Map Editor User Guide - Effects

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This section explains how to add special image-processing effects to maps. These effects can be used to add drop shadows, tint maps, add texture, add watermarks and other special effects.

Layer Effects

Each layer in a map can have a list of effects added to it which are applied after the layer is painted. Each layer which has effects is painted into its own image which is then composited onto the layers underneath after applying the effects. As effects may be slow to render, while you are editing your map, you can temporarily turn them off by choosing Interactive Rendering from the View menu. Effects are added to individual layers, although it is possible to add them to the whole map painted so far by means of an Effect layer.

Layer effects are plugins, which means that you can write your own to add any sort of special effect you like.

To add an effect to a layer, select the layer in the Layers panel and press the Edit button, then select the "Effects" tab in the layer editing dialog:

The Effects Page

If there is no Effects tab, you have no layer-effect plugins registered. Press "New" to add a new effect. This will display a dialog asking you which type ofeffect you wish to add. When you choose an effect type, the editing dialog for the effect will be shown, allowing you to change the effect settings. You can remove effects with the Remove button, and reorder them with the Back and Forward buttons.

Standard Effects

Some of the standard effects provided in the "Effects" plugins are:

  • Blur: blurs the layer
  • Drop Shadow: creates a drop shadow around all objects in the layer
  • Tint: colors a layer according to its brightness
  • Lighting: simulates a directional light falling on the map and gives bevelled edges to features
  • Relief Shading: an extension of the lighting effect which colours the image and bump maps it according to brightness

The Drop Shadow Effect

Adding Relief Shading and Drop Shadow effects to a grayscale image