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A primitive ("prim" for short) is the basic building block (made up of polygons) of Second Life. Using SL's built-in object editor, just about anything can be modeled out of primitives.

A prim has a name, description, material, and a basic shape (box, sphere, cylinder, torus, etc) that can be resized and modified by changing its parameters (cut, hollow, twist, taper, shear, etc). Each prim has several sides which each have a color, opacity, and texture that can be rotated, repeated (UV), and offset. Optionally, a prim can have such features floating text, a particle system, light-emissive, or be flexible.

An object can be made by linking multiple primitives together, but a single prim is an object as well.

Each prim has an inventory that can contain items like scripts, objects, notecards, textures, or anything else in a user's inventory. All running scripts are contained within the prims of an object.

Despite the similarity in names, Second Life's primitives are not true primitives like you'd find in 3D modeler such as 3D Studio MAX or Maya, but are actually parametric models: simple 3D objects with variable property settings that give the appearance of primitives that can be deformed to a degree (but things like vertex manipulation or CSG subtraction can't be done to them).

There is an ongoing debate surrounding the question of supplementing parametric models with true meshes. At this time, meshes are supported as sculpted objects in Second Life.


Function Description
llGetAlpha ² Get prim transparency
llSetAlpha ² Set prim transparency
llSetLinkAlpha ² Sets transparency of another prim in linkset
llGetBoundingBox Get prim bounding box.
llGetColor ² Get prim color
llSetColor ² Set prim color
llSetLinkColor ² Sets color of another prim in linkset
llGetNumberOfPrims Get total number of prims in linkset
llGetNumberOfSides¹² Get prim sides
llGetObjectDesc Get prim description
llGetObjectName Get prim name
llGetObjectPermMask Get object permissions
llGetObjectPrimCount Returns the prim count for any specific object in a sim
llGetPrimitiveParams Get nearly every prim attribute
llGetLinkPrimitiveParams Gets prim attributes of another prim in linkset
llSetPrimitiveParams Set nearly every prim attribute
llSetLinkPrimitiveParams Sets prim attributes of another prim in linkset
llSetLinkPrimitiveParamsFast Same as llSetLinkPrimitiveParams without script delays
llParticleSystem ¹ Configure prim particle emitter
Changes the camera configuration of avatars that sit on the prim.
llGetMass Gets the mass of the prim
llSetObjectDesc Set prim description
llGetObjectMass Gets the mass of the object specified by the key.
llSetObjectName Set prim name
llSetObjectPermMask Set object permissions
llGetPos Get the position of a prim or linkset
llGetLocalPos Get the position of a prim within a linkset relative to its root prim
llSetPos Set the position of a prim or link set
llGetLocalRot Get the position of a prim within a linkset relative to its root prim
llGetRot Get the rotation of a prim or link set
llSetLocalRot Set the rotation of a prim within a linkset relative to its root prim
llSetRot Set the rotation of a prim or link set
llGetScale ² Get prim scale
llSetScale ² Set prim scale
llSitTarget¹ Set prim sit target
llSetSitText¹ Replace prim "Sit" text in pie menu
llSetStatus ³ Toggle various attributes of prim/object: phantom, physics, rotational limitations and die/return conditions.
llSetText ¹ Set floating text above prim
llGetTexture ² Get prim texture
llSetTexture ² Set prim texture
llSetLinkTexture ² Sets texture of another prim in linkset
llSetTouchText¹ Replace prim "Touch" text in pie menu
llSetRemoteScriptAccessPin¹ Set prim remote script access pin
llSetClickAction Set the action performed when a prim is clicked upon.
¹ These are not traditional prim functions in the sense that they cannot be set from the object editor, but their attributes survive regardless if a script is present in the object.
² Can apply to sides or prims.
³ Only phantom and physics can currently be set from the editor menu.


Object | Link | Texture | Inventory | Dynamics
Comments [Hide comments/form]
Parametric models aren't the only way to stream data, Chris, so stop removing that last part in parentheses... It's also obvious there are more than one prim parameters so why the need to add "several" in front? Too wordy...
-- EepQuirk (2006-02-14 22:43:32)
Ack, sorry about the wordiness - some things just seem to sound better in my mind. I removed the bit in parenthesis in haste, apologies, it was grammatically awkward. I think I fixed it though.
-- ChristopherOmega (2006-02-17 08:25:44)
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