For hours and hours on Saturday night, I beat my head over a way to simulate a simple spotlight or directional lighting, going so far as to even look into particle lighting systems (way, way over my head, and apparently not able to be directed/focused). I think I probably made my friend Jazzie’s head explode a bit with my questions, too. (sorry!)

Moriash writes about how he made a flashlight (fairly obliquely, to be sure 🙂 ) which simulates my desired effect:

Moriash’s flashlight

The trick is to place the light emitting prim well ahead of the object. In this case, the center of the light source is located four or five meters in front of the flashlight. The net result is a reasonably convincing directed beam. I did discover one trick: the light emits from the center of the prim, even if said prim is dimpled and cut. This means that you can effectively place a light source several meters away, without having the object itself occupying the space.

D’oh. Of course. I find that when I run into a wall in Second Life, it’s generally because I’m thinking about things too directly, not in the orthogonal ways that an engineer (or a Linden) might think. 🙂

I really didn’t get the italicized part of his comment, though. I’m going to try this as an experiment next time I have a chance in-world, to see what it does to light emission from the prim.

PS – I won a round of Building Shelter yesterday! YAY!

PPS – Hmmm, I think I understand what he means now that I think about it: when you dimple the prim, the center of the prim remains in the same place, even though visually the prim is much smaller and removed from that center. I still need to play with it in world to see how this effect would look…

PPPS – Awesomely excellent snapshot tool here. This will *so* help me with the annoyingness of trying to position my av and then alt-camming into position to take the shot. Thank you, Mo! (I fear I now have to add you to my blogroll 🙂 )

Update 2:43 am: It works! It works! And by attaching to your hand, you even get a realistic “moving flashlight” effect as you walk. Only issue is with the dimpled prim that occasionally, when I’m standing still, will show the light underground, rather than aboveground. 🙂