Foreground Map Layer

Score + 725
1412707687
Similar to the Background Map Layer, I'd like to have a Foreground layer. It's not click-able by the players, but it rests on top of the token layer. It would allow us to place fog textures on top of the tokens, without interfering with the players ability to play (or the GMs ability to click on tokens). Either use transparency with .png files, or maybe have an adjustable opacity setting for the Foreground layer. So the layer order would be from bottom to top: Background Layer Token Layer Foreground Layer GM Layer
1412735889
Tom
Pro
Or even better, would it be possible to let us create custom layers and order them? Sort of like Photoshop, and we could give each layer certain characteristics, like "player visible/invisible" and "interactive/non-interactive" etc.
1412743543
That would be the logical next step, but I'm trying to ask for a simple feature (at first). :D
1412870136

Edited 1412870281
Spyke
KS Backer
It would also enable things like trees or rooves - suitably transparent - to appear above the tokens. And games where the GM needs to use something like a ruler or a turning key would be made simpler. The players could see the item, it would appear above the tokens, but trying to select it wouldn't accidentally select the underlying tokens. It could also be used for a custom fog of war, where complex pieces could be set in advance and removed as required. Or it could be used to cast the whole playing surface with a particular mood colour, to give it a red tinge for fire or sunset, or to darken it for night. Or how about using it for cutouts, such as an old TV, where the playing surface takes place 'inside' on the screen?
1413093426
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
The more layers the better. Love to see a transparency slider on a foreground layer. Anyone that has played around with a graphics editing program, Gimp, Photoshop, Paintshop Pro, etc. understands the power of layers. +1
I agree, one or two more layers is all I really find myself hurting for, though I can see lag issues should -to- many layers be added.
1414178122
I would really love this.
I'd like to add to this a conditional opacity on the foreground layer. For instance you see a building's roof from the outside, but when you go inside you can see inside the building.
1415399295
Kevin B.
Marketplace Creator
Would really add more depth to the games. Literally.
1415688022
I could see all kinds of creative maps with this. People on tops of buildings and walkways, raining down death on enemies below. Combined with dynamic lighting, you could get some really cool effects.
1415945626
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Might be cool if a foreground layer was used to show the tops of objects that would normally be blocked when used with Line of Sight. I could have picked a more "top-down" map for this, but something to this effect.
I'm liking the idea of a foreground layer that's akin to the map layer in that it's un-selectable, but over the tokens. (fog, overhangs.. etc)
I lIke the idea of being able to see what kind of obstacle is obstructing your line of sight. Like for a column for example it would be nice if you can see the actual column but not behind.
1416468303
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Another example of how this might be useful. The deck of ship is the Foreground Layer , set to 60% opacity. The hull of the ship is on the map layer.
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Edited 1416609668
Hmm Foreground with an opacity slider is a good idea, though even without it I can still use an image manipulator to do that.
1416620866
If we want to get really crazy, add parallax effects to the layers for 3d effects.
1416634266
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Ken L. said: Hmm Foreground with an opacity slider is a good idea, though even without it I can still use an image manipulator to do that. You can use an external graphics editor to get the "look", that's what I did with the ship image above, however, without a Foreground layer you still have the issue of placing your semi-opaque token/map/image on top of your player's tokens. We get a nice visual effect with this method, but trying to manipulate the underlying tokens becomes very difficult. Solution, add a Foreground layer.
1416830328
Stephen S.
Pro
Marketplace Creator
Sheet Author
Vince said: Might be cool if a foreground layer was used to show the tops of objects that would normally be blocked when used with Line of Sight. I could have picked a more "top-down" map for this, but something to this effect. This. So much could be done with just this. Background Layer Token Layer Walls Layer (Dynamic lighting) Foreground Layer (now you can do "shadowy areas" using a 50% opacity copy of the map layer. ) GM Layer Its really just second GM layer visible to the players.
1416894204
Really nice suggestion - the application for trees alone would make it invaluable, but you could apply it to overhanging rocks, clouds, birds, canopies, clothes-lines strung across a street between buildings, partial roofing, prison cage shadows, underwater surface refraction etc. You could even extend it further and have two foreground layers to allow you to have a tree < tree shadow < map setup. It opens up things from a content-creation aspect, allowing the marketplace to offer more interesting products :) It also could play nicely with global illumination by allowing all-over lighting, but with some stark noon-day shadows (which tokens would be darkened by, instead of just the background, so they can look realistically as though they are being shaded from the light). The only downside could be that each additional layer starts to eat up system resources: they probably would need to default to non-rendering unless they have content inside them. That way if you have low-end systems being used, you could opt out of using them entirely.
Great suggestion. Would love to see it happen.
I like this idea as well. Perhaps there could also be an option to hide or fade the foreground layer when you're moving your token.
1417550876
The Aaron
Roll20 Mod Team
API Scripter
Vince said: Might be cool if a foreground layer was used to show the tops of objects that would normally be blocked when used with Line of Sight. I could have picked a more "top-down" map for this, but something to this effect. It occurs to me that you could get almost this same effect by having lines that only block sight in one direction. A circle that only blocked sight from the inside out would let you see into the interior of the circle, but not past it. That would be a more general solution, and applicable for other use cases. You'd certainly want to be able to specify that it blocks in the opposite direction (or not at all), or your players would all get trapped in trees and shrubs. =D
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Edited 1417558547
The Aaron said: Vince said: Might be cool if a foreground layer was used to show the tops of objects that would normally be blocked when used with Line of Sight. I could have picked a more "top-down" map for this, but something to this effect. It occurs to me that you could get almost this same effect by having lines that only block sight in one direction. A circle that only blocked sight from the inside out would let you see into the interior of the circle, but not past it. That would be a more general solution, and applicable for other use cases. You'd certainly want to be able to specify that it blocks in the opposite direction (or not at all), or your players would all get trapped in trees and shrubs. =D One sided vision blocking is easy when it's a single line, for curved and complex polygons (including non-polygonal + intersections) it gets... confusing at times when you think computationally to try to resolve what is 'intended'. Unless the user needs to specify for each and every edge which would be painful.
1417560589
The Aaron
Roll20 Mod Team
API Scripter
It becomes a UI problem certainly. I think it can be done well without being confusing. Currently selected lines on the Dynamic lighting layer could have little arrows indicating directions they allow travel of light and markers, and those could be toggled between the 4 possible states (block both, block side A, block Side B, block none). That could be done for both light and movement (the color of the arrows could be different). As for computational complexity, that's a matter for speculation. It is definitely possible. *shrug*
1417591057
Dave
Pro
+1 -- This is a feature I would love to have, not only for terrain but also for certain building structures (from large things like rooftops to small things like tunnels or archways).
1417894509
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
I wonder if it could be possible to also move player tokens to a Foreground layer as well? This could help distinguish differences in elevation between tokens when looking down, or depth of field perception for a "sideview" depiction...
1418095928
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Foreground layer has reached centennial! Maybe we can get a Dev comment? :-)
Tom said: Or even better, would it be possible to let us create custom layers and order them? Sort of like Photoshop, and we could give each layer certain characteristics, like "player visible/invisible" and "interactive/non-interactive" etc. We can dream can't we :D If a feature like that ended up existing I can just image how much easier some of the API scripting can get with the ability to have your own custom amount of layers with custom properties. I wonder if in such properties you can go as far such as with tokens and make a layer visible to only a set group of players or a single player rather than just Dms or players. I could just imagine a custom layer for all users that have true sight that would see the true version of all the tokens on the token layer while the other players see the normal ones on the layer below.
1418422404

Edited 1418422504
Congratz everyone, we're now not only the Highest Voted Suggestion-without-a-dev-response, we're also nearly 30 votes higher than the second highest Suggestion-without-a-dev-response (barring "Custom Status Icons" since it's been set as "Long-Term"). Let's push to have at least 172 votes, that way we'll be at the top of the list!
1418584725
Antti V.
KS Backer
Oooh this! I just made a similar suggestion (as a sidenote along with some other ones), since I didn't see this one before. Sorry :) But yes, you've got my vote. Exactly what I wanted. +1
Oh? I've been wanting this one for awhile! +1 indeed!
1418913477
Pat S.
Roll20 Mod Team
Sheet Author
Vince said: Foreground layer has reached centennial! Maybe we can get a Dev comment? :-) You had my +1 from the get go. Devs don't usually comment in the suggestion forum. Just not their way (personal observation on that, nothing official). They do read the forum. This thread and all the others are here because they want to hear the community's voice on what they want so keep your votes going and be vocal in your comments (nice, polite, and civil like) for that tells them more then a simple +1.
1418938888
Thanks for the support Pat! a Mod Response is better than nothing ;) Realistically speaking, I suspect a feature like this would probably be considered long term. Adding more and more independent layers on top of and below the dynamic lighting would probably directly contribute to client side lag, since there would be even more things to load.
1418940386
Pat S.
Pro
Sheet Author
That is probably correct but that is an assumption on my part as I'm not a coder.
1418952039
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
Thanks for posting Pat. I guess I was looking for Riley's "Dev Response" tag on the thread. ;-) Threads without one just seem inferior.
1418961783
Pat S.
Roll20 Mod Team
Sheet Author
Alot of the ones that have dev's responses on them are ones that Riley or another dev copied from the old suggestion forum when the voting was implemented. There might be a few that has an actual dev response in them but those are generally rare.
1419012223
Ekko
Pro
I'd love to see this so I could have hanging chandeliers players walk under in buildings, or trees for them to walk under in forests, etc. It could really add a lot of cinematic depth to maps without much work involved. Just maybe have a light blurring or opacity slider so that the objects could be transparent or out of focus.
1419210658
I have to wonder if you could extend this idea to allow for animated gifs to try weather effects :P
1419218275
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
API script that moves tokens of clouds across the sky.
Would be more efficient to move a single transparent image on a foreground layer.
1419235104
Vince
Pro
Sheet Author
HoneyBadger said: Would be more efficient to move a single transparent image on a foreground layer. Certainly. Animated gifs were mentioned which currently aren't supported on roll20, so I was just thinking of an option that could work a foreground layer. Clouds, a fog bank, rain, a swarm, smoke, etc., are a few things that might benefit from a foreground and perhaps a little API token movement thrown in.
1419972696
This is such a great idea that I imagine the only reason we don't have it yet is technical. The system in use can already bog a bit on slower/older networks/computers, so I'm sure the devs have to watch added graphical features pretty closely. That said, heck yeah this would be sweet!
+1
Yes. Layer control would be great! Photoshop or Gimp layer functionality would be a great boon to developing and organizing maps, content and tokens. +1 Thanks. Jake
This is really great!
1422281707

Edited 1422282580
Russ H.
Plus
Marketplace Creator
Jakob M. said: Yes. Layer control would be great! Photoshop or Gimp layer functionality would be a great boon to developing and organizing maps, content and tokens. +1 Thanks. Jake Agreed with initial suggestion and the further expansion of the suggestion if possible later. +1
This would be a really cool idea... especially for the addition of weather and fog effects to add just that extra touch of realism to the outdoor maps.
1422739323
I was going to post a suggestion to be able to add custom layers(order them kinda as sub-layers, like under background layer you'd have your own multiple layers for easy selection). Fortunately I did a search first. Please! More layers!
1422818599

Edited 1422840158
DXWarlock
Pro
Sheet Author
If custom layers would be too much trouble, and cause performance issues they would have to deal with explaining when people went layer crazy, Id be perfectly content with a 'map' like layer but on top of everything. A place to put trees, fog, etc. over everything else that tokens can move under. Putting it on map layer looks weird when people move on top of it, putting it on tokens layer makes it so I have to move it constantly to select people/mobs under it. Maybe make it like GM layers is to GM for transparency, but everyone can see it. 1/2 transparent, so say you have a tree, they can see the tree, but can surely tell they are under it and see their token to grab it to avoid the problem of people loosing tokens under things: And use it for walls for dynamic lighting. Like vince's example. For me at least that one extra 'over everything' layer would solve 95% of my issues of "Just imagine you are under that" or "no no that weird shadow black void is a pillar in the room".
1422839694
William R. said: For me at least that one extra 'over everything' layer would solve 95% of my issues of "Just image you are under that" or "no no that weird shadow black void is a pillar in the room". Exactly, that is my original suggestion. Obviously "Photoshop" like layering would be awesome, but considering all the server load issues we're having lately anyway, adding in all these numerous layers and layer effects would slow everyone down to a crawl. Just a single Foreground layer, it doesn't even need to have an opacity slider. You can very easily create .PNG assets with alpha channels, we already have that support. Then you can create multiple levels of opacity within the same layer.
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Edited 1422840294
DXWarlock
Pro
Sheet Author
True, Id be happy with it normal everyday foreground layer too. :) The opacity suggestion was more for those that are doing good to know what a png vs jpg is, or how to edit them. more a would be nice vs a must have for me.