Area and asset management tutorial

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He beginner.png

This is a beginner-level tutorial which explains how to add assets to an area. If you have not yet created an area, you may wish to work through the Building Areas Tutorial first.

Add a Heightmap

By default, areas will be created with a Heightmap. If there is no heightmap in the area, one can be added with the following steps.

  1. From the HeroBlade Menu bar, select "Create" / "Heightmap" / "Single Heightmap"
  2. A heightmap should appear in the room. At this point, because your heightmaps have no textures, it should display as a checkerboard or whatever default graphic is used for untextured Assets in your product.

Add some assets

The easiest way to add and maintain Assets is to use the Library.

  1. From HeroBlade, select "Create" / "Library..."
  2. The Asset Library dialogue will appear.
  3. Selecting a library on the left panel will display its assets on the right panel.
  4. From the "Add At" drop down, you can choose to have the Asset added where your (Fly) Camera is, at the Area's Origin [0,0,0], or on top of a Selected Asset. Since you do not have any Assets in the area to select, it's probably best just to add the Asset at Camera.
  5. To add the Asset to your Room, either double-click it, or click the Add button.
  6. If you have your Asset Panel open, you should see your Asset added to the Area's Asset list.

Placing and Snapping

Selection tools

See also: Transform Toolbar There are several tools for placing objects.
HeroBladeTransformSelect.png Select
Hotkey: 2 (in Fly Camera Mode)
Selects the object, but does not allow movement.
TranslateTool.png Select and Translate
Hotkey: 3 (in Fly Camera Mode)
Selects the object, and allows for movement on the X, Y, and Z axises.
RotateTool.png Select and Rotate
Hotkey: 4 (in Fly Camera Mode)
Selects the object, and allows for rotation on the X, Y, and Z axises.
DynmicPlaceTool.png Dynamic Place
Hotkey: 6 (in Fly Camera Mode)
Selects the object, and follows the mouse.


Cycling through assets

If there are multiple overlapping assets in the same location, you can use Shift+Click to cycle through them so you can choose the exact asset that you want.

Using the Snap Grid

Snap forces objects to line up on the Area's snap grid. It is useful for dressing sets that use lego-like pieces that must align together.

There is a Snap button in HeroBlade. Snap.png Clicking the arrow next to it will cause the Snap pop up box to appear. It looks like this:


Make assets non-selectable

You can keep yourself from selecting an Asset by changing its Selectable property to False. To do so....

  1. Click on the Asset using any of the Select tools to select it.
  2. Open the Properties Panel
  3. Under Misc: Selectable it should say True.
  4. Change the Selectable property to False.
  5. The Asset should no longer be selectable.

Parenting Assets

Main page: Parenting Toolbar
You can also Parent an object (the Child) to another object (the Parent -- hence "Parenting"), via the Properties Panel. When an object that has children is moved, rotated, or sized, its children will also reflect those changes. 
Example: Say you have a bed and you want to add pillow assets to it. You also want the pillows to move with the bed when you place it in the room. You would create an instance of a bed model, then create instances of pillows, place them on the bed, and Parent the pillows to the bed.

To Parent Assets

  1. Open the Properties panel.
  2. Click on the Instance you want to make the parent.
  3. Under "Type", copy it's GUID value.
  4. Click on the Instance you want to make the child.
  5. Under "Misc", paste the parent's GUID into the value for "ParentInstance" and press the enter key.
  6. If you move the Parent Instance, the Child should now move as well.
  7. If you click on the Child Instance, you will see a white line drawn to the Parent.

Duplicating assets

Duplicating (or "cloning") an object is simple. To do this:

  1. Click on the object you want to duplicate.
  2. Duplicate either with Ctrl+D, or by opening the Assets panel, selecting the GUID and choosing Clone instance in the Instances Menu.
  3. The new (duplicated) object appears on top of the old one, and will be automatically selected.
  4. Using the mouse wheel, cycle to the Select & Translate tool {{translate)) (or click on that tool in the Transform Toolbar)
  5. Move the duplicated asset so it is no longer on top of the original asset

You can also create another Instance of the last Asset you added from the Library, with Ctrl+Q. This differs from cloning in that it will create the Instance from the Asset, which means things such as Rotation, Scale, DiffuseColor, and so on will not be set.

To place multiple of the same assets, select it with the Dynamic Place Tool, and then press Ctrl+D to drop duplicate versions wherever the mouse is.

Using the Assets panel

Finding duplicated assets

Sometimes when duplicating assets, you may end up with instances directly on top of each other. This is difficult to spot, so there is are special options in the Instances menu for this, Select Duplicates. This will automatically select any instance which has the same position and rotation as another instance of the same asset. Once selected, you can use Ctrl+G or Mouse Button #4 to zoom to the selection.

Deep clone

Cloning a Child Instance will automatically parent it to the Parent Instance. Cloning a Parent Instance, however, will not duplicate that Parent's Children. To clone a parent and its children use a Deep clone, with Ctrl+Shift+D. This starts with the currently selected object, and duplicates it and its children.

See also: Keyboard shortcuts

Search for assets

Removing assets

To delete or remove an instance of an asset, either:

You can also click on an asset in the upper part of the Assets panel, and then right-click for Remove assets with no instances

See also

Personal tools