View Full Version : ViewingDale & Fentor Cross Church High Res + CWBP demo (and even more)

06-05-2008, 08:02 PM
So I have a bit of catching up to deliver. After the May challenge there was a lot of talk about using VTT's and making maps for them. The challenge was to make a map in 75K (low res) so that it could be used in a VTT which transferred it every round across the internet. Not every VTT uses this method and in fact ViewingDale does stuff quite different to every other VTT and mapping tool as far as I can see. Its much closer to Google Earth than anything else except that its pure 2D which is bad, its a lot easier to edit the map which is good, and has an internet link up system to allow it to be used as a VTT which is the point in this thread.

I'm making some screen capture movies here so its a little difficult to show multi machine link up but you will have to take my word for it that changes made to one map can be delivered to all other clients connected. Also the image quality is very poor and a bit jerky due to MPEG4 compression - which is not the case at all live.

But this is a mapping site and so ill concentrate on the mapping side of things. So question 1 was asked can my VTT do mapping and can I provide a demo. Well yeah sure. In fact I have thought about this and every single 2D map image that you have ever seen from me has come from ViewingDale. All the 3D maps were DragonFlight exports and then there has been a general more 3D logo which was done in a 3D package which I did not develop.

Since my May Challenge entry was Fentor Cross Church which sits in my tile of the CWBP then I think the first movie should show it zooming around the world. Since it only maps in rectangles, it does not handle globes and curved space maps which is what the original world map was done for but I think that by the time you get to smaller scales the curved space does not matter so much. The scaling that I have applied for the world corresponds to that of my approx tile dimensions as defined by Torq, namely 600 miles square.

I have done 5 movies but to save my web site from multiple attacks of download ill post them one at a time. So here is movie #1 which shows a fly around CWBP, All the tiles, Thrubmorton, Hardy Island & Mere Fort, Fentor Cross and ending up on the May Challenge map region ready for movie 2.


All movies are in XviD codec format. Windows media player in XP should play them but you could do better with VLC from here :



06-05-2008, 08:34 PM
Nice Redrobes, shame about the compression though, but I remember how clear and snappy VDale was on my desktop (long dead). I see you have added detail to Fentor Cross Village and it looks good. SeerBlue

06-05-2008, 09:16 PM
Hi Seer, compression needs to be small or else file gets really big. Was thinking about trying an H264 codec which is supposed to be better but few people have it.

I put first of your Thrix's tales on the CWBP wiki. I gotta get some of those names into Fentor Cross now :). Are you going to have a stab at the June Challenge with some nifty sketchup ?

Edit -- Are you getting a lot of timeouts on the web site tonight ? I can see an issue with some router in Phoenix. Is in your trace route ? If you "ping -t" do get lots of timeouts from it ? Its about 1 in 4 over here tonight.

06-05-2008, 09:42 PM
Hi Seer, compression needs to be small or else file gets really big. Was thinking about trying an H264 codec which is supposed to be better but few people have it.

I put first of your Thrix's tales on the CWBP wiki. I gotta get some of those names into Fentor Cross now :). Are you going to have a stab at the June Challenge with some nifty sketchup ?

Edit -- Are you getting a lot of timeouts on the web site tonight ? I can see an issue with some router in Phoenix. Is in your trace route ? If you "ping -t" do get lots of timeouts from it ? Its about 1 in 4 over here tonight.

Rebrobes, that is just SICK. You did a top notch job in programming that. I am amazed at your skill, so will rep you if I can.


06-05-2008, 09:44 PM
Yep, was able to rep you. btw, when are you starting on the 3d version ala Sketch-Up??? ;)


06-06-2008, 03:20 AM
I was thinking about it, but I am not sure if it would be fair, there are technically 5 of us working on Snapgallows, aged from 3 to 13, plus me.
and I am not sure if we would get it done in time. Creative differences rear their ugly head around lunch/nap time:)
And I have to do a back story for them as well,so far it runs to 110 lines, and kids ask the most insightful, one word, "why" questions,, luckily we are watching the Corpse Bride for inspiration (and blame), and they are in the "Gallows" frame of mind. Carol is a little irked at me though as the middle 2 boys won't sleep in the downstairs room now,,,,and they blame the Head of Alfert Kier and Snapgallows.
The kids discovered Sketchup styles in a submenu, so I think by monday we will kick out a few stylistic renders. They also figured out how to put mansard roofs onto towers, which I told them wouldn't work, and I thought I would have to do manually, so I'm quite happy.
Saturday I will try To start a Snapgallows thread in the CWBP area, but the baby is due any time now, which is why I am still awake at 1:10 AM. So I may not get to it.
I read the Thrixs' Oddling Bungler's Wiki entry, as did my Mother, Lizzie's Grandmother, and several siblings I don't remember having, but where in my email address book,,, very nice, but I blamed the spelling errors on you:P

Well I fuddled your thread enough I guess.

"Fear the Head of Alfert Kier"

SeerBlue, lernt by Carpet Orcs

06-06-2008, 11:02 AM
Very nice to see everything in perspective. Thanks.


06-06-2008, 01:21 PM
Joe, thanks for the rep :) But theres more...

This next one shows the Fentor Cross Old Town map and a few things we can do with it. The first is about layers which came up recently. Since it doesn't render the map as a whole bitmap there are no layers exactly but there is what we call a Z order. The program handles the Z order for you and you dont get a lot of control over it. There are very good technical reasons for why but its quite involved. Basically I keep promising that you are better off letting it do it for you despite what yuu might think there. Anyway, you do get a little control with it and you can set up whether you want stuff on the top or underneath. Its a big topic actually but here is a brief demo of the cart on a tree or under one.

Then you can link to web pages from the map. Actually you can link almost anything to the map but linking to the CWBP wiki pages about the places is one obvious reason why this is a good thing.

Then there are map hot links to more maps. CamStudio the screen capture program does not seem to pick up the change in cursor from the program. Normally the cursor is a crosshair and changes to an arrow (like shown) only when over a hotlink. You can also note the jump stack history appending the new church map to the list so that when you exit, you go to the place that you entered.

So Movie #2:


06-06-2008, 01:30 PM
This next movie is showing the main church interior which was the challenge entry. The thing that has been talked about a lot is modifying stuff that is movable. So in this movie I can open the doors, move the books and cloak and the characters (or monsters) on the map.

Next I show the lighting. As the priest moves into the light then he gets the rays from the church window cast over him (still in 2D tho... dont get too excited ;) )

Its very easy to add shadows in the app but its not easy to add light sources at this stage. We have talked for a long time (at least a year) about adding lighting to the program. Its hard but not that hard to do it. Recently tho what with this church and other cave systems etc I think I need to do it. I would have liked torch light casting over the stuff. Also peoples graphics cards have more power than ever and it will need some extra work from them which I think is possible now.

Move #3;

And now that you can guess the URL pattern, I had better post the text for the rest :)

06-06-2008, 01:35 PM
Movie #4 is all about saving out the image.

So I delete the priest and the books. Took the doors off and the stuff on the altar leaving what I would consider the unmovable bits on the map. Then print out a 5000 pixel image set at 600dpi at 1:146 scale. We will deal more with scale in a mo... But take it from me, you can print out at 300dpi at 1:60 scale -> 1inch = 5ft no problem.

Movie #4:

06-06-2008, 01:48 PM
This last movie (at least for now) is dealing with scale and the projector mode. Projector mode is merely removing all the border stuff. You dont get status messages, the help button, the in program title bar etc - just the map. So when projected you get just the map and as much window border as MS gives you but no more. If you have a gaming table then you can not have any extra clutter on the projected image.

So we can switch on and off the border. Now as must be quite apparent by now, the app works in scale but at no fixed scale. The scale is up to you. What is often forgotten or not made clear is that the program works in real world scale. Now there is no easy way to show this except with a photo but what I have set up is some paper which has been set to be real world sized paper and put it on the altar. When we zoom in it shows at various sizes on the screen depending on the scale. The title bar shows the scale at the top. If you have gone through calibration, then that scale value is to real world. So when I have a piece of paper at A6 in the program and set the zoom to exactly 1:1 then it appears on the screen as exactly the same size as a real piece of A6 paper.

This is all jolly whizzy and useless unless you have a display mechanism that you need to integrate with the real world - like a projector. When using a projected image onto the gaming table then the image can be calibrated and the scale is real world exact. So setting the scale to 1:60 means that everything you import as icons appear on the gaming table at exactly the right scale with respect to your real 1:60 lead figure miniatures. So you dont have to do any faffing about with scaling your images & maps and your whole icon library to make it fit. Its right - its always right and you dont have to do anything to make it right bar entering a few numbers in calibration. That, I believe, is unique to ViewingDale.

Movie #5:

I'll post the map and photo next.

06-06-2008, 01:57 PM
The Photos:
I have added a photo of Bemster's setup (who is a ViewingDale user) with his projector running a game.

06-07-2008, 05:27 AM
The videos are fantastic Redrobes. They really show off what you can do in Viewingdale and also give a nice view of all the stuff happening in the CWBP. I recommend that everyone see these, even though they are big files. Man zooming in from world overview size doen to the guy on the horsecart, how cool.


06-07-2008, 06:04 AM
That is seriously impressive, Redrobes. When I see images like this I wish I had the time and people to game with!

06-07-2008, 10:59 AM
The miniatures on the gaming table look reaaallly cool, now I wish I had kept all the ones I had in Japan, perhaps I can cajole my nephew into returning a few, with all the added levels he has earned!
and now another thing the FOHC want to try, added to the list.

edit; Doesn't Bemster have a description of his projector set up on the VDale forum?