How you see your Second Life world is all down to how well you can use your camera. These are your Second Life eyes, so to speak. For a long-term resident like myself using my camera is second nature, just like looking around in RL. But as a newbie I know it took me a while to become conversant with the camera controls.
Now I must say straight up that I seldom have the onscreen camera controls visible. I’m all about keyboard and mouse. For those that do not know these options, this is from Linden Labs’ community page on camera controls.
By using your keyboard and mouse to control the camera, you can view nearly any object or avatar from any angle or distance.
- Alt + Left mouse button: Press and hold to zoom your view in when you move the mouse up or down. Orbits your view around the focal point when you move the mouse left or right.
- Ctrl + Alt + Left mouse button: Press and hold to orbit your view around the focal point when you move the mouse in any direction.
- Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left mouse button: Press and hold to pan your view parallel to the plane of your screen.
- Mouse scroll wheel: Zooms in or out.
- Escape key: Resets your view to its default location behind your avatar. Moving your avatar also resets your view.
Once you have the basics down pat the following video from the Firestorm team introduces you to a number of tips and tricks for advanced camera use.