Color Key is one of those effects that can be a bit difficult to see an immediate use for. Effects like Glow, Edge Fade, Transparency and so on are very clear already from the name, and it is easy to think of scenarios where those effects would be useful. But what of the Color Key, what can we really use it for? When does it make sense to use it? It’s not quite as clear.

I didn’t really use this effect myself in the beginning, but I’ve been using it more and more over the years as I have found that it can really simplify the work process to get the look I need.

The main idea behind Color Key is that it can be used to remove parts of a sheet, allowing the sheet below to shine through. This can be done to punch hole in things, for example, you can use it to punch a hole in the landmass to see the sea fill below (creating a lake), you can punch a hole in the roof or wall of a building to see the interior, you can use it to remove the parts of the grid you don’t want and so on. But instead of actually deleting anything from the map, the Color Key is just an effect that can be later moved or removed, for example making it much easier to reshape that hole in the wall as opposed to if you had actually edited the wall entity itself.

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In my latest live stream, I did use the RGB Matrix Process effect quite a lot for changing the colors of fills ans symbols. I this article, I’ll dive a bit more into this effect and describe it in a bit more detail.

The effect itself is just a basic color-replacement effect, but all those text fields with numbers can look quite a bit daunting when you open it up for the first time, but you can use it to make some nice results. You can see some examples in this older blog article where I also touch briefly on this effect, but today I’m going to explain it in a bit more detail.

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The community atlas is almost at it’s 500th map, and will also be 4 years old this February.

For this occasion, we are having a mapping competition with the chance to win some nice voucher to use on ProFantasy products.

You can read all the details about the competition in this forum post, but the main idea is to create a dungeon with either a ice and/or fire theme.

There will be prizes for best map, and also a prize drawn at random from the submitted maps for the 500th map.

This contest is intended for every CC3+ user, no matter their skill level. Don’t hesitate to join even if you don’t feel your artistic skill can compete with the best. Even if you don’t win any of the prizes for best map, there is also the random draw which anyone could win.

The contest will be running until the end of February. Please head over to the forum post to check the exact details, ask any questions you might have, and have a look at the two maps already submitted.

Please, join in on the competition. It is great fun participating, no matter your skill level, and it is a great opportunity to challenge yourself, maybe do something different than your usual fare. And the more people who participates, the better the contest becomes.

Ever wanted to have something appear as a being inscribed into the wall or floor instead of appearing on top of it? With a little bit of manipulation and a few effects, we can turn any vector symbol or basic shape into such an inscription.

We can then use this technique to decorate floors in a dungeon, or used with both walls and floors in a perspective drawing, netting us some nice way of adding decorations without overusing symbols.
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When using CC3+, you may have encountered symbols with behavior, like houses that aligns to and offsets from the wall and doors that align to, resizes themselves to match and cut holes in dungeon walls. These are what CC3+ calls smart symbols. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these symbols and we’ll have a look at how to make our own smart symbols. I’ll be using DD3 here, but this functionality is not restricted to DD3, and can be used in any kind of map CC3+ can produce.

Try it out

Before making our own smart symbols, to see the existing ones in use, try out how dungeon door reacts to differently sized walls. Start with a new small DD3 dungeon, draw a wall using the wall drawing tool (I recommend you right-click Default Wall and pick a nice looking one) at any angle. Then, make sure Snap (bottom right corner) is turned off and then pick any door from the Wall features catalog and hover the cursor over the wall. The door symbol should rotate to match the angle of the wall, and once you click, you’ll notice that it actually cuts the wall where it places the door. These are two of the features of smart symbols, aligning to existing entities and cutting lines.

This article is also available in a video version.

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This is the fourth article in my series about XP development. To understand this article properly, you should be familiar with the contents of the previous articles.

In this article, I’ll be taking a closer look at how to interface with some of CC3+’s own functionality, in this case how to set CC3+ variables and how to call native CC3+ commands from an XP. I’ll be showing you how to use the SetVar and ExecScriptCopy API calls.

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In CC3+, each template is designed for a single style, which comes with it’s own symbols, fills and tools, while the resources belonging to other styles are not directly visible in the GUI.

This is intended behavior, because it puts the chosen style in focus. You know that all the elements you are being offered are designed to work with that style and fit with the visual design of the style. This behavior is both a blessing and a curse. Keeping the focus on the style is good. If you own everything, you’ll have about 40.000 different raster symbols (and a lot of vector symbols too, but I don’t have the count), you really don’t want to filter through all of these all the time when working on your map to find the ones matching your current map style, that’s just hugely impractical. But every now and then you want to be able to mix map styles, and you know of a couple of styles that work very well together. How can you easily access all the symbols from these styles?

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One of the features for CC3+ symbol catalogs is the ability to arrange these into groups, and then set this group to place random symbols from the group, or apply random transformations to them, like rotations or minor scaling to give variety to otherwise identical symbols.

But, what if you are making a particular map, and you need some other kind of grouping? For example, when placing trees you want to randomly place Decid, Pine and Jungle trees among each other? There are no predefined group like this in most symbol catalogs. Well, for that you can quite easily set up your own personal random collection just for the current map (or you can save it into a symbol catalog if you want it available later).

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It is time to update the software running the ProFantasy Community Forum. This includes both the forum software itself, as well as the underlying software on the server. There are a lot of things that need to be manually handled here, so this is a major operation.

I plan to start at Friday, August 28th 2020 at 18:00 hours CET, and estimate a maintenance window for about 6 hours, but it could potentially take longer. During this time, the forum will be unavailable.

The new version of the forum software will bring along some new features to the forum, such as a better post editor and better support for mobile browsers. Check back after the upgrade is complete to learn about all the other changes.

 

Update:

The new version is now up and running. Check this post in the forum for a breakdown on some of the changes.

So, here you are, having just prepared the main location for tonight’s adventure. But then it dawns on you, you have no idea when players will actually visit this location. They may even drop by multiple times.

Well, today we’ll be having a look into how to set up effects to it is easy to switch between day and night views of the same map. In the day scene, we will be using regular wall shadow effects to have the buildings and symbols cast shadows, while the night seen will use the point light system in CC3+ to have light sources in the scene that causes the symbols to cast shadows. We will be using this to show how symbols around a fire casts shadows away from the fire, and how we can have lights coming from the windows.

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