Tracing To Coastlines

I've been able to get this to work in the past, but I'm confounded now while trying to get it to do what I want. My intent is simple: there's an area on my map that I want to designate as swamps. This is, as you might guess, along the coast. I'm using a Contour drawing tool, and when I get to the coastline, I hit the T key to Trace, click the land mass, then click on the coastline. I can usually then move around the coast to where I want to end the trace, click again, and proceed without problems. However, this time it seems to be going the wrong way around- it's basically circling the continent the other way than the one I want. At first this was clockwise- so I figured that it was a tool thing and I needed to just work with it by making sure my end point was forward of the start point, working clockwise. However, when I tried to start at the opposite end of the coastline, it did the opposite. There doesn't seem to be any sort of consistency to this behavior- there's no Help file about it and the full CC3 manual describes a series of prompts that I'm not getting with the Contour tools.

So how do you get this to work properly every time? I can do it the hard way, but I'd like to know the proper way for the future.


  • edited January 2009
    I had this same problem When you type in T you first click to select entity. If you click outside the area you want traced you will select everything outside of your next two clicks. The easiest way I have found to get just what I want in a trace is to click dead cnter of the area I wan to trace when I select the entity. Then your next two clicks should only trace what you want. Hope this helps
  • That's not really the issue I'm having- I've attempted Hiding all sheets and layers save the land that I'm attempting to trace, since I only need the coastline, and then clicking well within the borders. The subsequent trace still ends up going the opposite way 'round compared to what I'm after.
  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 45 images Cartographer Administrator
    I don't do trace much, but there seem to definitely be a problem here. I did a few tests, and found that on some places on the polygon, I had to trace around the polygon in a clockwise fashion, while on other parts, it had to be done counter-clockwise (The same way I drew the polygon I am tracing on). I first though it might have something with crossing the original starting point of the polygon, but that made no difference, so there do seem to be something strange here. Hoping someone form ProFantasy can clear this up
  • Here's a visual aid for what I'm attempting to do:


    The area in yellow represents heavy rainfall. I'm trying to match that area for indicating swamps. On the left side of the peninsula you can see the area where I was able to do this (and lay down trees afterwards), but the area on the right side is what's giving me trouble. I can start at either end of the area and start laying down the outline of the contour area, then Hide the rainfall layer as I get close to the coast. From there, I hit 'T' and click the land. Then I click another point. This typically doesn't have an effect- so I hit 'T' and click the land again, then click the coastline again. At this point, regardless of where I am or where the cursor is relative to the nodes already placed, the trace function wraps around the area I don't want traced. I have attempted to coax it into flipping the other way around, but it just doesn't work. At best it resets the trace to completely encompass the land mass.

    There's no other symbols or bitmaps visible in the area I'm working on when I try this, and freezing layers doesn't do any good either. It just doesn't seem to work the way I'd like it to.

    If there's no trick to it, and this is just an issue with the drawing program's software, that's fine too- but I'd just like to know if there's a way to make it work, so I can be lazy and not do it by hand.
  • RalfRalf 🖼️ 16 images Mapmaker Administrator, ProFantasy
    I always do it this way, and it always seems to work:

    - You are currently drawing the entity you want to trace another entity with.
    - Place a point close to the spot you want to start your trace, but not yet on the entity to trace.
    - Hit "T".
    - Click the entity you want to trace a little distance away into the direction you want to trace it.
    - Click the point on the entity where you want your trace to start. This should be somewhere between the last point of your current entity and the location where you clicked to select the entity to trace.
    - The trace should now run in the correct direction.

    If you have an example where this doesn't work. Please send me the file and how to recreate the situation to
  • RalfRalf 🖼️ 16 images Mapmaker Administrator, ProFantasy
    Also: Am I correct in assuming that these are FT Pro exports? Sometimes FT creates strange polygons or multipolies, where nodes are doubled up. I can imagine this causing problems for the trace function.
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