- Getting Started
- Rolling Dice
Running a Game
- Create Game
- Navigating Astral Maps
- Inviting players to your game
- Game Portal
- Vision Restrictions and Effects (Dynamic Lighting)
- Handouts and Documents
- Initiative Tracker
- Audio Player and Dynamic Audio
- Action Bar
- Game Settings
- Context Menus
- Drawing Tools
- Visual FX
- Astral Video Chat
- Character Sheets
- Map Editor
- My Vault
- Available Fonts in Astral
- Supported Files
- Replacing Sheet Pages Without Removing Contents
- Player View: Previewing as a Player
- Astral Performance Optimization
- Using Markdown in Astral
- Getting Best Results with Animated Maps
- Subscription Status, And How It Affects Your Party
- Additional Artistic Resoures Links
- Software Conflict Troubleshooting
- Beta Testing
- Beyond20 - D&DBeyond Integration: Support and Resources
Guides and Tutorials
- Astral Guides and Tutorials
- Community Created Guides
- Official Content
- Publishing on Astral
- Development Status
- Astral Translation Project
- Submit Bug Report
Once you've placed assets on your map, they will begin to populate in your Layers sidebar in the Map Editor.
The Layers sidebar is mainly for advanced map editing. Most use-case scenarios won't need the Layers sidebar, and often full maps can be created without needing to refer to the sidebar at all. It mainly provides convenience for many effects, trigger automation, and stacked assets to create details that need to display in a certain order.
Layers can be added to groups by selecting multiple layers in the Layers sidebar, then using the hotkey combination
CTRL + G. This will create a group on the Layers sidebar, which can be managed together.
Grouping assets is useful for detailed maps comprising of many assets in functional parts. Grouped assets can be managed together, including relocating, managing display order, or being targeted by trigger automation as a functional unit.
Changing Layer Order
You can change layer order by dragging a layer over or under other layers in the Layers sidebar. When layers are dragged over another layer, they will be displayed over the layer in the map. For example, a plate asset placed over a table asset in the Layers sidebar will show the plate as on top of the table.
The Dynamic Lighting Layer, and Creating Canopies
If layers are placed over the Dynamic Lighting layer, it will create a canopy. Any assets included above the Dynamic Lighting layer will be added to the canopy and display in the same order as reflected in the Layers Sidebar.
When an asset or group of assets is added to the canopy, all assets will display both above the Dynamic Lighting layer, as well as above tokens.
Creating a canopy will change several behaviors of assets as well as token vision and Dynamic Lighting effects.
Objects in the canopy will always be visible, even over Dynamic Lighting and Fog of War. Objects under the canopy, including tokens, will be obscured by the canopy.
When a token moves under a canopy object, the canopy will automatically become semi-transparent for the owner of the token to reveal what is under the canopy. If the token has no owner (e.g an NPC), the GM will be the only one who can view under the canopy near that token.
If Shared View is enabled, all party members will be able to see under the canopy objects in the proximity of friendly in-the-party tokens.
Canopy Behavior Settings
When an asset is brought into the canopy, it's available layer options will change when selected in the Layers Sidebar.
New options, such as "Canopy Opacity", and "Canopy Fade in Group" are available when certain conditions are met. These settings control how the canopy will behave, and to what extent.
As soon as a layer is brought into the canopy, this setting will be unlocked. Canopy Opacity controls how much the canopy layer will fade when a token goes under it.
Two common use cases and their Canopy Opacity settings are rooftops and tree canopies.
In a rooftop, Canopy Opacity will likely be better at much lower settings. Setting a value of 0 to 20 will allow the canopy layer to fade either completely or almost completely out of view, allowing an unobstructed view of the inside of the buildings.
In a tree canopy, there's often less fine details under the trees as it's an open area outdoors. To give the "forested" feel, it may be better to have the Canopy Opacity set at a value of 40 to 60, which will show what's under the trees, but allow a visual of the tree itself to stay partially visible to maintain the outdoor feel.
Canopy Fade In Group
If a layer is brought into the canopy as part of a group or added to a group in a canopy, this setting will appear as a checkbox in the layer settings. If checked, this layer will fade as soon as a token goes under any layer in the group. This can be especially useful for hiding 2nd story obstructions that are made of more than one asset.
For example, an overlook made of a floor, railings and furniture should not show furniture and railings when a token is under the floor. Checking this box for all assets in the group allow for a seamless transition without unexpected behavior. Checking only some layers in a group allow for a more fine-grained approach to fade control.