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Foreground Map Layer

Score + 1016
This rocketed up so fast.
1423082840

Edited 1423082919
+1 I definitely support this idea.
1423162112
+1 Would be great to have another layer on top of the tokens.
+1 It would be magical to be able to put some fog around.
+1 I would most definitely make use of this.
1424894086
+1 It has long since bothered me that I can't do treetops or looming statues or things like that, and this would be a fantastic addition.
1424979819
+1 My ideal layer composition would be: Background Layer Token Layer Foreground Layer (now you can do "shadowy areas" using a 50% opacity copy of the map layer. ) Walls Layer (Dynamic lighting (dynamic lighting behind the foreground layer presents some real display issues.)) Player Visible Info Layer (toggleable as shown/hidden (another feature I desperately want, seeing if others have requested then posting elsewhere)) GM Only Info Layer (toggleable as shown/hidden (another feature I desperately want, seeing if others have requested then posting elsewhere))
1425055826
Lane D. I actually agree on #4. I was thinking about it, and it would not work at all to have the tops of trees or walls on top of the dynamic lighting layer. Because you would be able to see ALL of the wall tops and trees, even if it's on the other side of another wall. I can't think of any solution other than having multiple dynamic lighting layers (one at the wall, and one behind the wall to block you from seeing the next wall top), but it would increase the complexity exponentially, and be an absolute chore to manage. However, I still think the primary intention of this suggestion is still viable. Having a layer on top of the Token layer that won't interfere with token movement would be the most helpful.
1425060414
Also if that foreground layer could be toggled visable/non-visable. That would make it's use for tree tops, roofs, fog, etc. much more user friendly. On that note making the GM layer toggle visable/non-visable would also be a boon. It's a great place to store tokens, room numbers, traps, etc. But having it always visable clutters the map for the GM in my opinion.
1425090711
Tsu
Pro
+1 I definitely like this idea, and would certainly make use of it.
Another +1 here: maybe if we get to the #1 sugestion the Devs will take action.
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Edited 1425654972
Ziechael
Forum Champion
Sheet Author
API Scripter
Already had my vote but based on the discussion in this thread should development happen on the layer structure it would be great (if at all possible) to have the layers sent/received in such a way as to ensure that the dynamic lighting was populated prior to the map being loaded. Players with slow connections are often reporting that they can see the entire map until they refresh and receive the lighting layer.
Another possible option, that could take a lot less effort, would be to make an option for the GM to be unable to select drawings. That way you could add a (semi-transparent) picture to the token layer, put it on top of your tokens and then mark it as a drawing. No need for an additional layer (although they still would be nice). The GM of course would need to be able to toggle this ability, as having it persistent would result in some major consequences.
i didn't see anyone really illustrate this but the biggest part of this for me would be player interaction. What happens if the token is under an object on the foreground. I think some people have mentioned the example of a roof of a building. So here is what i would like to see, using an example of a player approaching and then entering a building with the front door left open. This is a daytime setting so the light is global but take that away and use dim light settings to get a varying degree of transparency. Normal view without dynamic lighting. Player enters map, can see that the front door is open. Player enters the doorway.
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Edited 1426196039
Dragonphire, what you are suggesting is using the dynamic lighting layer as a masking layer for the foreground layer. It's a cool idea, and would fall within the "Photoshop-like layers" idea. The problem with something like that is that there would be no easy way for the dynamic lighting layer to know what roof you are in front of. If there was another roof of a building that was out of line of sight halfway across the map, it would be visible on top of the dynamic lighting layer, even though your character is technically unable to see it.
Dragonphire said: i didn't see anyone really illustrate this but the biggest part of this for me would be player interaction. What happens if the token is under an object on the foreground. I think some people have mentioned the example of a roof of a building. So here is what i would like to see, using an example of a player approaching and then entering a building with the front door left open. This is a daytime setting so the light is global but take that away and use dim light settings to get a varying degree of transparency. Normal view without dynamic lighting. Player enters map, can see that the front door is open. Player enters the doorway. I love it!
i'm not going to begin to say how to do this, that's for smarter men than I. But if dynamic lighting can show/hide the graphic of the map layer based on the dynamic light layer, why can it not also do that to a foreground layer. The only difference is instead of shadows it's transparency? Again, obviously this is not an easy task, but i'm sure the same thing was said when Dynamic Lighting was first suggested...
Dragonphire said: i didn't see anyone really illustrate this but the biggest part of this for me would be player interaction. What happens if the token is under an object on the foreground. I think some people have mentioned the example of a roof of a building. So here is what i would like to see, using an example of a player approaching and then entering a building with the front door left open. This is a daytime setting so the light is global but take that away and use dim light settings to get a varying degree of transparency. Normal view without dynamic lighting. Player enters map, can see that the front door is open. Player enters the doorway. replace pure clear with an alpha see-through roof and this would be golden.
@Ken if you look at the image you will see that it's not pure clear. in fact the amount of transparency would change based on bright light and dim light settings. So say bright light changes opacity from 100% to 30% and dim light changes opacity from 100% to 60%. I haven't tested that, the example was done with only bright light. It might look better with a consistent opacity and dim light be darker.
So many gread suggestions... i wish i had more votes to throw around
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Paul S. said: i just wanting to know if anyone thinks my map are up to par. this is the first part of a sewer dungeon map i made! what you all think? This isn't the appropriate forum for asking that sort of question. I'd suggest posting in the General On-Topic forum.
Chell said: So many gread suggestions... i wish i had more votes to throw around Don't we all? About a good 1/4 of the reason I became a mentor was to get +5 votes to cast.
Dragonphire said: i didn't see anyone really illustrate this but the biggest part of this for me would be player interaction. What happens if the token is under an object on the foreground. I think some people have mentioned the example of a roof of a building. So here is what i would like to see, using an example of a player approaching and then entering a building with the front door left open. This is a daytime setting so the light is global but take that away and use dim light settings to get a varying degree of transparency. Normal view without dynamic lighting. Player enters map, can see that the front door is open. Player enters the doorway. Beautiful. I want this.
1427326237
Andres G.
Pro
Translator
In my personal experience much of the issues I've had with rooftops, trees and the like can be solved with two different kinds of dynamic light settings: A soft shadow type and a hard shadow type. The soft shadow type doesn't cast a completely black shadow but rather transparent greyish color that "hides" anything on the tokens layer that it reaches in a similar way that the hard shadow one. The hard shadow would be pretty much what we have right now. This way you can still see the top of the column or tree blocking your sight (its only greyout out by the soft shadow) and still have a hard shadow for objects like walls or something. Hope this gets added soon. AG
1427385245
Andres G. That is a very good idea, however it is a little out-of-scope from the original "Foreground Map Layer" suggestion. I'd recommend you post it as a suggestion, or vote for another suggestion that is close to your idea. For everyone that only have 1 vote, you can pull your vote and apply it to another suggestion if you feel that suggestion better fits your idea. Don't worry, I won't get upset! This is after all, the highest voted Suggestion on the Roll20 forums (of all-time!). Also, We're the Highest voted Suggestion on the Roll20 Forums!! Congratz everyone!! BTW, I'm using the exact same picture as your profile picture for a Drow Rogue in a 5e campaign, LOL.
1427971323
Bo
Plus
Great suggestion, more layers are always welcome. I'd also throw in a shout for the objects being seperated from the background - But I can understand that this is probably just me being overly picky. Anyway, I digress; +1 to the orginal idea, top notch thinksmithing.
1428288685
McKay B.
KS Backer
Oooh, I've wanted something to do about treetops. And about toggling visibility of building interiors on a town map. It hadn't occurred to me that both issues, *plus* fog or overall mood-coloring of a map (tinting everything red on a Lower Planes map sounds awesome) could all be accomplished nicely with just one new Layer. I don't need or want a bunch of complicated Layer Control or modifications to the line-of-sight system. Just a basic Foreground layer and an opacity slider for it (easily-accessible) would be awesome. The showing-the-tops-of-columns thing is pretty cool, I admit, but if Foreground objects override line-of-sight, wouldn't players be able to see faraway columns or fog clouds long before they should be able to? Unless you covered them with FoW of course -- but it would be a shame for dungeon maps to have to start using Fog of War if they previously were functional just using Dynamic Lighting instead.
+1
1429292854
Josh A.
Sheet Author
Andres G. said: In my personal experience much of the issues I've had with rooftops, trees and the like can be solved with two different kinds of dynamic light settings: A soft shadow type and a hard shadow type. The soft shadow type doesn't cast a completely black shadow but rather transparent greyish color that "hides" anything on the tokens layer that it reaches in a similar way that the hard shadow one. The hard shadow would be pretty much what we have right now. This way you can still see the top of the column or tree blocking your sight (its only greyout out by the soft shadow) and still have a hard shadow for objects like walls or something. Hope this gets added soon. AG I think I remember seeing somewhere that they are working on soft shadows already.
1429904580
Pringle
KS Backer
This is something Josh C said, however he has not yet accrued a vote and can't comment here so I figured I'd post it in his place. All credit to him. Considering the usefulness of additional layers, I see a handful of assignable properties being equally useful for user created layers. The table that follows are the variables I believe would be required by the posts I read and my thoughts, thanks to Gold's search suggestion. Now to make this enticing for Roll20, a free/base account gets the 3 current layers and maybe one extra "programmable" layer, Supporter gets 2 or 3 additional, Mentor 4 to (reasonable technical limit) additional. This way they are not giving away free features. I want Roll20 to thrive, and they need incentives to make people buy. Name/Title Description Ex 1: Weather Ex 2: Hideouts/Maps Ex 3: Self-modifying Maze zOrder Allows foreground and layering (post 1241955/sub 1344399) Weather layer is on top Roofs are beneath weather layer which layer is above background and affecting player movement Opacity to assign transparency Make black clouds highly see through so they appear to be shadows Dust and dirt over everything? Visual indicator a trap exists for for non-narrative role-play games without having to modify by image editor Visible by players (or specific player) Additional GM layers. Preplanned changes to environment. Remove roof because PC enters Drastic weather changes caused by PC or GM. Reaching The player rolls camouflage or casts concealment hiding it from other players. Several layers that each contain just walls or traps. Swapping visibility between these layers shifts multiple walls and traps Editable By To assign who, besides GM, can modify PC casts control weather. Be it a hideout cave or vehicle, why can't the PC set it up the way they want it to look. Provides ownership and immersion for PC NA Displacement Collection of 3 variables, an X speed, Y speed, & interval. After "interval" has elapsed it adjusts the layer position by the values "X" and "Y". Mutually exclusive to Static Weather moves across the PCs map. Wind gusts cross the screen. NA Creative map makers could make walls appear and disappear on an interval Static Create a layer that is always on top, does not scroll. Think HUD. Mutually exclusive to Displacement Add dramatic tension. Keep useful data onscreen at ALL times. Use for Dynamic Lighting + Line of Sight still hidden. Instead of players having to move maps or zOrder for paid accounts. They can assign a layer to reveal through. NA NA NA
1430728877
Andrew said: Dragonphire, what you are suggesting is using the dynamic lighting layer as a masking layer for the foreground layer. It's a cool idea, and would fall within the "Photoshop-like layers" idea. The problem with something like that is that there would be no easy way for the dynamic lighting layer to know what roof you are in front of. If there was another roof of a building that was out of line of sight halfway across the map, it would be visible on top of the dynamic lighting layer, even though your character is technically unable to see it. Well... You could do it... It would require the light source to reveal 2 layers. So it would be like two parallel stacked circles of light. 1 revealing the normal stuff (token/map layer) 1 revealing the foreground layer. If the two fields of vision communicated and the normal reveal automatically overwrote the foreground one then it would work fine. So say you have a line blocking dynamic light, your foreground circle would show the roof within your field of vision, as your normal reveal is blocked by the line. If you crossed the line, your normal vision would overwrite the top layer view thus the roof would go away and you could see what was underneath. It wouldn't be that hard actually.
1430773221
So, to elaborate on my last post, in theory all you would do is this: foreground light radius = normal light radius The foreground light properties would be set in such a way that they reveal images in their light radius that are placed on the foreground map layer, kind of like the normal dynamic lighting already works. The foreground light is not impeded by dynamic lighting walls, as normal lighting is however. The foreground light, however, always defers to the normal lighting, so if the normal lighting is revealing anything other than blackness the foreground light reveals nothing. This way, if you surrounded something in dynamic light blockers, like say a tree top, if the player reached radius of it, the player's normal lighting would be blocked, but the object would be within the foreground light and thus be displayed. Without the dynamic light being blocked then the map and token layers would be revealed and the foreground layer would be unrevealed. This would allow the house example as stated above to function normally. However this would cause a bug, in that it would display the foreground layer on anything where a shadow from the normal dynamic lighting is cast within radius. So, in order to fix that, you would have to allow dynamic lighting to be blocked independent of the standard layer, specifically for the foreground layer. This would all be possible, but it would require a bit of extra work for any GM that wished to use it.
I've said for a year we need a 4th layer; so agreed.
its just an idea but i'd love to see an abilety to link token and overlay layers, say a dragon who's body is in the token layer but its wings in the owerlay (sky?) layer also +1 for simple and awsome idea
1435886110
Layers. By god, Layers! I have been using this site since Day 1 and it hasn't ever changed. It's almost impossible to select the item you want, especially with complex scenes. A Foreground layer should just be the beginning. We need an Map Item Layer separate from a the token layer!
I like these ideas. Also i needed the post badge <3
1436244991
Brandon K.
KS Backer
While being able to slice into the foreground layer with dynamic lighting is super cool, having at least the foreground layer with some transparency would have solved a few issues I've encountered in map designs. +1
Layers....Layers with adjustable transparency. This has my vote 100%!
1436931948
This was posted 9 months ago. Isn't it about time this gets implemented?
1436983215
Siggan (Pontus E) said: This was posted 9 months ago. Isn't it about time this gets implemented? Indeed, however as compared with most of the suggestions, this is the most technically complex to implement. I will remain patiently optimistic. :D
+1, tis a grand idea
Andrew said: So the layer order would be from bottom to top: Background Layer Token Layer Foreground Layer GM Layer +1 for something as simple as this so that I can add text to the map layer & modify/move it around without taking the entire map layer with me. #stopthefrustration John
+1! This would be an amazing feature to add more visual depth and GM functionality. Photoshop-style layers would be ideal, but adding one or two as a start would still be a great addition. I am 100% on board with what Pringle/Josh C posted as well. I love the idea of having each tier get additional layers. It's great motivation for people to support Roll20.
+1 for the foreground layer idea. Many good suggestions made here, im up for most of them. 
Most likely they are looking into this but already have problems with the <canvas> tag and the layers they have being inefficient, especially when layers contain a lot of objects and data.  I'm interested in seeing if they can pull it off, but I won't hold my breath.  May be a limitation of the browsers as well.
I thought about something similar once, but in the form of having an "extra map layer" for flying/burrowing creatures or elevation. But this is even better and more well-thought. +1.
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Edited 1438909748
I have been apart of Roll20 long enough I can now comment here. This was the original post where I came up with my table in " <a href="https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/1241955/foreground-map-layer#post-1872013" rel="nofollow">https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/1241955/foreground-map-layer#post-1872013</a> " Bringing it here myself so that way I can actually say I did 8D. The purpose of this table is to demonstrate the necessary variables that will allows layers to be crafted into what a GM needs for that field. I believe this is highly desirable for Roll20 in the way it can differentiate its product and can mold easily into their account tiers. Example: free/base account gets the 3 current layers and maybe one extra "programmable" layer, Plus accounts gets 2 or 3 additional, Pro Accounts get 4 to (reasonable technical limit) additional. This incentives users of Roll20 to upgrade their account, and thus increase Roll20's bottom line. Name/Title Description Ex 1: Weather Ex 2: Hideouts/Maps Ex 3: Self-modifying Maze zOrder Allows foreground and layering (post 1241955/sub 1344399) Weather layer is on top Roofs are beneath weather layer which layer is above background and affecting player movement Opacity to assign transparency Make black clouds highly see through so they appear to be shadows Dust and dirt over everything? Visual indicator a trap exists for non-narrative role-play games without having to modify by image editor Visible by players (or specific player) Additional GM layers. Preplanned changes to environment. Remove roof because PC enters Drastic weather changes caused by PC or GM. Reaching The player rolls camouflage or casts concealment hiding it from other players. Several layers that each contain just walls or traps. Swapping visibility between these layers shifts multiple walls and traps Displacement Collection of 3 variables, an X speed, Y speed, & interval. After "interval" has elapsed it adjusts the layer position by the values "X" and "Y". Mutually exclusive to Static Weather moves across the PCs map. Wind gusts cross the screen. NA Creative map makers could make walls appear and disappear on an interval Static Create a layer that is always on top, does not scroll. Think HUD. Mutually exclusive to Displacement NA Add dramatic tension. Keep useful data onscreen at ALL times NA Use for Dynamic Lighting + Line of Sight still hidden Instead of players having to move maps or zOrder for paid accounts. They can assign a layer to reveal through. NA NA NA I read a post about a dragon's wings having effects on the surroundings is a tall order. It is basically attaching an object to a token across layers and enabling them to move as one while allowing the wings to swivel around the token. This concept I believe to be outside the scope of this Suggestion Thread. If anyone has ideas about a layer that you believe these variables do not handle, please describe it as best detail you can and I will either modify my table or explain why I believe it to be out of scope of this Suggestion Thread.
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Edited 1439480226
A static layer would be particularly cool if you could have dynamic objects, like timers. That said, I could see them having trouble with scaling on different screen sizes. Also, what do you do if someone wants to get onto a roof?
1439480573
Epsilon R. said: Also, what do you do if someone wants to get onto a roof? No amount of layers, dynamic objects, etc. can replace the theater of the mind.&nbsp; That being said, if you anticipate your players needing to get on a roof, just add the roof to your map in a separate location, and move their tokens over to it when they "climb up".