Fixing Flicker

Great texture artists are picky about the details. Have you ever noticed something in the virtual world that looks like it is flickering strangely or a dotted line appears between two adjoining prims? Distracting, isn’t it?


Texture flicker happens when two adjacent textures are competing visually on your computer screen. Depending on the angle from which you are viewing your object, one prim or another will seem to win. It’s very easy to fix, and one mark of careful texturing!


Step 1. Create two adjoining prims

Rez a cube, then hold down the shift key a drag along the X axis to duplicate that prim. Position the duplicate so it’s touching the first prim, as if you are building a wall, one prim at a time.

[image – intro2build.19.a]

Step 2. Texture the Prims with Different Textures

Now, one at a time, select the Texture box in the Edit Window > Texture tab and select a different texture from the OpenSim Library > Texture Library for each prim. In the example, the first prim is textured with “cedar” and the second prim is textured with “bricks”.

[image – intro2build.19.b]

Step 3. Drag the Second Prim “Half Way” Into the First Prim

Now, to show the flicker effect, drag the second prim about half way INTO the first prim, so that some portion of both prims are overlapping each other (occupying the same virtual space).

[image – intro2build.19.c]

You probably saw the flicker effect happen as you were dragging the second prim into the first, but even after you let go, as you walk around your prims, you will see the flicker happening again as your computer tries to decide which texture to show from any given angle. This happens because parts of the two prims are occupying exactly the same virtual space at the same time. So which texture should be on top? Your computer can’t tell, so it “flickers” between the two textures depending upon your viewing angle.

Step 4. Fixing the flicker

The only way to remove the flicker effect is to make sure that no two prims occupy the same virtual space at the same time.

For objects that are right next to each other, you need to move the ends so that they are just touching – but not overlapping – each other. Sometimes this can be kind of annoying to fix by using the arrows by hand, but using the Position parameters to change the numbers can help.

Another option to get rid of flicker is to ever so slightly adjust one of the sections along a different axis, so one prim is just slightly “in front of” or “behind” another prim. It’s best to do this with the Position Parameters so you can change the position with high accuracy. You can change the measurement by as little as 0.002. It won’t really change how your build looks – but it will get rid of that annoying flicker!

Change the alignment of one of the prims you created just slightly. Look at it from different angles to see if you solved the flicker problem.

You may have noticed flicker on some of your early creations. If you have time, go back and use your new knowledge to fix those flicker problems.

If you are using the PRIMLAND Tutorial game, stop here and continue on the path!