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      CommentAuthorMonsen
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2017 edited
     

    Index



    CC3+ contains a huge amount of various commands and features. In this series, I plan to highlight some of these. There won't be any special progression to this series, and the command will be selected from the entire range, from the simple basic commands, to more advanced features intended for the more advanced users. Feel free to use this topic to discuss the command presented. If you have a command you wish to have showcased, feel free to request it, and it may get presented.
    This series is called the command of the week, but it could also explain a feature or effect. The explanations will tend to explain the technical parts of the command, it is up to you to use it creatively in your maps.


    Week 2 - Symbols Along

    The Symbols Along command, also know as Escarpment, helps you distribute symbols evenly along a line. While the premise is reasonably simple, it is a very helpful tool for many different types of maps. Part of the flexibility for this command is due to the options for how symbols can be arranged along this line. Symbols can be rotated to follow the turning of the line, or they could keep their orientation regardless of the line. They can also vary in scale, and you can define a random chance for them to appear at all. All of this provides many different usages for this command. For example, you could use it to arrange pillars in a circle in battle maps, you can use it to draw railroad sleepers along the line. It can be used to draw weather patterns, or escarpments.

    Internally, this command is known as the Escarpment command, and was designed to draw escarpments on overland maps. However, as described above, the command can do so much more, which is why it is now more commonly known as the Symbols Along command.

    Where to find it?

    Menu: Draw -> Symbols Along...
    Command Line: ESC

    How to use it?

    First of all, draw a guideline which you want your symbols to follow. This line can be straight or smooth, circles, arcs or most other types of lines in CC3+, but it won't work with lines drawn with the freehand tool. Your symbols will be placed along this line, with their origin at the center of the line. (You can see the origin of a symbol easily by selecting it in the symbol catalog and moving the mouse over into the drawing window. The origin of the symbol is where the crosshairs is placed on the symbol when holding it on your cursor).
    Now, activate the Symbols Along command. The Escarpment dialog will show. Let us have a look at the individual parts of this dialog

    Symbol Catalog

    esc1.pngThe default symbol catalog may not be very inspiring for most map, but you can load in any symbol catalog for use with this command. Simply hit the browse button and load your favorite catalog. The symbols placed in your map will be regular symbols, and can be manipulated individually after running the command if you need to tweak things. You can of course also create your own symbols to use with this command. Do note that it has to be a symbol, this command cannot use simple drawing entities, you need to turn them into a symbol first. It is worth noting that you can acually load in your current map here instead of another symbol catalog, to get access to symbols defined/used in the current map (save the map first, then browse for it). Also note that the command can only handle a single symbol, you cannot select multiple symbols and have it alternate between them.

    Note that the symbol will be placed on the current sheet, it ignores default sheet selection behavior for symbols.

    Distance

    esc2.pngThis is the distance between the origin points of the symbols used. If this is less than the total width of the symbol, the symbols will overlap. You may wish to first place the symbol you wish to use into your map at a scale of 1.0 so you can measure it and calculate the appropriate values to use for the symbols along command. Obviously, if you plan to set a different scale for the symbols placed by this command, you must take that into account when determining an appropriate value.

    Symbol Angle

    esc3.pngSymbols can be arranged to follow the direction of the line, or to appear at the same angle no matter how the line twists and turns. This setting controls that. The top option means that all symbols will be placed with an angle of 0. The second option places the symbol at an angle perpendicular to the guide line at that point, while the third option orients it parallel to the guide line. Invert symbol rotates the symbol by 180 degrees. Note that if you used a symbol with an origin at the top or bottom of the symbol (as opposed to in the center), this will also have the additional effect of having the symbol extend out from the other side of the line (pointing up instead of down for example)

    Chance

    esc4.pngSymbols Along places the symbols along the guideline with perfect precision, using the exact same distance between each symbol. But if you wish to randomly skip some symbols in there, you can adjust this percentage down.

    Symbol Scaling

    esc5.pngThis options allows you to determine if the scale of symbols should be applied to both axes (maintaining the shape of the symbol), or if it should be scaled along only one of the axes. The latter option is very useful if the symbol is something like a line which should change in length, but not in width. An excellent example of this is the drawing in the "preview" area below where line length varies along the length of the guide line.

    Symbol Scale & Location

    esc6.pngFrom here, you can control how symbols are scaled along the guideline. This area consists of a "fake" preview area (it only shows a general view of what the command can produce, unaffected by your choices), and 3 input boxes for scale (first, third and fifth), and 2 input boxes for distance (second and fourth). The first box specifies the symbol scale at the beginning of the guideline (100% means a symbol scale of 1.0), the third box determines the symbol scale at a user-determined midsection, and the fifth box the symbol scale at the end of the guideline. The second and fourth boxes are used to determine the location and size of the midsection. Basically, the second box determine the distance, in percent of the whole line, from the start of the line to the start of the midsection, and the fourth box determines the distance from the start of the guideline to the end of the midsection. For this to work properly, the second box needs to be less than or equal to the fourth box, and both needs to be less than or equal to 100%.

    Symbols will start out scaled according to the starting scale, then gradually change scale until it reaches the midsection scale. It will then keep this scale for the entire midsection, until it reaches then end of it, after which it will gradually change the scale to reach the end scale. Note that if you wish all symbols to be the same scale, just set the same scale value for start, center and end, and just ignore the % along values.


    Once you are happy with your parameters, hit OK, and select the guideline as prompted. If you clicked on a valid line, the symbols will be drawn along it.

    Examples

    esce1.pngPillars in a circle
    esce2.pngRailroad sleepers placed along a track. Shows section of a longer track. The rails themselves are just gray lines with effects applied. A full tutorial for this example can be found in the CC3+ tome (Currently being written, so not available yet)
    esce3.pngA cold front (Weather map)
    • CommentAuthorLoopysue
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2017
     
    Oh WOW! I never realised that was how you did it. I was playing with it a while ago, but I must have had a bad day. Thank you so much for taking all this time to illustrate the way its done :D
    •  
      CommentAuthorOldGuy
    • CommentTimeJan 18th 2017
     
    That is a wonderful tutorial. Great work Monsen!

    This is exactly the sort of thing that I've always felt the ProFantasy forums needed. I hope you keep producing them!
    • CommentAuthorTopdecker
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2017
     
    It's good and helpful! Thanks! You should add a link to the next one :)
    • CommentAuthorJMunsonII
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2017
     
    Nice! :) Thanks!

    I am curious as to what style of escarpment the tool was originally intended to create? I have a thought, but would like to see the actual original intended result. :)
    • CommentAuthorShessar
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2017
     
    Posted By: JMunsonIII am curious as to what style of escarpment the tool was originally intended to create? I have a thought, but would like to see the actual original intended result. :)


    I think it was used early on to make escarpments like the one in the upper left of this map.
    • CommentAuthorJMunsonII
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2017
     
    @Shessar - yup, that's what I was thinking... :D
    • CommentAuthorTopdecker
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2017
     
    Posted By: Shessar
    Posted By: JMunsonIII am curious as to what style of escarpment the tool was originally intended to create? I have a thought, but would like to see the actual original intended result. :)


    Ithinkit was used early on to make escarpments like the one in the upper left ofthismap.


    That is almost exactly what I want to do with it (but I'd run at a more random rate), but it is annoyingly fiddly where scale is concerned. I decided that I needed to learn a lot more about the world coordinate system or whatever you want to call it before I could be very effective with it.