Re: [nbos] [FM] sorting symbols in a map
Mon Oct 22nd, 2007
On Sun, Oct 21, 2007 at 03:50:09PM -0700, ~~Richard K~~ wrote:
> A lot of this is solved by preplanning the use of the layers.

I don't mean to sound snarky or rude or unappreciative, but levels won't
do anything for me here. If nothing else, the symbols in question are
likely to be on the same level. Also, AFAIK levels aren't drawn in
order, they're really just containers to categorize the map objects.

Simple proof: draw some land masses on the 'geography' layer. Draw
something on the... I dunno, Layer#42. Then draw something else on
'Geography'. The new object appears in front of the Layer#42 objects.

So. Layers do nothing to solve this. At least, not without some work
such as manually managing the Z-order.

> Use symbols of individual types, mountains separated from peaks, forests
> separated from densities (thin forests vs thicker forests)
> Just so that there is more ease in grabbing specific symbols and adjusting
> Z orders eg; Front-to-back as well as adjusting the z order on individual
> symbol-layers.
> This way, selection is much easier by switching on/off select properties
> per layer.

Useful, but not what I'm looking for.

> It takes a bit of discipline to keep checking your layers when putting down
> symbols, often you might accidentally put symbols on the wrong layer, then
> that causes more frustration. FM8 has ample layers, so its best to make use
> of the layers to help you select specific symbols.

This is not a layer problem, for reasons described above.

Discipline and planning are wonderful things, but mistakes can be made,
things can be put in the wrong place by accident, new ideas can cause
changes to the map, *PCs* can cause changes to the map (I had one group
that had a hobby of destroying cities -- nothing personal, not on
purpose, and nothing *provable*... but they found themselves having to
sneak into towns and even villages as their reputations grew. Yeah, I
blame it on watching too much Dirty Pair).


Anyway. Manually managing Z-order is a pain, especially since the
computer is *wonderful* at sorting things. Let the computer do the hard

> Layers are not the same as Adobe photoshop, Each layering of symbols
> should be done from ground up...
> Put peaks then mountians down first, then hills, roads, forests, city
> markers, then borders. Depending on the effect you want roads can go on
> after forests. The order of when you put down specific symbols is important
> to their above/below effect, however having them on separate layers helps
> when wanting to adjust them later without digging through endless symols
> over top of the one that you want to adjust.
> This method has its advantages and disadvantages, but hopefully with
> careful preplanning, you can erase most of the disadvantages.

This produces one style of map. I'm not looking for that style. I'd
like to see items from multiple layers mixing -- if there's a mountain
in the forest, I don't want to have to plant the tree symbols around the
mountain symbol, I don't want the tree symbols to draw over the mountain
symbol, I'd like to have the tree symbols draw themselves *around* the
mountain symbol.

> Hope this helps somewhat. (or is at least reads understandably)

FWIW, I understood your message... but your suggested approach doesn't
fit the style of map I want to produce, and while discipline and
planning are great things, I'd rather spend the effort on interesting
bits. Macdinking and hand-placing symbols to get everything *perfect*
isn't something I want to do. "Mountains here, foothills here, forest
here, *go*" is more my style. This is just a small part of a hobby,
after all.

Keith Davies "History is made by stupid people "Clever people wouldn't even try "If you want a place in the history books "Then do something dumb before you die."
-- The Arrogant Worms
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