OK, I see this come up a lot, so here we go, delving into the depths of some of the concepts of CC3:


So, what is the difference between the two? Well, back in the early days of CC (DOS version) and later CC2, there was no sheets, only layers. Layers was a way of editing maps, and is still very useful in making maps. Layers has no effect on where something is placed on a map. In this I mean, the FOREST layer does not always appear on top of the MOUNTAIN layer. But LAYERS is wonderful tool for the map maker.

First, by putting all MOUNTAIN symbols on the MOUNTAIN layer, I can now LOCK that layer (in CC3 this called FREEZING), now, no matter what I do in another LAYER, I will never by accident screw up that LAYER. The LAYER you are currently working is always THAWED (Unlocked).

Additionally, let's say, I am designing a player handout map I want for all the players in my group, but I don;t want each map to be the same. So, I want a map for the Dwarf PC, and another map for the Elf PC, another for the Cleric, and a third for the Mage. I of course, want a map for myself as a DM. Here the beauty of the LAYERS function shines. I make my main map that all PCS will have a copy. I then make 4 layers for the map, and so I can always keep it straight for myself I label each LAYER: Dwarf, Elf, Cleric, Mage. Now, on the Dwarf Layer I put symbols and items of interest for the Dwarf Player. These are old dwraven strongholds, Orc & Giant lairs, etc. I do the same for the Elf (denoting hidden forest glades & groves, etc), and the Cleric and mage players.

No I just hide those layers except for the corresponding layer for each player. So the Dwarf player gets a map wth everything shown + the Dwarf layer, but not the elf, cleric or mage layer. I do the same with the other three as well.

This is, in a nutshell the main use of LAYERS.

Later when CC2 pro was released, they introduced SHEETS (it may have been present earlier in CD2, but I can;t think that far back ). SHEETS are seprate from LAYERS and each SHEET has all of the LAYERS properties on it, but each LAYER may not be present on any one SHEET. Confused yet?

The easiest way to envision SHEETS is to play let's pretend. Let's pretend you have a big stack of transparencies, and you want to draw a map by hand using these transparencies. You start with the bottom transparency, and on it you color the whole thing Blue to represent the ocean.

Then, on top of that sheet you put a new sheet of transparency. Because these are transparencies, you can see the blue from the bottom sheet. On your new sheet, you draw out the outlines and fill them in for the Land masses. You can now see two things. Land sitting on top of water.

OK, but that is pretty blah. You want some features on that land. So, we put a new sheet down and on that sheet we draw mountains, and then another sheet for forests and on and on we go.

HEY WAIT! I hear you shouting out. Couldn't we just do the same with LAYERS? Sure we could, We could have everything all on one sheet (and I used to that back with CC2), but we are loosing out on the power of CC3. Each SHEET in CC3 can have different effects applied to it. We can make the land have a faint glow to it, so it stands out against the ocean better. But a glow on the rivers to make them look nice, and another glow on the TEXT so it stands out on the map. Can't do that if all map elements are on the same sheet?

But remember what I said about all layers existing on all SHEETS? Lets use TEXT as an example. Let us say I want all TEXT to have the same property (a slight glow, a drop shadow, and the slightest of blurs). The easiest way to do this is to put all my text labels on the same TEXT SHEET. But I don't want to see my City names if I don't have the CITY sheet. Sure we could make multiple sheets for each type of label and apply the same effects etc. BUT, there is an easier way! TELL US HOW NEON! Ok, make a new LAYER not a sheet, because all layers exist on all sheets, we simply need to make a LAYER called CITY NAMES, and we can now type in our city names on that sheet (just make sure when you do so you are still on the TEXT SHEET). Now, when you want to hide all the CITIES and their text, you need to only hide the CITY sheet (or layer if you made them on a layer), and the CITY NAME layer. Everything else is still there.

In our next tutorial, I will cover basic editing.