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Maps Covering a Larger Area

I could use some tips on dealing with maps that cover a large area. 25 squares by 25 squares is nice for a skirmish, but what if you want to some longer ranges in a game? Take for example this map which is a screenshot from Google maps. The deck that the red arrow is pointing too needs to be about 25' across. In map settings, you could change how big a square is, but then the tokens are sized incorrectly. You can make the map bigger than 25x25, and then stretch the image out to fill it - but then the image starts to blur. How do you work with this map? (This was a piece of cake in Maptools where you could change the grid size. You load up the map, change the grid size to something small, and Bam! you were done.)
Are you abstracting movement where the tokens remain their normal size (oversized for this map I assume) but the distances of each square are increased? Or are you trying to find a way to make a denser grid and auto-size the tokens you drag on to it? If the former, you can change the Scale of your map settings to make each square worth more distance. If the later, there's not much you can do to auto-resize tokens without the API. If you drop them on the map and manually resize them, they will snap to the grid size though.
Unfortunately when you have smaller grid it somehow messes up the looks of tokens and so on. You can resize them, as Mark G. said they snap to grid even on the smaller scale then, but the healthbars and such look a bit large, but if that's ok with you, then good. Otherwise you'll need a higher resolution image to upload to avoid the blurring effect. Roll20 uses 70 pixels per square, so if you want something at 50x50 then it should be at least 3500x3500 pixels to avoid blurring. You can probably get away with less , as the blurring isn't too noticable at first, but if the picture is only 1000x1000 or so, then you will notice it. If necessary split the map into more than one smaller piece and arange them so they fit together again. Zoom in on Google Maps, take screenshot of one quarter and then the next and so on. It's more work but you should get higher quality.
I'm trying to have an actual map with a correct grid for movement (denser grid). I can't zoom any more than that - the image is already zoomed in to the max.
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DXWarlock
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Thats pretty much your only option, it comes down to the size of your image vs how many pixels of it a grid covers. If you want 25'x25' grid you will need an image that can be sized big enough that a 70x70 pixel area(or whatever size grid you have set on the page) is your desired grid size without getting massive image blur. Say you want a 25'x25' area to be default size of 70x70 pixels. and need a 1000'x1000' map. you need a image that is 2800x2800 for it to be native resolution (you could get away with 1400x1400 Id say and still see details when doubled to fit..just not as crisp and zooming in will compound the blurriness on it more). All a matter of resolution vs scaling of the image. Basically figure out what size you want tokens/grid to be pixel wise and work from there on the image size you need. You can change the grid size to your hearts content on the page settings set it to 0.1 if you like for TINY grid. But it boils down to when you zoom in close enough to see tokens on it if its a tiny grid, the image will also zoom with it.
1405361292
Gold
Forum Champion
There are some good tips in the thread already so I'll try not to repeat over the math that's been told by William R and others. Use a higher resolution map background image. More pixels. Use a map background image type that "zooms nicely" rather than becoming blurry. (Some images aren't ruined by a little blurring; the blue is less noticeable depending on the composition of the picture, and the amount of compression on the image format.) Happy adventuring! There is a lot you can do to fit "more territory" on a single-map-page!
Let's see if I've got this math right - I want that map to be, let's say, 200 yds across (And that's a big problem right there - I have no idea how long that map is across. I just know that I want that deck to be 20' across, or a want a car on it to be 10' across, but let's ignore that non-starter for now). 200 yds = 600 feet = I want a map that is 120 5' squares. If each square is 70 pixels, then 70 x 120 = an image that is 8400 pixels across. The image, taking from a screen grab on my 24" monitor, is 700 pixels across. I can edit that image to be 8400 pixels. That gives you a JPG that is 6.4 meg. Upload that map and, voila!, you have a map that works.
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Gold
Forum Champion
Paladintodd said: I want that map to be, let's say, 200 yds across (And that's a big problem right there - I have no idea how long that map is across. I just know that I want that deck to be 20' across, or a want a car on it to be 10' across, but let's ignore that non-starter for now). Go into your graphics program, make a box around the Car that's on the map. Hit "Copy". You know a car is, say, 10' wide x 15' long. Hit "paste paste paste paste paste" and make a line of cars parked end-to-end, stretching all the way across your map. Count the cars. Multiply by 15-feet. That estimates the width of your whole map.
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if its a google map you are wanting/using, there is a few programs that can take a pic as big a area as you want, at the zoom you want. I used this one quite a bit until I got google earth pro, since I run rifts and its set on earth: <a href="http://www.codres.de/google-map-saver" rel="nofollow">http://www.codres.de/google-map-saver</a> Google earth program can do it also Plus if your ok with smaller than default grid sizes (most my action/combat maps are 0.6 grid ingame) you wouldn't need as large a image dimension wise as each grid would be less than the default 70 pixels. Since one of my players is on an old dinosaur of a PC, if I make HUGE 6000+ sized maps his framerate drops bad once we start adding tokens.
William - Can't change the grid size, that messes up the token size. I can't imagine that a 6.4 Meg image is going to go very well once 6 players are connected, not to mention taking up over half the storage on a basic account. Seems like there is no good answer in Roll20. Fantasy Grounds & Maptools have a much better solution in just changing the grid size.
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Perhaps Im confused, how would changing the grid size in maptools, vs here be different, both would produce the same result wouldn't it? as both use the same principle, set the pixel size of one grid box, and the distance it represents?
Fantasy Grounds & Maptools work something like this: 1) Put in any image you want for a map 2) Select the Grid tool 3) Scroll the mouse wheel to make the grid bigger or smaller 4) Move the grid a bit left or right to make it line up. Done, in like 10 seconds. For any map. Any size. Or maybe this isn't clear - in the other programs, the grid remains 5' across no matter how big the actual grid square is.
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DXWarlock
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Ah, it does the same here(to some degree). Just different slighty on procedure. Only difference is instead of scrolling the mouse to change the grid size, you type in a grid size. (assuming you have grid scale set to 1 unit = 5 feet) 1) Put in any image you want for a map 2) Open page options 3) type in a grid size to make the grid bigger or smaller 4) Move the image a bit left or right to make it line up. Only quirky part is doing the math to figure out what 1 unit = X feet to make each one = 5 feet. if your using 0.5 grid size, you need 1 unit = 10 feet. or 0.1 size , 1 unit = 50 feet
Except that if you do that in Roll20, it messes up the token size and you can't do movement correctly if one grid square is 30 feet.
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DXWarlock
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You can make tokens whatever size you want by hold ALT while sizing, then you can make them any size regardless of grid snap. And movement would be the same. Say you had 0.5 grid size, and 1 unit = 10feet ( its saying that 1 unit = 10 feet, with 2 boxes per unit ) ..each physical square of the grid you can snap to would be 5 feet, and the measuring tool measures each box as 5ft. Unless Im misunderstanding what you mean.
1405369790
PaulOoshun
Marketplace Creator
Maybe a screenshot to illustrate the point would be helpful? If there's better functionality out there let's see what it looks like and get it in the suggestions thread! (unless it's actually already in Roll20)
Make several pages - - - one overall page as above, then use Paint or whatever to make 4 1/4 cuts of that map, each to its own page. Stretch each 1/4 cut on a page 125 x 125 5' squares on the map level (I know, loss of exact details). Keeping the original map up where you can see it, on each 1/4-cut page's token level, re-drawn the important details. When complete, take a screenshot of that, and edit the screenshot in Paint or whatever, then upload that image to a new page at the map-level. When complete, delete the first set of 1/4-pages. Use alt + resizing to get the tokens to the right size.
Good point William, you can use the Alt to size a token without is snapping to the grid. You don't have any guideline for how big it should be, but that's not a big deal. The problem though is movement and measuring distance don't work when you do that. Measuring distance only seems to work from the middle of one square to the middle of the next. You can't get an accurate measurement for a token somewhere in the middle of that big square to a token somewhere in another square. You also can't get a measurement on moving by using the space bar - it does something weird where it is trying to measure only from the corner or something.
Alan - here's that same map in FantasyGrounds. Note at the top left there are grid controls. It can move the grid left/right/up/down pixel by pixel so you can line it up exactly and a +/- to make the grid bigger or smaller. So you can load any map and then just make the grids as small or as large as you want to get the distance you need. Tokens then size to the grid square you made, movement and measuring distance work as you expect.
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Gold
Forum Champion
Paladintodd said: The problem though is movement and measuring distance don't work when you do that. Measuring distance only seems to work from the middle of one square to the middle of the next. Echoing what William said in another section, if you subdivide the squares under page settings (in other words make smaller squares, or squares that are, say, .5 units each) then you can measure more accurately / more discrete measurement points. From what I'm gathering of your needs, and I could be wrong, but try this combination please: Page settings, make your grid smaller such as .5, and hide the grid using complete opacity. Token, drag it to larger using ALT key. Map, it sounds like you need square based movement (if you don't need to count squares then just keep them hidden). If you do need to count squares & don't like the small appearance of .5 squares, hide Roll20's squares using opacity and they'll be used just for Measurement Ruler tool and for anchor points where a token can set, but now draw a visual grid on your map pixels (such as in your graphics program or using drawing tool) only to represent the squares at the movement-level of the game you're playing. Sorry this is hard to explain, trying to make the best words for it. Basically you have a ton of flexibility here once you get the feel for the push-and-pull of the settings you can adjust and layer in different ways. Basically trying to say you can have 2 grids, the actual Roll20 skeletal structural grid (which can be hidden) and you could have a grid drawn on your map if you need one "showing" at a larger scale while having Roll20's underlying grid set to a more discrete / small-steps scale (allowing for more accurate Ruler tool work). EDIT: P.S. Also I'm not saying Roll20 can't be improved, your suggestions are valid. Just saying there are ways of accomplishing a similar effect in Roll20, or at least ways of getting any map scale that you want (if you have a high enough resolution background image).
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Also ALT works on the ruler too incase you didnt know. so you can measure to the pixel if you want. I think the same functionality is here you need, just different way of going about it. In maptools you change the grid to the size you need, and tokens snap to fit one square and each square is 5 feet..correct?. Here you can either change the grid size to fit your image, or the image size to fit your grid, and each token fits one square of 5 feet. Perhaps the 'zooming grid in and out' in maptools vs here is more intuitive. as your watching what '5 feet' equal change as you do it. It shouldn't take but a minute to get the map how you need once you get the swing of the options You got a copy of that image somewhere? Ill go make a temp page on my campaign and give you the grid/distance page settings to replicate that image of maptools if you like.
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Nevermind I found Burn Ln in google earth and got it :) The deck is exactly 25 feet side to side. Hopefully this helps you out on getting it right for your game. (Hope you don't see it as me saying you couldn't do it, or proving you wrong..just trying to help you out, grid was a pain to me at first to get right too) the map settings are here: image is 2800 x 1470 I made the map big enough to see, and so that one grid was about the size of the deck and then set it to 25 feet for size in the settings..so did the math (0.2 size, of 25feet to make the 5 feet boxes) The 0.2 doesn't really matter..its just picks the size of the 'sub' grid squares themselves..if they are too tiny set it to like 0.5 or such..the deck would still be 25feet, but with bigger grid size (12.5 per box with the deck about 2 grid boxes wide). And zoomed out so you can see more (not sure how big you needed, so I just picked a few blocks of houses)
Aha! I was totally missing that Grid Size entry. Thanks a lot William for sticking with me through this. Just to summarize the process for anyone that was as confused as me: 1) Bring your map into Roll20. Resize it however you like. 2) Find something you want on the map that you know the size of - a car, a house, whatever. Compare the size of that object to the default grid to determine how big a grid square is. eg: If you have a bus on the map, it's taking up about 2 squares, and that bus is supposed to be 30' long - a square is then 15 feet long (30' long bus / 2 squares = 15 feet). Resize your map a little bigger or smaller if you need to get a good number. 3) In the maps settings, set the Scale 1 Unit = to be the size you calculated above. eg 15 feet 4) Now that the grid is correctly scaled, you need to break the grid down into smaller chunks so that you have a 5' square in the grid. This allows tokens to size properly and distance/movement calculations to work. In the "Grid Enabled Size", you want to enter a value to divide the larger grid square you did above so that you end up with a 5' grid. In other words, you enter 5 / the size of the large grid. eg - 5 / 15 = .33. ---------------- Those same steps working with the map above: 1) Brought in the map 2) Moved and resized the map around until that deck was about 1 square in size. We want the deck to be 25' across. 3) Enter 25 feet into the Scale setting 4) Enter .2 (5 / 25 = .2) into the Grid Size setting so that each square is 5'
The only remaining issue is a minor one. Zoomed all the way, the token looks like this: When you select a token, you end up with: Looks like there could be some tweaking to fix those handles. I'll post that in suggested fixes, unless William points out what I'm doing wrong there. :)
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Its no problem :) it took me a while of playing with it to get the concept of how to do it without "guessing" at it and such..but once you do you go "that was a lot easier than I was making it". just hard to explain in text like Gold was saying. its basically make your map image whatever size you want as its final size (unless your doing dungeons that match the grid..then its the other way around) then figure out how big a grid would equal on it and put that in then 'sub' divide it with the grid size if you want a finer grid visually. (sort of like photoshop subdivisions..1" grid will always be 1" measurment but you can tell it draw sub grid lines every 1/4" on it)
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Paladintodd said: Looks like there could be some tweaking to fix those handles. I'll post that in suggested fixes, unless William points out what I'm doing wrong there. :) No way around it Ive found when you have them that small, why we always play with slightly larger token scales than would be 'actual size' on small grid maps I have. on my huge maps with 0.5 grid or smaller I end up making everyones token 2x2 grids or so..so the bars and handles dont dominate the token itself.
1405464253
Gold
Forum Champion
Paladintodd said: The only remaining issue is a minor one. Zoomed all the way, the token looks like this: When you select a token, you end up with: Looks like there could be some tweaking to fix those handles. I'll post that in suggested fixes, unless William points out what I'm doing wrong there. :) I completely agree with you on this one, and have had the same experience. I knew you were going to get to this point! Well, enjoy, because it is useable, just a bit unwieldy in that respect. You illustrated the problem nicely with those screenshots. I believe this has already been posted in suggestions and/or bugs, by others, but adding your screenshots would be another nice demo of that particular issue. Another related issue is being able to read the numbers on the Ruler distances when you're zoomed out. Happy to see you're making progress in getting the map size-scale you want, excepting the issue with oversized handles on tokens.
Increase your background/map image. It is too small of scale for what you are wanting - street level view.