figures center

Non-bug comments, suggestions, and feature requests for BRPG and/or BGE
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Gwindel
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figures center

Post by Gwindel » Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:06 pm

I did transform a few drawings as png tokens. I did try to leave a transparent area around them calculated to have the character centered on the base (like the bowman) and the rest (sword brandished, standard, horse...) around. The result was not really centered (see below). Does that mean that the token is placed on the base and centered ignoring the transparent area? Just would like to know to calculate beforehand how a token shall appear.
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Post by erian_7 » Fri Jan 06, 2006 3:52 pm

I can't actually see your image (shows as a broken link) but looking at the properties I see it's dimensions are 28x20 pixels. Increase that size to 61x61, leaving all the nex space transparent, and it should center exactly with the token base.
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Post by heruca » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:04 pm

In beta 1.0.3, the horizontal and vertical offset tools in the Unit Inspector panel work properly. You won't need to size your tokens to any specific dimensions to get them to line up just right on your grid. Give me another day or two to get that version posted.

I'm in the middle of moving to a new apartment, so progress has slowed nearly to a halt for the last 2 days, but I think I can finish 1.0.3 by tomorrow.
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Post by heruca » Fri Jan 06, 2006 7:05 pm

Super icons, by the way!
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Post by Kepli » Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:55 am

I agree ... beautiful tokens 8)
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Post by erian_7 » Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:26 pm

My designing thought on always using a 61x61 canvas (or 122x122, 244x244, etc. to make large tokens that can be scaled down) for BRPG tokens is that way you won't have to do any offset to get the token centered properly. It'll also give better perspective on where the figures will fall over their square/hex borders. Not a problem with some tokens, but with a wargame, for instance, I'd want the figure to take up exactly the space it's supposed to.
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Post by Gwindel » Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:03 pm

The problem is that the center of the illustration is not exactly the center of the figure (I mean the body of the guy). For exemple if someone carries a flag as high as himself, the drawing is centered at his head. Being able to offset the figure shall be a useful for me.

I don't know if you can see the illustration in my original post now? I can see it in the post, but forum software can be unexpected sometimes.

If not, you could see it at:

http://users.skynet.be/gwindel/Templars.jpg
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Post by erian_7 » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:46 pm

Yep, I can see it now--I'd still use a specifically-sized canvas rather than an offset even with the flags. Otherwise that flag's going to stick up into the next sqaure (not something I'd generally want). I'd use a square canvas and resize the horse or standard-bearer to fit entirely within that square (centered as needed). I'd then resize the other figures to scale.

Of course, for others it may not matter that the flag or other bits of the figure stick over into the adjacent squares, but even then I'd still be better off working from a square canvas and centering the image there rather than trying to use the offsets on every image (especially in a wargame with many, many units) as I'd always know exactly where the center of the image is.

If you want to shot me some images I'll show you what I mean--I don't think I'm writing it out very clearly. Basically my thought is if someone is already making the images for BRPG, then make the effort up front to make centering easier/unnecessary as opposed to doing it in the program.
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Post by Gwindel » Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:02 pm

Well, I have no problems with bits sticking outside the square, if it doesn't completely hide the other figures. I'll also try with the figure offset to have the feet of the figure standing in the middle of the square and a shadow at his feet. This way you have the figure depicted where it stands (this would work better with an isomorphic map).
Anyway, I would like to see what you have in mind (from what I understand it seems that it would be even smaller than my own figures). I have bundled a few figures I have turned into pngs, they are at:
http://users.skynet.be/gwindel/battlegrounds/tokens.zip
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Post by heruca » Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:35 pm

If you look at the big pic on the BRPG home page, there's a good example of a customized centerpoint for a figure. The monster figure has been placed in such a way that his centerpoint is his chest, as opposed to the center of the monster graphic. This makes his axe stick way out of his cell into adjacent cells, which would partially obscure any adjacent figures. Some people won't mind this, others will. If it bothers you, you can always make the graphic smaller, but then it might not be to the same scale as all the other figures.

The method Erian is describing is more work up front, but requires zero tweaking to get it into BRPG with the proper defaults. And Gwindel seems to be saying that he doesn't mind doing those steps in BRPG, since it only has to be done once for each graphic, and his wargames will presumably use the exact same graphic to depict many units.

My intent with BRPG is simply to provide some simple tools for using "found" graphics, since not every gamer has (or is comfortable with) a graphics-editing program.

Erian, does your method end up producing graphics that are larger than absolutely necessary (in terms of the size of the bounding box)? If so, I'm concerned about how that might adversely affect transmission times in online games.
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Post by erian_7 » Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:32 pm

I figure anyone with redumentary graphic skills can just reduce the size on these and center, so I'm focusing on how to pre-center these without reducing the size (which will cause them to hang over into other squares). I tried making pre-centered versions of the Knight, Great Master, and Hill Troll, however, and ran into something unexpected--BRPG apparently ignores transparent space entirely when placing an image (at least that's my best guess). For the Knight, for instance, I created a 183x183 square canvas, then positioned the figure so it would look properly centered on a single 61x61 square within that space. When I place it in BRPG, the app seems to ignore the actual size of the image and centers only on visible pixels. I can correct this somewhat by placing near-invisible (i.e. 1% opacity) 1 pixel dots in each corner to create a bounding box, but then BRPG treats the thing as taking up 9 squares. Any insight on how the app is working with these graphics?


Oh, and pretty negligible increase in size for these--2-4 KB at the most on my tests.
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Post by heruca » Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:58 pm

erian_7 wrote:BRPG apparently ignores transparent space entirely when placing an image (at least that's my best guess). When I place it in BRPG, the app seems to ignore the actual size of the image and centers only on visible pixels. I can correct this somewhat by placing near-invisible (i.e. 1% opacity) 1 pixel dots in each corner to create a bounding box, but then BRPG treats the thing as taking up 9 squares. Any insight on how the app is working with these graphics?
You've accurately described how BRPG imports and trims graphics, and the proper workaround to avoid it.

Would you want this behavior to stop, if I can manage it? It would mean larger image sizes for improperly cropped artwork, but it would allow you to do what you're trying to do without needing that workaround.
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Post by Kepli » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:19 am

Might it not be easier (as an extra feature next to using the numbers) if you can drag the token to the place you want it to be within the square? Like deactivating the Snap-to-Grid function, drag the token and when properly placed activate it again, without the token snapping back to it's original placement ... The middle of the token can be determined when you activate snap-to-grid again ...
Since I do not have BRPG at this location, I cannot test if this might already work using the X-key to deactivate and activate the snap-to-grid function <grin>. But you cannot drag a token now as far as I know ...

Moving the token with the cursor-keys might snap the figure right back to it's original spot on a square if that is not taken into account.
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Post by erian_7 » Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:41 pm

Hmm, if BRPG could honor the actual image size as far as centering, but also allow one to click into squares covered only by transparency that would be my ideal. When I place the Knight figure, for instance, it would place it pre-positioned on my 183x183 area, but I could click into any square adjacent to the actual Knight image.

I like Kepli's suggestion as well--in fact being able to use the mouse for general movement of objects/figures would be a good thing.
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Post by Gwindel » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:21 pm

I think that just using the ability to offset the figure should solve most of the problems.
Of course, having a "no-grid" mode with the possibility to place freely the figure should be nice (for exemple for maps which have their own grids (see my last post in the map-size topic)).
You could still move the figure one pixel at a time by keeping the finger on the move-number key.
This kind of "minimalistic" mode would give a solution for unforseen situations.
Just an idea...
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Post by heruca » Mon Jan 09, 2006 6:37 pm

Good stuff in this thread. I like Kepli's idea of dragging the actual token. It could snap into place cell by cell just like when you move the cursor over the map, and if you hold down a modifier key, you could temporarily override the snap-to-grid function and place the figure freely wherever you want. Same for objects. Sound good? This may even be fairly easy to pull off for the 1.0 release.

Erian, I programmed 1.0.3 to not trim off any transparent space on the graphic when importing. I haven't tested that feature yet, but it should work. If you want to send me one of your prepared offset tokens without the corner pixel workaround, that would help me to test it.
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Post by Kepli » Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:31 pm

Cool Heruca :D That would make stuff a bit easier imo
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Post by heruca » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:29 am

I need some feedback, please. Here's a pic showing some large figure bases that I'm trying to add to BRPG:

Image

You'll note that the 10'x10 and 20'x20' bases (i.e., the even-numbered sizes) don't line up with the grid. I need to apply an offset from the unit's position, the same way I do for certain AoE circle overlays, so that everything lines up properly.

My question is, does it matter which cell corner I "snap" the base to? I figure that, worst-case, the unit will appear 1 cell away from where you intended to place it. Not a big deal; just reposition it before unhiding, right? And as long as unit placement is consistent (e.g., it always snaps to the bottom-right cell vertex), then eventually you'll get the hang of exactly where these large-based units will get deployed.

Really I am wondering if there's anything in the D&D rules, or any other game system's rules, that specifies how figures should be placed on the map, with regards to large base sizes.
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Post by Halebop » Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:32 am

I can't think of anything in D&D that would be inhibited by base sizing. Just having the larger bases caters to D&D combat and movement rules for larger creatures . I agree that as long as they consistently snap to the same point we will get used to placing them. Personally I'd go for the selected grid being the top/left vertex of the base, given that I read from left to right, top to bottom.

Looking forward to having a play with the new sizings! The big question for me is still how to handle overlapping creatures - because large bases in D&D normally indicate a large creature that a smaller creature can often stand under, occupying the same BG grid...

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Post by Kepli » Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:14 pm

I agree with Hale on this and are also looking forward to see this in action myself :wink:
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Post by heruca » Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:03 am

This is taking longer than I thought it would, because not only do I have to adjust the position of the text labels depending on the size of the figure base, but I also have to create the health status halo graphics, the unit selection halo graphic, and the movement guide graphics in a variety of larger sizes, and code everything so that the right-sized graphic gets used, based on each unit's base size. Ugh...

For now, I'll only be offering the Clear base in the larger sizes. The rest of the base types will get added in another update/s.
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Post by erian_7 » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:45 am

If you want some assistance on creating any of that, just gve me a holler. Happy to help move this nice little app along... :D
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Post by heruca » Tue Jan 24, 2006 3:39 pm

Thanks for the offer. I think I'll take you up on that. :D

I'll email you my templates and source files, so you can help me with the unit bases.
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Post by erian_7 » Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:55 pm

Okay, all done!

It looks like I can churn these out fairly easily, so I'm going to open up an offer to our forum folks--send me your favorite selecton of texture (either from my contact sheets down in the images area or elsewhere) and I'll whip up a batch of custom bases. Doesn't mean heruca will use them right off, but if he decides to, your favorites will be ready to go in all current sizes!
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Post by heruca » Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:43 pm

Thanks, Erian. That was quick!

My favorites of the ones you posted are:
The first "Fabricated Asphalt"
"Ground_SandGray"
"Ground_SandBrown"
"IronPitted"
The first "Colorized Glass"
"Stone_Brown1"
"Wood_Cherry1"

Did you make your fringes the same width as my yellow facing indicator? If not, then I'm not sure if they'll look quite right. Perhaps send me the first batch when you have it ready, so I can test it before you do the rest.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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