There are several ways to organize your maps, both inside and outside of CC3+. We’ve previously talked about linking your maps together to make a navigable atlas, and how to index your maps to make them easy to search to find the map you want. Today, I’ll talk about the bookmark feature in CC3+. Using bookmarks, you can create lists of maps, for examples maps belonging together, or maps with a common theme. For example, in the community atlas, I have bookmarks for the different types of maps, for example one bookmark set that contains all the overland maps, one the contains all the dungeon maps, and so on.

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If you own a lot of ProFantasy products, or have installed one or more of the large community symbol packs, you will have a lot of symbols. By default, CC3+ will give you easy access to the symbols belonging to the current map style through the symbol catalog buttons immediately above the map window, but sometimes you may wish to search for other symbols not made for the current style, which may fit anyway. But how to best find these symbols? Let us check out a few ways which may be of assistance to you here.

 

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A few weeks ago, I hosted a live stream taking a closer look at the drawing tools. Making this the perfect time to talk a bit more about the more advanced aspects of the drawing tools and how to utilize them properly and explaining a few things in more detail than appropriate for a stream.

Examples of advanced use of drawing tools is to draw aligned fills, drawing a path and have symbols placed along it or drawing a polygon and having it filled with randomly placed symbols. Basically, a lot of the things you can do using multiple steps with regular CC3+ commands can be automated and streamlined by making a drawing tool for it.

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People who have browsed the Community Atlas website have probably noticed that you can search maps, not just by name, but also by text in the map. So, how to I manage to do that, the maps on the website is just images, right? Granted, there are tools available that tries to understand text in images, but these are not good with noisy backgrounds like a map is. However, the community atlas website is of course backed by the actual community atlas product, the .fcw files themselves, and this is where the text comes from.

This is all done by using an excellent command in CC3+, the create index command. This command was originally made for searching through multiple drawings quickly without the search function having to read each map file every time, but the index it generates is a nice plain text file which can also be used by other tools, such as a web search. If you own products such as the Forgotten Realms Interactive Atlas or World War II Interactive Atlas, these come with an index file out of the box allowing you to quickly search the maps therein, but of course, you can also easily make your own index file for your own set of maps.

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Our Dynamic Dungeon project is moving along, and for this installment of the series, I am going to address several interesting concepts and techniques.

  • Creating custom entities so we can store our settings with the map.
  • Creating dialogs to change settings. Here I also show how we can use owner-drawn lists to draw comboboxes with previews of the fill from the map. We’ll also create macro versions of the settings commands.
  • Accessing the drawing InfoBlock to find fills.
  • Making sure our tool stop at the map border, the same way that CC3+’s drawing tools does.

I am including the interesting bits of code right here in the article, but I have made minor changes all over the code from the previous articles to accommodate some of the new features from this article, so don’t forget to download the complete project from the link at the end of this article.

To be able to follow this article series, you should have read my earlier articles in the series.

As with the previous installments, here is a short video showing our results so far.

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If you have used Campaign Cartographer for some time, you’ve probably encountered the red X showing up in your map. Perhaps just as simple symbol missing and being replaced by a red X, or maybe your map was covered by them. Today, I’ll talk a little bit about why you may encounter this issue, what the reason behind it is, and what you can do to remedy the situation, as well as tips for avoiding it in the first place.
Hopefully after reading this, you will have a better idea on how CC3+ uses your images, and can avoid this situation in the future.

The Core Reason

The underlying reason this happens is rather simple. When you make a map in CC3+, the map will contain references to the image files used for symbols and fills. These files are not embedded in the map itself. So, every time you open up a CC3+ map, it will look at the references embedded in the map, and will then go and load these image files from your drive. However, if it cannot find these files in the location specified in the map, it won’t know what that image is supposed to look like, and it will display a red X instead indicating this. So, in other words, this happens because the image that was on your drive when you made the map is no longer there, simple as that. This isn’t an issue with CC3+ itself, it is simply a missing image file. So, what we need to look at now, is why this file may be missing. This will influence the best way to go about fixing your map.

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Last time in the developer series I started our Dynamic Dungeons project with the intention to showcase how to make some simple tools for a more fluid dungeon editing experience. In this issue, I will continue on with that project, and add some improvements to it, such as taking care that our entities are placed on the right sheets, meaning we will need to dive into sublists, and I will also automatically generate walls to go along with our floors.

As last time, I prepared a short video to show the tools in action. At the end of the video, you’ll also see that I show the classic dungeon tools correctly interacting with my entities.

To be able to follow this article series, you should have read my earlier articles in the series.

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One reason to import an image into your map is to use it as a guideline for your mapping. For example, maybe you want to import that scan of your old hand-drawn map, or importing a real world city map to re-map it in CC3+. Inserting the image is easy enough (Insert File from the Draw menu), but one of the important things when you want to use an image for reference (or using it as part of the final drawing) is to get it to scale. You could wing it, but that often comes back to bite you later, as a lot of the default sizes for effects, line widths and so on assume your map is to scale. I’ve talked about the importance of scale in an earlier article, but for this one, I’ll just focusing on scaling imported images.

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In this article in the development series, I’ll start putting the things we have learned into some proper useful commands for CC3+. I’ll be going for designing a set of dynamic dungeon tools that focuses on making the drawing of a dungeon quick and easy. In particular, I am aiming at making a set of tools that lets you draw the floorplan in a more fluid manner, and easily do things like changing the shape of a room by adding a small alcove or similar, without manually manipulating the entities. I am also making sure that the floor will always be merged to a single polygon so we avoid breaks in the fill pattern.

This will be a series of several articles, so in this first article we will be getting started with the basics. We will start by writing the code for drawing polygons, and we will see how we can merge them automatically to a larger polygon. This should give us a great starting point, which we will build upon in future articles. This short YouTube video shows a demo of what the code below achieves in CC3+.

To be able to follow this article series, you should have read my earlier articles in the series.

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The latest CC3+ update is currently in beta, and you can download it from your registration page over at the main ProFantasy website if you wish to try it out. Of course, this is a beta, so only install it if you don’t mind potentially running into glitches and other issues (this is why we test new versions before releasing them after all)

In this article, I will take a short look at the new features that appear in this version. If you have the beta installed, you will have them right now, but if not, you will get access to them when we release the finished version of the update. In any case, there are several nice new features waiting for you in this update.

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