Leveraging the new Features of CC3+ – Update 26

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.

The Screen

The screen is a white polygon right outside the map border intended to hide things sticking out from the map. You may remember that I wrote an article about it not too long ago. The article goes into detail how to manipulate the screen, for example to change it’s size if it isn’t big enough, or make a new one if your map template didn’t have one (or you’ve deleted it). Now, with the latest update, manipulating the screen is much easier than before, thanks to four new commands. Note that all these commands are command line commands you need to type into the CC3+ command line, you won’t find them in the menu, but using a command line command is just typing the command into the CC3+ command line at the bottom and hitting enter instead of clicking a button/menu item, after that, everything is the same anyway.

  • COLLARDEL: This command deletes the existing screen. You should do this before using the commands below to add a new one. When running the command, it will ask you for the correct sheet. The default option is the standard screen sheet, SCREEN, so you can normally just hit enter to accept the default (But the default remember the last sheet you used). Do note that this command deletes everything on that sheet. Normally, you shouldn’t have anything else on that sheet, but be careful in case you have misplaced any entities. You may need to issue the redraw command to see the result of this operation.
  • COLLARAUTO: This command creates a new screen for you, and tries to automatically figure out the correct size. This usually works in most cases, but if may fall short if you have effects that extends far beyond the border, for example long shadows from entities in the map. In that case, you’ll want to use one of the manual commands below. Of course, the command can only see what is in your map right now, so it is best to do this as you are finishing up your map, not in the beginning.
  • COLLARW: This command creates a new screen for you, but asks you for the width of the screen instead of calculating it automatically. Use this instead of COLLARAUTO if you find that command not making the screen big enough. To figure out the width you need, a good idea is to use Info -> Distance to measure the length of whatever sticks out before running this command. Then just type that length when the CC3+ command line requests it when running COLLARW.
  • COLLAR: This is the most manual of the commands. In addition to allowing you to specify your own width, it starts out by asking you to draw a rectangle around the area you wish to keep. This is very useful if your map doesn’t have a proper map border defined, which can cause the automatic versions to fail. Note that the default values for the prompts is to surround the map border and automatically calculate the width, so if you just hit enter on the two prompts, it behaves exactly like COLLARAUTO.

Example:

  1. Screen is clearly to small. We can see it covers a tiny sliver of the iceberg, but most sticks out on the outside of the screen
  2. Deleted the existing screen with COLLARDEL.
  3. Used COLLARAUTO to add a new screen. Now covers the whole iceberg perfectly.

Colorize Effect

The colorize effect is an easy to use effect designed to manipulate the color of a sheet (or the whole drawing). It is basically a better version of the Adjust Hue/Saturation effect, but this version allow you to specify either RGB values or HSL value. The main attractions of this new version is that you can use sliders to more easily adjust the values which can be really helpful if you are not an expert on color theory, and that the effect have a live preview, so you can see the changes live in your map as you drag the sliders. This allows for much smoother experience when experimenting to find the right values.

Offset Lines

If you have seen me or my instructions for making train tracks, you know that it involves drawing the center line and then using the offset command twice to make an offset line once on each side. The new TOFFSET command allow you to make both of these lines in one go, and optionally delete the center line at the same time (TOFFSETX). This command is very useful whenever you want to draw things like railroads, but also city roads where you generally want the edges of the roads to be separate lines, and not the road itself as just one thick line. I am sure you can find lots of other uses for this.

Both these commands are command-line only. When you run them, you will first be asked for a distance, this is the distance between the center line and the offset lines, the resulting distance between the offset lines will then be twice this.

Text Along a Curve

The text along a curve command have seen some nice improvements, which allows you better control over the text appearance, allowing you to control the direction of the text instead of relying on the direction of the line, and also allow you to say that you always want the text the right side up. Previously, if you needed to label a river that was running the “wrong” way, you would need to draw a secondary guideline just for the benefit of the text.

You’ll find this command in the Draw menu as usual, this is just an improvement to the existing command, not a new version.

Selecting Symbol by Name

Ever needed to delete all the tree symbols in your map? Symbols can now be selected by name. This isn’t quite as straight forward as the regular selection procedure, so let me give an example using the familiar King’s Coast example map from the user manual.

  1. Type SELSYMTEXT on the CC3+ command line
  2. The CC3+ command line should ask you for a symbol name filter. Type tree and hit enter. (Basically, just type something that is part of the symbol name you want to select. Be aware that any symbol containing the typed text will be selected, so type enough to be unique and not select unwanted symbols)
  3. You should see all the trees getting selected, but since you are not in a command right now, you can’t really do anything with this selection. (If you wondered why the trees in the forests didn’t get selected, it’s because these symbols are named wood, copse, forest, etc, and don’t contain the name tree, so our result is expected given the filter we provided.)
  4. Now activate the command we need, for my example this would be the Erase command.
  5. As usual, CC3+ will prompt you to select entities. At this stage, simply hit P on the keyboard. P is the shortcut key for Prior selection, which basically re-selects the trees we selected in step 1-2.
  6. Hit D on the keyboard (shortcut for Do It) to complete the command as usual and delete the trees.

Of course, this approach can be used with any command that expects a selection, not just erase.

More stuff

There’s also a list of various fixes and minor changes. One of the really useful one is the ability to make a node a corner when drawing with the smooth polygon tool. This has been possible when using smooth drawing tools for a long time, but the feature was never back-ported to the basic smooth poly tool until now. You’ll find the full change log in this forum post.

 

 

2 Responses to “Leveraging the new Features of CC3+ – Update 26”

  1. Will the new features that you describe be implemented in the next CC3+ Update as buttons (or commands in drop-down menus), or will they remain accessible only in command lines?

  2. For the time being they’re only available as command line commands. Some of them may find their ways in to the menu in the future.

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