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Thread: Town Raster Map & Super Zoom With FM8

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      Mark Oliva is offline
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    Default Town Raster Map & Super Zoom With FM8

    A while back I posted a sample of an overland raster map made with Fractal Mapper 8. In some of the discussion that followed, there was considerable interest in what FM8 can do on a raster level with city and town maps. Our raster mapping tutorial for FM8 is in an advanced stage now, and I got an okay from the rest of the group to release a preview here of a town map that one can make with step-for-step illustrated instruction in the tutorial. It's a good specimen for this posting, because it demonstrates the power of FM8 as a mapping tool. FM8 deals with raster objects in a different manner than many cartographic programs. As a result, there really is no such thing as the resolution of an FM8 map. Instead, each raster object in the map has its own resolution. This plus FM8's ability to use symbol presets without resolution loss makes it possible to create large raster maps with fine detail that allow very tight zooming-in with little or no quality loss or pixilation problems. Anyhow, the following views might make this more clear. First, the complete town map, with a scale size of 5760 by 4500 feet:



    Now let's zoom in on the town center:



    Next we'll zoom in on a few farms:



    And finally, we'll zoom in on the bell tower atop the town hall.



    I should add that everything in this map is scaled precisely.

    Our tutorial will tell how to make this map and other kinds of maps in FM8, with step-for-step instructions and full color graphics. It will be open, free and released under the OGL. For those interested in testing FM8 before buying, the tutorial also will work with the free FM8 trial version.
    Mark Oliva
    The Vintyri (TM) Project

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      Redrobes is offline
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    Hey thats cool and is similar to my app. As far as I know your the only other app that can do this with an RPG mapping slant on things. Celestia & Worldwind seem close but with less editing features. Google and some other apps can do this with premade tiles but I think your still holding all of your parts in the original res right ? MapTool seems to do this as well but it seems to me that they hold the whole map in memory at once which is probably fine for what they want out of their app but is not quite the same.

    So can you now put this city into a region and have several different cities like this and keep on going out with FM8 ? If so then you should put the Ansium tiles (our CWBP world map) into FM8 format. Theres a link in my sig to all the places and a tile overview.

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      waldronate is offline
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    Would not this sort of thing work equally well in any sort of program that supports zooming? There seems to be severe aliasing of the assets at the maximum zoom level, which is consistent with a single-LOD implementation (or maybe some of the textures are maintaining a constant screen-space scale - it's hard to tell). ProFantasy's CC3 (and pretty much any CAD engine out there) will zoom nicely over the full range of numeric precision on the entities.

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      Mark Oliva is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    So can you now put this city into a region and have several different cities like this and keep on going out with FM8 ?
    Apologies. English is my native tongue, but I've mostly been speaking and thinking German for the last 29years. Maybe I'm losing touch with the language. I've tangled with this question a couple of times now, but I can't figure out what you're asking me. The problem part is and keep on going out with FM8 ? No matter what I do with that part of it, I can't get it to convey any particular meaning to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    If so then you should put the Ansium tiles (our CWBP world map) into FM8 format. Theres a link in my sig to all the places and a tile overview.
    I've clicked your CWBP Place Index link (and the other links in your signature) but I found nothing that tells me 1) what Ansium tiles are or 2) how to add anything to the project. A CG forum site search also didn't get me anywhere.

    I wasn't aware there was a CWBP until I read your posting, so any illuminating information would be welcome.
    Mark Oliva
    The Vintyri (TM) Project

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      Mark Oliva is offline
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    If my posting left the impression that I was contending that FM8 is the only program that can do this, then I apparently didn't write things clearly enough. I have no idea how many programs can do the same thing. I was responding instead to queries from people who didn't know too much about what FM8 can do and were interested, rather than trying to claim that FM8 alone can do such things.

    Quote Originally Posted by waldronate View Post
    Would not this sort of thing work equally well in any sort of program that supports zooming?
    No. A lot of programs support zooming, but the issue is how the program deals with the object upon which one is zooming. To use a ridiculous but obvious example, I can load a JPG in Microsoft Paint and zoom in on it, but sooner or later, it will pixilate beyond recognition. FM8 - and probably some other programs too - insert a reference to the actual object, so, regardless of the degree of the zoom, you always have the resolution of the original object.


    Quote Originally Posted by waldronate View Post
    ProFantasy's CC3 (and pretty much any CAD engine out there) will zoom nicely over the full range of numeric precision on the entities.
    Only reluctantly do I make a CC3 comparison. I quit using CC3 more than a year ago (after a decade or more with CC2 Pro). I never used it with the current patches, so some of my remarks may be out of date. In other cases, I may be recalling things incorrectly. If so, I hope someone will correct my remarks quickly.

    When I used CC3 (if my memory serves me right), it usually had three versions of each raster object (i.e. symbol), in high, medium and low resolution. Based upon the scale of the map, CC3 picked its own preferred version among the three. When one zoomed in upon small objects on large maps, the small objects pixilated unacceptably, at least by my standards.

    However, I also don't want to leave the false impression that we dropped CC3 because of this issue. CC3 is unable to embed raster objects in maps, and that inability makes CC3 100% incompatible with our products. That's the one and only reason that we dropped CC3 and went to FM8. We want our users to be able to take our maps in their native format and edit or modify them to their heart's content. That's possible with CC3 vector maps but not with CC3 raster maps.

    I can't comment on other mapping programs like Map Maker and Map Tool. I've never used them.

    I do use Dundjinni. Theoretically, Dundjinni could do the same thing as FM8. Practically speaking, it's impossible. Dundjinni works with a single, fixed scale of 40 Pixels = 1 foot. A PNG object portraying a large building at that scale can have a size of 30 MB and more, which quickly leads to memory crashes when trying to do really large scale maps. One workaround is to make these objects at a smaller scale and then blow them up within Dundjinni. However, when one zooms close in on such objects, they again pixilate unacceptably.

    Unfortunately, Dundjinni hasn't been updated since 2004 (Version 1.07), and Dundjinni Enterprises has said that further development of the announced Version 2.0 is on indefinite hold. One had hoped that Version 2.0 would allow for variable scaling, but that appears to be hope on hold now.

    What differentiates FM8 from CC3 and Dundjinni in the particular respect being discussed is that FM8 allows a separate scale definition for each object, and when FM8 places the object in a map, the object retains its own individually desiigned resolution, making somewhat incredible zooms without quality loss or pixilation possible.

    Once again: If my remarks about CC3 are incorrect or obsolete, someone should correct me.
    Mark Oliva
    The Vintyri (TM) Project

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      Redrobes is offline
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    Mark, what I was trying to ask is whether you can now take the whole city that you have here and use that whole map as a referenced item within a bigger map like a region. Can you, for example, place two of these cities down or alternatively, place this city down, place another similar city down and place some towns down as well. Then at each place still zoom in down to the house. Can you pick up the whole city and move it as a group.

    CWBP = Cooperative World Building Project and the forum link is here:
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/fo...ilding-Project

    It has a wiki here:
    http://cwbp.cartographersguild.com/i...itle=Main_Page

    Its a world that has a section or two divided up into tiles where we collectively map a tile each. Then within some of those tiles we have mapped regions and cities. The region of Ansium is one such place with about 30 tiles laid out like this:
    http://cwbp.cartographersguild.com/i...oject_Overview

    Some of the tiles have a lot of maps that have different scales so that you can find places where there are bitmaps from world down to battle map scale.
    Here is Ansium video showing that using my app. We both seem to have the same goals.
    http://http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/Tem...gDale_x264.avi

    I cant definitively speak for CC3 either but I think in a later edition it can do bitmaps but I am not aware that it does LOD's (Level of Detail). You are right that Dundjinni has a fixed bitmap scale.

    I like what you have done as its what I was after when I wrote mine.

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      jfrazierjr is offline
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    RR, though we may be talking about different things, I believe that yes, you can do this in FM8. On thing that FM supports very well is the concept of zoom level for every object if you wish to utilize it. You could set on a single map so that certain labels (say large overland regional country names) disappear as you zoom into the map to be replaced with labels for several towns names that would not show up on the zoomed out map. I also believe said labels/town names could also disappear again as you zoom in closer to a specific town which might then allow showing the label for several specific buildings. This is all going from memory though, so I could be missing something important here.
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      RobA is offline
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    I've worked with similar systems for HMI display screens. The key is to have different symbol representation tied to the zoom level (even if dealing with vector graphics, which neither of these are).

    Ideally, you need to set a visibility threshold in the zoom out, and provide ranges for different representations. I believe Viewingdale does (can?) work this way.

    -Rob A>

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      Mark Oliva is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    Mark, what I was trying to ask is whether you can now take the whole city that you have here and use that whole map as a referenced item within a bigger map like a region. Can you, for example, place two of these cities down or alternatively, place this city down, place another similar city down and place some towns down as well. Then at each place still zoom in down to the house. Can you pick up the whole city and move it as a group.
    Yes, but in some respects perhaps not using the mechanics you might have in mind. See Joe Frazier's posting below and my answer for more info.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    CWBP = Cooperative World Building Project and the forum link is here:
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/fo...ilding-Project

    It has a wiki here:
    http://cwbp.cartographersguild.com/i...itle=Main_Page
    Thanks very, very much for this heads up. I was totally unaware of this project. I already spent some time there today. I have two projects with tight deadlines over the next two weeks, but when they're finished, I will take an extended look at this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    I cant definitively speak for CC3 either but I think in a later edition it can do bitmaps.
    Oh yes. CC3 definitely can do bitmaps and beautifully. The problem at the time when I still used it (and perhaps not anymore) was that the beautiful bitmaps pixilated on tight zooms.

    Again, many thanks!
    Mark Oliva
    The Vintyri (TM) Project

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      Mark Oliva is offline
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    Hi, Joe! Good to hear from you!

    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    On thing that FM supports very well is the concept of zoom level for every object if you wish to utilize it. You could set on a single map so that certain labels (say large overland regional country names) disappear as you zoom into the map to be replaced with labels for several towns names that would not show up on the zoomed out map. I also believe said labels/town names could also disappear again as you zoom in closer to a specific town which might then allow showing the label for several specific buildings. This is all going from memory though, so I could be missing something important here.
    You're absolutely right. and it hardly could be easier. If you want an object to be visible only at certain zoom levels, you simply:

    1. Click it to mark it.
    2. Click the menu option Object.
    3. Click the dropdown menu option Zoom Limits. That opens a simple dialog box.
    4. In the dialog box, you enter the zoom level at which the object appears and disappears. That's it.

    You can do that for any and all FM8 objects that you wish.

    This may sound like a nice little thing, but it's of growing importance in the RPG community. There is a quickly growing number of campaigns that now run with digital projectors or with a LAN and a laptop for each player, running on programs like Screen Monkey (which can use FM8 maps). The system in the past used to be that one would put a link on a large scale map that would open a second local, zoomed in map of a location. That's too cumbersome for this new kind of computer-assisted tabletop gaming. With FM8, one just defines alternate aspects of certain objects, as Joe has mentioned, and FM8 picks the right objects for the zoom level, making multiple linked maps superfluous. In our pending FM8 raster mapping tutorial, we'll show people how to do just that with a more advanced version of the Odínsdomov map I posted above.
    Mark Oliva
    The Vintyri (TM) Project

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