | October 18, 2008 | Reply

  3. […] has come up with ideas that let you stretch your Linden dollar until it screams in submission.  Here’s a really nifty one that I wish I’d come up with.  And all you need is a posing stand, good light, and a […]

    Pingback by 16 SL Storage Box Pictures for the Price of 1 « Around the Grid | October 18, 2008 | Reply

  4. Just last night I was thinking ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there were an ‘expanded view’ inventory window that let you see thumbnails of your items.’ Looks like if I spend some time I could fashion one myself.
    (I still think it would be boss if someone would invent a proper one – that and the Magic Duplicate Item Detector.)

    Comment by Jane Primrose | October 18, 2008 | Reply

  5. The thumbnailed inventory is such a good idea, Jane. I wonder if Linden Lab have a suggestions scheme for future viewers? Might be worth finding out and putting that forward. I think it would probably have to go on the JIRA (and I don’t have the first *clue* how to work that thing!)

    Comment by Mar | October 18, 2008 | Reply

  6. Hi Mar. This is a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing. Anything that saves our hard earned linden gets my vote. Love your blog!

    Comment by trishagelber | October 21, 2008 | Reply

  7. Thank you, Trisha! Next time I get in-world, I plan to get cracking on all those outfits in my inventory: the ones that I have no clue what they look like – LOL!

    Comment by Mar | October 22, 2008 | Reply

  8. […] 10L$ to upload (even if I crammed several outfits/hairstyles etc into one shot, as I suggested in this post) but I have a great solution, and it’s […]

    Pingback by Quick n’ dirty inventory catalogue « SL for Nowt | March 25, 2009 | Reply

  9. […] Save money on texture uploads and ID your archived stuff […]

    Pingback by Inventory Management 101 « SL for Nowt « Ashes To Ashes, Sale To Sale | July 15, 2009 | Reply

  10. I’m in the middle of compiling my first grid of 16 hair pics and I can tell you another reason this is brilliant idea for reducing your inventory – going to all this effort means that I’m finding it a lot easier to part with the noob wigs!

    Thanks for your excellent tips :)

    Comment by cal | September 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you, and LOL! That’s a good point, Cal :)

      I’m gearing myself up to write an inventory-sorting post all about hair, but it’s… difficult! I think hair is even harder to sort out than shoes or anything else. We all have so much of it, and just thinking about tackling it gives me the heebie jeebies, so good on you for getting stuck in!

      Comment by Mar | September 7, 2010 | Reply

  11. Quite so, I may need to quote you on this technique at a later date.

    Comment by Annechen Lowey | November 1, 2010 | Reply

    • I’m glad it proved useful, Annechen :)

      Comment by Mar | November 1, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: