Exclusion Commands

Back in update 15, CC3+ introduced a set of exclusion commands. These commands are variations of the various symbol fill commands where you can specify an exclusion zone, a part of the entity to fill that should not be filled. For example, this can be used to have the forest fill avoid the river running through the forest.

Let us start with this simple map (100×80) showing a river running through the forest. The forest area has already been outlined using the Forest Background drawing tool. Note that the forest area is drawn using a single polygon, it is not split into individual polygons at each side of the river. For this simple example, that wouldn’t have been to much more work, but for a larger area with multiple roads, rivers, lakes and other obstructions, this is a far simpler method.

Now, I could have used the regular Symbols in Area command from the draw menu, and using the settings shown in the dialog would result in something like the image below when the dark forest background is selected:

Now, as we can clearly see, our river is full of trees. We could of course come up with an in-game explanation for this and move on, or more reasonably, we’d just use the erase command and delete the offending trees.

To make life easier for ourselves, let us use the exclusion command instead. Going back to the map before we ran symbols in area, and instead type SYMFILLX on the CC3+ command line. You’ll see the same dialog as you encountered when selecting Symbols in Area (keep the settings the same), and when you are prompted to select entities, select the dark forest area as before and hit ‘Do It’, but after that CC3+ won’t finish the command, but will instead ask you to select entities again. This second select step is used to select the excluding entities, i.e. the entities that define the area that should NOT be filled with symbols. So, by selecting the river in the second step and hitting Do It again, we are left with this result:

Much nicer. CC3+ now avoided the river without us having to  lots of extra work (either deleting the trees, or carefully making individual forest backgrounds before running the command).

 

A exclusion command is also available for the Fill with Symbols command. It is used the same way as the Symbols in Area version, but note that the configuration dialog doesn’t pop up automatically, you must first configure the command by going to Draw -> Fill with Symbols, set the desired options, click the Close button in the dialog, and then run the command by typing FORESTX on the command line.

The images below shows the dialog containing my settings, the result of the regular command (what happens if you hit Run Now in the configuration dialog) and finally the result of running the exclusion version (FORESTX)

You’ll certainly be able to get the same results without using the exclusion commands at the cost of some manual work, but they are great timesavers when mapping.

 

One final tip; remember that you can use temporary entities to define the exclusion zone. Sometimes you just want to avoid filling a certain area, even if there isn’t a clear entity like a river or road there. Just draw a temporary entity, use that for the exclusion area, and delete the temporary entity when done.

2 Responses to “Exclusion Commands”

  1. Awesome and very useful command, thank you for making it! Will this be added to any of the buttons, by chance?

  2. We’ll add it to the menu at least with the next update!

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