Make an animated flag for Memorial Day - Best Second Life tools

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Make an animated flag for Memorial Day - Best Second Life tools

This article is part of a series on the Best Second Life tools.

Remember our veterans this Memorial Day.

Memorial day in the United States is coming up soon, on the last Monday in May on the 29th. Our national holiday honors those who fought and died to defend our country. Traditionally, we fly the American flag that day.

Here is a simple way to express your appreciation for our veterans ultimate sacrifice via Second Life, by adding a waving, animated American flag to your parcel. You can add your own state's flag to the display, too, provided that it is underneath the American flag, or on a separate flagpole lower than the American flag, as required by flag etiquette. You should also fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time on Memorial Day.

John Dikun

I'd also like to mention something about one person who gave his life for our country. A dear friend of mine, Wavinggirlsav Voom, told Charlie vanAlten and me in Second Life that her mother had been looking for her brother, her Uncle Johnny, for nearly 60 years. All she knew was her mom's brother had died somewhere in Europe in WW-II as he got out of a tank.

All our searches reached a dead end. But then something happened. In Second Life. And we found John.

Read about Finding John Dikun in WW-II via Second Life and please, make a flag and fly it this Memorial Day.

This is Johnnie's niece and her memorial to her newly-located Uncle Johnnie, in Second Life:

Johns Niece

Making the flag animation

You can get all the parts for a flag from my zip file.

Upload the flag

Upload the flag texture to Second Life. This will cost you 10L.

Now make a cube prim:

Cube prim

Go to the features tab and select Flexible path:

Flexible path

If you then grab and shake the box prim, you will see it sag to one side. You may have to let go of the box after moving it depending upon your viewer:

Shaken box

Shrink the box down and rotate it so it looks like a flag:

Looks like a flag

Set the cube prim to 100% Transparent:

100 trans

Now select 'Select Texture', click one side and set the Transparency to 0.

one side is transparent

Texturing the flag

You will need to have two different textures in your flag due to the way animated images work, so we are only going to make one side of the flag at a time.

I made these flag textures from a flag from They also have all 50 state flags in animated format.

Apply the flag texture to the selected side:

apply the flag

Set the texture rotation to 90 degrees:

Now flip the flag over, and use the 'mirror' flag texture on the far side, and also flip it 90 degrees.

Your flag side should look like this on the left side:

left side

and it should look like this, upside down on the far side:

upside down

This is normal, the way animated textures work will cure all this as soon as we add the simple script.

Scripting the flag

The short script is all you need.

        llSetTextureAnim(ANIM_ON | LOOP, ALL_SIDES,4,3,0,0,8.0);

This script will animate your flag 4 frames across and 3 frames tall. If your flags flaps too quickly or slowly, change the very last number in the script.

Siwcth the editor window to the Content tab and click [New Script]

new script

Double click the 'New Script', then copy and paste the script into the script editor window. Press 'Save', and your flag should start waving:

Waving flag

Making a flagpole

Make a prim, type = cylinder, and set the width and height to fit your parcel. I made mine 0.1 X 0.1 X 4.0 meters tall, and also added a taper of 0.75 to Taper X and Taper Y:


You can add a texture to the pole to make it stand out. I chose a silver color from this texture:


Now set the flag at the top of the pole.

Waving in the breeze

Now you can go back and play with the Flexible path settings to make your flag blow in the wind.

I set mine to have a bit of gravity, so it would sag, and also set the wind to blow it around:

Flexible path

When you are done, you should have an excellent looking flag that blows in the breeze:



I am including a golden mesh bird 'topper' for your pole in my zip file. It takes up 4 prims and is highly detailed.

mesh bird

Go to File-Import->Model and select the golden flagpole bird:

mesh import

Give the model a name and select 'Small, non-moving":

model page 1

Now click the Upload Options tab and select "Include Textures" and set the size to very small, such as 0.020.

model tab 2

Click Calculate weights and frees and when it is finished, press Upload.

Your bird should come in with all the textures and positions set. Just put it on top of the pole along with a small prim shaped like a ball and enjoy our National Holiday!

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