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Artpack/Figure preview function

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:28 pm
by markuwp
I just saw the new update to the Devin Night token collection. Even though I already have the tokens in a different format, I keep wanting to buy the artpack for the color mods and just to show support. The reason I don't is that the artpack format makes it more difficult to find the token you want, so I don't think I'd use them even though the images are enhanced and ready for battlegrounds.

When you have a number of figures and the names aren't very descriptive, I find that it takes too long to flip through each picture one-by-one in BRPG while placing a figure. To find a token, I usually open the appropriate figures folder in Windows, select "large icons" to view thumbmails, scroll through to find the image I want, remember or jot down the name, and then go to battlegrounds to select it.

I think it's been mentioned before, but it would be great to have some way to see a lot of figure images at once to help pick figures to place. It would be helpful for others, but especially for artpacks since you can't preview them outside of Battlegrounds. I've already purchased a number of artpacks, but a quick/easy preview function would make me happier with those I have and more likely to buy more in the future.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:27 am
by Omnidon
Yeah, it's in the old suggestion summary. The poor image preview & file selection features are definitely among the biggest drawbacks in BG for me.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:51 pm
by heruca
Given that it would require a fairly major rewrite to add the sort of media browser that you would like, how about this...?

Would a "contact sheet widget" showing thumbnails of the artwork in each artpack category be useful for quickly finding a particular figure/object? Each artpack could have it's own widget, set to be visible only to the GM. In much the same way as I've provided a mini rulebook in some of my boardgame conversions, you would select the smallish on-screen widget to activate BRPG's Portrait feature, which would show the first contact sheet (category), and then you would use the token-swapping hotkeys to step through the various categories (or use the popup menu to jump straight to a particular category). This would allow you to browse an entire artpack's contents in a matter of seconds.

The widget/s could be imported via a Deployment file when needed, or perhaps kept on the Sideboard when not needed.

The collection of widgets could even serve as a promotional sales tool, allowing potential customers to preview the entire contents of each commercial artpack prior to purchase.

I think that would work

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:36 pm
by markuwp
I'm not sure I completely understand how it would work, but I think would help. I currently have 8 artpacks installed with a total of more than 30 categories. It sounds like I could load each artpack widget as a deployment or perhaps make an "artpacks" deployment that would load them all at once or maybe they could even appear automatically in the sideboard. Then I could page through the contact sheets from each artpack, one category at a time, until I found the name of the unit I wanted. Is that correct?

I do think that would work. It is not perfect, but sounds like a good work-around that wouldn't require lots of coding. As long as the contact sheet shows images that are reasonably large and also show their category and name, that would really help a lot. This would make it just as easy or perhaps easier to find an image in an artpack than it is for non-artpack figures.
heruca wrote:Given that it would require a fairly major rewrite to add the sort of media browser that you would like, how about this...?

Would a "contact sheet widget" showing thumbnails of the artwork in each artpack category be useful for quickly finding a particular figure/object? Each artpack could have it's own widget, set to be visible only to the GM. In much the same way as I've provided a mini rulebook in some of my boardgame conversions, you would select the smallish on-screen widget to activate BRPG's Portrait feature, which would show the first contact sheet (category), and then you would use the token-swapping hotkeys to step through the various categories (or use the popup menu to jump straight to a particular category). This would allow you to browse an entire artpack's contents in a matter of seconds.

The widget/s could be imported via a Deployment file when needed, or perhaps kept on the Sideboard when not needed.

The collection of widgets could even serve as a promotional sales tool, allowing potential customers to preview the entire contents of each commercial artpack prior to purchase.

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:28 pm
by heruca
Yes, that's correct. I think with a bit of getting used to and practice, it would be significantly faster than the method you've been using to find things.

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:52 am
by heruca
Actually, the more I think about it, the less I like my idea. It will mean a heck of a lot of work laying out each page of thumbnails for each category in each artpack, not to mention extra work (and bandwidth) for the GM and players having to install the resulting media bundles.

Now I'm thinking I should just make a multi-token figure containing all the figures in each category, and then make unit palettes out of all those multi-token units, just as I've done with object-based artpacks.

full contact sheets with names

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:57 pm
by markuwp
As I think about it, I'm not sure the workaround even needs to be within BRPG. If I could just get a pdf or document with pictures and names of each figure in the artpack I've purchased that would help a lot. All I really want is to be able to see all the figures at once to skim through them and choose one more quickly and easily. If I knew the figure I wanted and it's name/category, I could then find it within BRPG and add it in no time.
heruca wrote:Actually, the more I think about it, the less I like my idea. It will mean a heck of a lot of work laying out each page of thumbnails for each category in each artpack, not to mention extra work (and bandwidth) for the GM and players having to install the resulting media bundles.

Now I'm thinking I should just make a multi-token figure containing all the figures in each category, and then make unit palettes out of all those multi-token units, just as I've done with object-based artpacks.

Re: Artpack/Figure preview function

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:46 pm
by heruca
markuwp wrote:When you have a number of figures and the names aren't very descriptive, I find that it takes too long to flip through each picture one-by-one in BRPG while placing a figure. To find a token, I usually open the appropriate figures folder in Windows, select "large icons" to view thumbmails, scroll through to find the image I want, remember or jot down the name, and then go to battlegrounds to select it.

I think it's been mentioned before, but it would be great to have some way to see a lot of figure images at once to help pick figures to place. It would be helpful for others, but especially for artpacks since you can't preview them outside of Battlegrounds. I've already purchased a number of artpacks, but a quick/easy preview function would make me happier with those I have and more likely to buy more in the future.
Here's a preview of what I am working on for BRPG v1.8. I call it the Gallery Browser. It should make it a lot easier to find a particular token fast, whether it's a local file or one from an artpack. Note that it is a fixed-size window, so it will always display 11 thumbnails at a time.

How it works: the "Select" button is dimmed until you click on a particular thumbnail image to select it (shown with a green border). The plan is to make it so that double-clicking a thumbnail not only selects it but also acts as if you had pressed the "Select" button, thus taking you to the next screen instantly. Choosing an item from the "Selection" menu takes you to the page that the token is located on and selects/highlights it for you.

Feedback on the interface is welcome. I've still got some work to do on the text labels. I want them to be readable even when it overlaps the token image (e.g., see the "Axe & Shield A1" label in the screenshot). I would also like to include some sort of indicator over each thumbnail to let you know when a token has been downsized to fit in the preview area.

My plan for BRPG v1.8 is to make the Gallery Browser initially available for Figures and Objects (this is where the greatest need is, IMO). Support for also being able to browse audio clips, portraits, visual aids, etc. in the Gallery Browser would probably come later on in a v1.8 development cycle.

Re: Artpack/Figure preview function

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:47 pm
by markuwp
This looks great!
Here's a preview of what I am working on for BRPG v1.8. I call it the Gallery Browser. It should make it a lot easier to find a particular token fast, whether it's a local file or one from an artpack. Note that it is a fixed-size window, so it will always display 11 thumbnails at a time.

How it works: the "Select" button is dimmed until you click on a particular thumbnail image to select it (shown with a green border). The plan is to make it so that double-clicking a thumbnail not only selects it but also acts as if you had pressed the "Select" button, thus taking you to the next screen instantly. Choosing an item from the "Selection" menu takes you to the page that the token is located on and selects/highlights it for you.

Feedback on the interface is welcome. I've still got some work to do on the text labels. I want them to be readable even when it overlaps the token image (e.g., see the "Axe & Shield A1" label in the screenshot). I would also like to include some sort of indicator over each thumbnail to let you know when a token has been downsized to fit in the preview area.

My plan for BRPG v1.8 is to make the Gallery Browser initially available for Figures and Objects (this is where the greatest need is, IMO). Support for also being able to browse maps, audio clips, portraits, etc. in the Gallery Browser would probably come later on in a v1.8 development cycle.

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:54 pm
by heruca
Thanks, markuwp.

I've been polishing the layout a bit more, and here's what I've got now.

Note the green magnifying glass icons that appears in some of the thumbnails. These indicate that the preview is significantly reduced from it's native size, so you are not seeing all the detail that is in the image. Hovering over (or clicking on) a magnifying glass icon will show you the artwork at full resolution.

I found the green frame that highlights the selected thumbnail too distracting, so I changed it to black, which is less obtrusive.

Posted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:58 pm
by heruca
This is how the full-size previews look.

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:18 am
by TRIAD4Evr
That is terrific!!! I love it! I spend far too much time clicking thru figures when I'm adding a monster on the fly!