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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:43 AM
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LongHeroscaper LongHeroscaper is offline
 
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VirtualScape for first-time users.

0.Forenote:
VirtualScape is a wonderful contribution of Zzzzz to the Heroscape community. This document is to show first time users how to create a map using VirtualScape at its basic level. This is a chapter in a more detail tutorial. Comments are welcome! This document is ready to download as a pdf file here.

1. The first time you open VirtualScape.
After downloading and unzipping the setup file, you can open the folder that contains VirtualScape and run it. The first time you run it, the screen may look like this:

The information window contains, of course, information about the map you work on. It also tells you about the rendering process, and error if there is any. For most of the time, you don’t need those information. So, I suggest you to close it so that you have a larger view to work with.

2. Create a new map
To open a previously created map, you need to click the Open button.
But if you want to create a new map, you need to click button New.

A blank hexagonal sheet will appear. This is the scratch paper for you to design and edit any map. We will call it the editing area from now on.

3. Place the tiles
Now you are ready to create your first map. Let’s create a very simple one, using only a few tiles from Master Set 1 (a.k.a Rise of the Valkyries set). Let’s call it Hello World.

Tiles from different sets of Heroscape are categorized quite intuitively into different tabs in the left side of the editing area. Tab “Base” contains all tiles from Master Set 1. Click the tab to see the tiles.

Choose the type of tiles you want by clicking it. To place it, click the editing area. You will see that the tile is placed, with a red perimeter, which indicates that the tile is active (or in use).

You can change the position of the tile by dragging it to the desire spot. You can also change the orientation of the tile by clicking the Rotate buttons. If you are not happy with the choice of tile, you can delete it by clicking the Delete button, or simply by hitting Delete key of the keyboard.
With different tiles, we can create something look like this.


Notice that VirtualScape gives us two different types of water. Water 1 is the normal water tile that is half-thick comparing with grass tile. Water 2 is basically 2 normal water tiles stacked up on each other. By the official rule, water tiles can’t be stack, so Water 2 is technically illegal. But there are quite a few maps that have stacked water (such as water fall), so Water 2 in VirtualScape is very handy in some cases. For the simple map that we are making, Water 1 is the one to use.
You may notice the red color of the text in the Base tab. Let’s look at the Rock 3 (2/0) text in the picture above. VirtualScape allows you to determine how many sets you will use before you start creating a map. After you let VirtualScape know what sets you will use, it will calculate how many tiles of each type there are in those sets. Those are shown by the second number in the pair in the parenthesis. The first number shows how many tiles of that type you have used. For example, as above, Hello World uses 2 rock-3 tiles out of zero available rock-3 tiles. Well, we have not let VirtualScape know how many sets we need, that’s why it shows there are no available tiles. You will learn how to determine the sets in the last section. The red color shows that the map uses more tiles than what’s available, where green shows you are still stay within the limit. It is extremely useful when you want to create a map under certain restriction.

4. Up or down a level
There are only a few things that look more boring than a single level Heroscape map. To place a tile in another level, you need to click the Level Up button first. When you click it, the editing area will be brought to the next level, which allows you create the height of the map. Which level you are on is shown in the most down-right corner of the editing area. The same idea works for the Level Down button. These two buttons help you to move between different levels when you create or edit your map.

The picture also shows the second and third levels of Hello World. Notice the ruins. We choose and place them the same way as we do with the tiles. As you can see, when you are at level 2, the tiles in level 1 are paler. The further down a level, the more pale the tiles on that level.
We are now ready to see our map in 3D.

5. Your map in 3D
When you want to see your creation in 3D, you need to click button 3D View.

When you click it, VirtualScape will render the map and produce a 3 dimensional image so that you can see how your map would look like in real life. Here is how Hello World looks like.

You can rotate the map by clicking button Rotate to see in different angles. You can also zoom in or out using the Up and Down keys on the keyboard. To see your map from high above, you need to use the PageUp and PageDown keys.

6. Finish it up
When you are happy with your map, you can save it or print its building instruction out.

In VirtualScape, you can print out your map with building instruction using "Files>Print" from the menu bar. If you want to add the name and the author of the map, you can choose "Configuration>Map parameters..." from the menu bar. You can also add the scenario description and how many layers to include in one page. Before you print (out on paper or in a pdf file), you can choose "File>Print preview" to see the final result.

One note: If you want to include a 3D picture of your map in the first page of the file, you need to render a 3D version of your map before you print.

7. A few more notes
If you want to create the building instruction in a PDF file, the first thing you need to get is a PDF printer. It is a software. When it is installed in your computer, it will create a virtual printer which will only print to PDF files. Instead of printing on paper, it creates a pdf file with the stuff you want to print out. There are many free PDf printer out there, one of them is CutePDF.
You can preset what Heroscape terrain sets and how many of them you want to use for your map. Go to “Configuration>Available Material…

In this window, you can click on the sets that you want to include in your map. VirtualScape will calculate how many tiles of each type are available. If you use more than these available tiles, you will see some red ink as mentioned in section 3. This feature is very useful to keep everything sufficient when you want to build a map using only a certain sets.

If you want to include starting zones in your map, you should click on the Start tab, as shown below.


There are different colors for you to choose. You place the starting zone markers the same way you place single tiles. But remember, if you want a level 1 hex to be a starting hex, you need to place the marker on level 2.

There are other tabs for you to explore. The one that you may want to use is Glyph tab. As its name suggests, this tab contains all the glyphs. You place the glyphs the same way you place starting zone markers: one level higher.

If you want to know how many terrain sets you need to build a map, you can verify it in VirtualScape. First, you need to open the Information windows, the one that we closed in section 1. Go to “Display>Information windows”. The Information windows will reappear.

Then, you need to go to “Tools>Verify the battlefield”, or click the Verify button next to the Print button. VirtualScape will tell you whether there is any error in your map, such as illegal placement of the tiles. It will also let you know how many sets are needed to build your map. In the case of HelloWorld, it requires 1 Master set 1.


Last edited by LongHeroscaper : July 25th, 2008 at 05:57 PM.

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Heroscape Brief Card for Beginners.
How to share your maps with the world.
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  #2  
Old July 25th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

This is a very helpful thread that I'll probably use as a resource in the future.


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  #3  
Old July 25th, 2008, 09:00 AM
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

Very nice help file LongHeroscaper! I susspect that 1Mmirg will have this up in his index soon!

DreddRep for your hard work!


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Old July 25th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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Soul Shackle Soul Shackle is offline
 
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

Nice work. Rep from me.

You may want to mention that the Verify option goes a little wacko when you use SotM.


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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

Excellent resource. +my little rep


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Old July 25th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

I've been using VS for a while now, but I still learned something new reading this, nice job.

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Old July 25th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

Sticky!


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Old July 25th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

this will probably be helpful to me but i don't understand what your talking about by download and unzip the setup file


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  #9  
Old July 25th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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LongHeroscaper LongHeroscaper is offline
 
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer Boy View Post
this will probably be helpful to me but i don't understand what your talking about by download and unzip the setup file
You need to download the software before using it. You can download it here: http://www.heroscapers.com/community...?do=file&id=12
or here:
http://didier.paradis.free.fr/virtualscape/english/
The file is a zip file. You need to unzip it before you can run VirtualScape. You can unzip the file using any zipping utility out there. I am using ZipGenius.
After unzipping it, go to the folder that contains VirtualScape and run the program from there.
I hope it helps!


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Heroscape Brief Card for Beginners.
How to share your maps with the world.
VirtualScape 101.
My map thread.

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Old September 17th, 2008, 01:29 AM
quadraphonic quadraphonic is offline
 
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

Sorry... OT


Last edited by quadraphonic : September 17th, 2008 at 01:31 AM. Reason: OT

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  #11  
Old January 2nd, 2010, 08:38 PM
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

Is there a way to print out a sheet of blank hexes so you can draws the map level by level for transfer to VS later? I know this is not the easy way to do it, but I built my map in the garage and there is no way I can get it upstairs to my computer this time.


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Old January 2nd, 2010, 09:02 PM
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Re: VirtualScape for first-time users.

I believe there is, in the downloads section. I'll check for the link in a sec.

EDIT: Well, there's this, but it's only 24 hexes, and they're life-sized.... Maybe do some MS Paint-work with it--shrink it down and duplicate it many times over. That's what I would do.


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