"Ah yes. I remember as if it were yesterday, this whole place a forest. Hmm. Hard to believe it, to look at it now. Roads as far as the eye can see. An entire world, sacrificed to straight lines and hardened ground for their carriages and curious mechanisms. Which is better? It's not for me to say. Times change, sacrifices are made. It falls to those left to make it worthwhile."
--The Last of the Treefolk
Asset Handling Basics
Game prep. It takes many forms. There's the planning, setting up encounters, helping others with their characters, scheduling, the whole 8.23 meters. Another step, setting the stage. Creating custom maps and enhancing existing ones is a critical step in most Game Masters' lives.
Table of Contents:
The first step is to place an asset on the map. In this example I'm going to be starting with a blank slate. In a new map, I searched for "Grass" to create a base to work from. Finding the "Grass Ground" asset, I'll click and drag it onto the map using the "Drag Placement" method.
That seems well and good, but what if I want more control during placement? There's more than one way to accomplish placing. Instead of dragging higgledy-piggledy onto the stage, you can preview asset placement before dropping the asset by using the "Click and Place" method. Click the desired asset on the sidebar, but instead of dragging it onto the map, click and release.
You'll now notice that the asset is bound to your cursor, giving you a preview of placement. This allows for a bit more control over how it's placed. Click again anywhere on the map to place.
Assets aren't always going to be the right size when dropped on a map. In fact, more often than not, they will need their size adjusted. This is what the "Bounding Box" is for.
First, let's make things a bit easier by disabling "Snap-To-Grid", allowing for a bit more control of our asset. Let's go into the map settings and disable this now.
Click on an asset that's already placed on the map. A bounding box appears on the assets borders. The 8 squares located around that box are used to resize and realign the asset. Grab them with your cursor and drag in the direction you want to resize.
Important: Resizing assets in this way will stretch the asset if you resize either height or width. You can use the corner boxes to keep the size ratio the same to prevent your assets from being deformed. Additionally, try substituting Tiling methods whenever possible (covered in next section...)
In the previous section, you saw a sneak peak at rotating assets. The corners of the bounding box, when directly hovered over, will show an arrow indicating resize. Slightly offsetting the cursor will bring up a "rotate" arrow icon. Clicking this and dragging in the direction you want to rotate will rotate the entire asset, pivoting from the center.
Alternatively, when placing an asset using the "Click and Place" method, right clicking will rotate the asset by 90 degrees.
Some assets are designed for tiling. Things like "Ground" tiles, walls, fences are all easily tiled, but assets like furniture are not. Tiling assets is useful for a number of reasons. Firstly, if you have a free account, tiling assets reduces the number of assets that are used per map. Secondly, it cuts down on prep time by a heck of a lot!
There's more than one way to tile an asset, but the easiest would be using the "Place, then drag" method when initially placing the asset. When using the "Click and place" method of placing assets, this is the way you want to tile.
When placing the asset down, instead of clicking and releasing at the location you want, click the location on the map you want to start the tiling, then drag until the asset is the desired size.
Another way to tile assets is to use the "Bounding Box". With an asset already placed on the map, select the asset by clicking on it. The bounding box will appear. Hold "Shift", then click the bounding box as if you were going to resize. Notice that the asset now tiles instead of stretching.
After becoming familiar with these steps, it's very simple to create maps for campaigns quickly. Just knowing when to use each method is a huge part of that.
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