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  1. #1

    Official SmiteWorks FGU Art/Map Pack thread

    Hello all,

    Now that our official art packages are beginning to be released (with MANY more on the way!!) it seems to now be an appropriate time to create a thread that is intended for the explanation of use, general discussion, and the reporting of any issues of our official products.

    Overview of an Art Package General Layout

    Within each of the image packs, you will notice some or all of the following folders:

    • backgrounds: This is generally a great place to start. Within you will find all the 'base' image layers from which to begin your creations as well as more often than not some sample images created with the art package.
    • brushes: In here you will find brushes designed to be used with the line, square, and circle brush tools. That is not to say other images are not viable here or that these images cannot be used in other ways but these will work exceptionally well with those tools.
    • decorations: This is where all of the images reside that are intended to decorate the scene and bring your creations to a more finished feel. If you were creating an interior location here is where you will find all of the images that a room may contain such as rugs, furniture, items, and so on. An art package that was oriented around the creation of forest locations would consist of rocks, trees, plants, and other images designed for use in those areas. These Images are easily used with the stamp brush or as tiles depending on the circumstance.
    • effects: Effects are those images that are enhancement images to be used with other images and often layered on top. These may include the soft glow of a light source or a textural overlay and so on.
    • symbols: This one is quite self-explanatory. Here you will find all of the symbols that you may need in that particular art pack. A regional map package may have symbols for cities, towns, and such.
    • tiles: This is where all of the images designed to be used with the tile tools in FGU. These are images or a series of images that 'snap' into preset sizes onto the defined grid of your image and are often dragged directly from the asset window onto the image panel.

    It should be noted that these folders may have more specific subfolders within them, or in some rare cases use a different folder format altogether.

    Basic Image Creation Set Up and Practices

    Our art packages are designed for use on a grid set to 100 x 100 pixel squares but can be scaled to work fine at other dimensions as well. It always is a good idea to adjust your grid once the image panel has been initiated and before tile/paint layers are created as FGU uses the grid size to refer to the scale of an image. This is not absolutely necessary as FGU will recalculate the scale of images already used based on the new grid square sizes, however, to avoid complications further on in your map/image creation process its best to do it at the start.

    Keeping your layers organized is also something you will want to do from the start. While in the 'Layers' tab you can double click on a layer and rename it. This is very helpful especially on paint layers that always start with the base name of "painting" and will allow for much easier image management. In addition, coming very soon will be the added ability of layer grouping. This will significantly improve layer organization and allow for some very interesting image creation practices of which I will dive more deeply once this feature goes live.

    I also want to mention the color picker which can be found in both the Paint and Layers tabs. It is this tool that allows for the manipulation of not only the hue of an image but also its opacity. This tool is invaluable and once utilized will unlock the nearly infinite variety that can be achieved with even a small set of image assets.

    It is through the combining of all of these different elements and image tools in FGU that the most successful image creation can be achieved and I go into these subjects much further and with more tailored explanations and demonstrations on our twitch channel every Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern time. There we also discuss new content and I try to keep you all up to date on all things image related.

    I will also be putting together some informative YouTube videos on the use of and general good practices of the very diverse image tools we have in FGU and on each individual art package of which I will post links to as they become available (they will also be on the appropriate product's store page).

    If you have any questions, comments, or need further clarification on these or any other image-related topics please reply to this thread.

  2. #2
    LordEntrails's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    -7 UTC
    Blog Entries
    What is the license these art packs are going to be released under?

    Specifically, can maps created using these assets be used in non-commercial and/or commercial FG modules? Is their a restriction (other than regular FG module restrictions) on distributing these modules? Can these assets be used for creating art/maps that are used in non-FG modules? Commercial and non-commercial? (i.e. I understand at this time such will likely require screen capturing as their is no image export from FGU at this time).

  3. #3
    Good day, LordEntrails these are great questions.
    As it sits currently these are not available for distribution in either commercial or non-commercial use. If a module contains images created with an art package then anyone who loads that module would need to own the referred art package for the system to function properly and allow FGU to 'rebuild' that loaded image. Therefore, the building and placing of the images in a composition would be that person's creation but the original images would still remain protected at this time.

  4. #4
    Awesome work Josh! Keep up the good work!
    Dominic Morta
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  5. #5
    Thanks Dominic! You too buddy!!!

  6. #6
    Zacchaeus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Such a jolly good artist
    If you need to contact customer support or if there is something that you would like to see in Fantasy Grounds that isn't currently part of the software or if there is something you think would improve a ruleset then add your idea here

  7. #7
    LordEntrails's Avatar
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    May 2015
    -7 UTC
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    Thanks Josh. Disappointing (it means such asset packs have very minimal use for me), but understandable.

  8. #8
    Larsenex's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Ventura, California
    Thanks for this thread. I need more education on this topic AND how to use the new tile sets in FGU. Will FGC have classes on how to build dungeons/maps using Smiteworks new tile sets and art packages?

  9. #9
    Good day Larsenex,
    I stream every Saturday at 3 p.m. to around 6 eastern time on our twitch channel answering questions and going deeper into our tools and art packages. All previous videos are stored there as well if you would like to catch up on earlier streams. In addition, I am currently in the process of creating specific tutorial videos and product overviews that once available will be posted here and on our YouTube channel. In the meantime, if you have any questions or need further clarification on our art tools or packages I am more than happy to assist you.

    I am not sure what FGC has in store for new classes involving FGU and its functionality.

  10. #10
    JohnD's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    Winnipeg Canada
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    Smiteworks should make a FGU Art Pack bundle to show a little love for the DMs who will be getting most/all of these to the detriment of our wallets.
    "Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."

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