FT3+ Questions: Customizing Toolbars & Orienting Globes

When creating a custom toolbar in FT3+ I noticed there is an option in the context menu for Button Appearance, but it seems inactive. Can this be used? Some of the commands I want to use in the custom toolbar don't have icons and it would look much tidier if they did. (Copy Button Image also shows up in the button's context menu when editing toolbars).

Also - is it possible to add any buttons from the "Map Tools" tool bar to a custom bar? The zoom commands don't seem to be in the list of Commands.

Finally - How do you move the poles? The Globe navigation window seems to be able to do it, but I'm finding it insanely difficult to control (the direction the globe turns seems to be only vaguely related to the direction I drag the mouse...). Is there a numerical setting somewhere I can just use instead?


  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    I can only answer the last question on your list.

    You move the poles by adjusting the Latitude and Longitude in the North Pole Position panel on the Secondary tab of the World Settings dialog. To see the result of each adjustment you have to click the Apply button.

  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker

    The menu and toolbar configuration elements in FT are directly exposed features from the underlying Microsoft Foundation Classes Feature Pack framework. The menu and toolbars in FT3 were migrated directly from the legacy menus and toolbars of FT2 and weren't completely redone to have the pool of separate images and text that would allow for complete runtime reconfiguration. The Customize option was more or less a "for free" sort of feature from MFC, and it does seem to have significant limitations (I will admit that I haven't played with it much). It seems that you get the option to turn off images for existing menu items that have them and to change text, but not add new icons. It also seems that if an item doesn't appear on the basic menus (as, it seems, the Map Tools items do not), then those items can't be added to other toolbars: I did miss a few, it looks like.

  • @Loopysue Thank You! Seeing the window I think I’ve even used that setting in the past. It drives me nuts when I can only partially remember something, I kept looking for it in projections - this makes more sense.

    @jslayton thanks for the great explanation, I’ve never tried to write anything for windows but I started to suspect something like this might be the case.

  • I tried using the World Settings to change the north pole - but after changing the coordinates I can find no difference in the map.. what is it actually doing?

    I would like north to be the direction of the arrow (i.e. the map rotated so the arrow points up.)

    I set the pole to the red x, but changing the North Pole Position doesn't seem to have done anything at all...?

  • LoopysueLoopysue ProFantasy 🖼️ 39 images Cartographer

    Did you click the Apply button after you changed them?

  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker
    edited October 2022

    FT has the problem that it doesn't move the editing data when you move the pole position, but only rotates the sampling sphere for the fractal function. Because the pole position is really an aspect of the Fractal Function, that setting probably ought to be on the Fractal Function page. Reprojecting the editing data is on the wish list for the next major version of FT, but I have no idea when that will happen.

    If you've used Burn In To Surface on the world, then everything is editing data and setting the pole position via World Setting won't work. There isn't a way to change the pole position in latitude for cylindrical projections, so that won't help, either. You can recenter the projection by holding down the Shift key while using the pan tool (a little "c" appears on the hand).

  • 11 days later
  • Using Burn In To Surface was literally the last thing I did just before reading your response. Fortunately I hadn't changed any other settings and was able to make a new identical map - and changing the North Pole Position worked just as it should.

    This brings up another question about using Burn In To Surface, what it's doing and when it's meant to be used - but I'll start a new thread for that. Thanks!

  • jslaytonjslayton Moderator, ProFantasy Mapmaker

    Understanding Burn In To Surface requires understanding a little about how FT does its altitude calculations. For each point in the world, altitude = (fractal + prescale_offset) * roughness + offset. There's an extra unchangeable offset and scaling factor in there, but since you can't change it, there's nothing to worry about. The fractal part is the variable-resolution part of the calculation that gives the details (including size of the continents and location of the poles) and the others are fixed-resolution user editing channels. What Burn In To Surface does is set roughness to zero and offset to the altitude value, basically making the surface into a simple fixed-resolution heightfield. That's good in the sense that it's harder to accidentally change things and it lets you be absolutely sure about what you'll be exporting. A lot of the fancier tools only work in the offset channel anyway, so it's sometimes easier to reason about results.

    There's another formulation for FT's altitudes which is just grab altitude from a binary file (altitude = binary_file). That's fine, but you need to keep the file around. Because Burn In To Surface puts everything into the offset editing channel, you can get rid of the binary file if you want, plus you can adjust altitudes using FT's tools.

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