In other articles of this chapter, you've learned how to draw shapes and what they are used for. We've focused on creating one set of shapes, but what about when you have multiple sequences? You might want to use the same drawing in all sequences, or create a different one for each for example.
This article aims to help you achieve what you want in terms of drawing, when you start creating more complex projects with multiple sequences. Specifically, it explains the concept of Maps, which are presets of drawings.
What are Maps?
For those of you who used previous versions of HeavyM, you might remember this little thing called the "sequencer modes", that let you create dependencies for your shapes in sequences and that was kind of hard to manage. Well it's over now!
Now, your shapes drawings are stored in Maps, which are kind of like templates you create. You can have as many as you want and you can choose which one to use in each sequence. For example, that means that you can have Map 1 with a few faces in sequences 1 and 4, and Map 2 with a other faces and a few players in sequences 2 and 3.
This might seem vague for now, so keep reading until the end of this article for a presentation of different use cases.
Creating a Map
- To create a new map, first head over to the settings of a sequence and click on Map settings button.
- This will open the Map Management window.
- From there, click on the + button and choose one of the available options:
- Create New: this creates a new blank Map (it contains no shape.)
- Create New from: this is useful if you want to start with the same base as an existing Map in the project. It creates a new map that is a copy of the one you selected in the list.
Note: this is equivalent to creating a new Map and then copy/pasting all shapes from another Map using the paste in place option (right-click menu or [CTRL/Cmd + Shift + V]).
- Import from Project: this lets you reuse Maps from other HeavyM 2 projects. Choose a project file from the browser to get the list of Maps that exist this project. There, just tick the ones you want to reuse and click on Import!
Editing a Map
The thing with maps, is that you don't have to save your drawing modifications, it's automatic and the changes are applied to all instances of the same Map. For instance, if you add a circle in Map 1, it will appear in all sequences that are using Map 1. They kind of are like Symbols or Components, if you're familiar with Sketch, Figma or other drawing softwares.
Maps are also totally independent from each other, when you draw in one, you can be sure you're not affecting the shapes in other Maps!
Note: you can change the name of a Map from the Map Management window, by using the pen icon or double-clicking on its name.
Switching from one Map to another
Once you've created more than one Map, you can change which one is used in a sequence. Simply go back to the settings of a sequence and choose an existing Map from the dropdown menu:
You can do so even after you've started creating shapes in a sequence. However, when you switch Maps, the groups in the sequence don't change. That way, you don't lose the effects they contain. But since all shapes have changed and Maps don't store any information on groups, all shapes will be put in one single group, so you'll have to redispatch them.
Indeed, Maps only contain shapes and their geometric features (coordinates of vertices, locked or not, masked or not, name). Groups and effects are not stored in Maps. Groups only exist in the sequence in which they are created, if you want to reuse the same groups in a different sequence, copy/paste or duplicate the sequence.
Note: when you add a new sequence, by default it uses the same Map as the previously selected sequence.
Deleting a Map
To delete a Map, click on its associated cross icon in the Map Management window.
Note: all sequences that were using this Map will default to the first one in the list.
Use cases: when to use Maps
Using the same shapes in all sequences
Well that one is quite easy, it's already like this by default!
By default, you have one Map in your project, Map 1. If you don't create another one, then all new sequences will also use it. That means that your shapes will be the same in every sequence and any change will be reflected.
Indeed, each time you edit a shape in a Map, the changes are applied in all sequences using the same Map. That way, if you need to edit the position of a point because your projector has moved, no need to do it in each and every sequence!
Using different shapes in different sequences
The number of Maps you can create in a project is not limited, which means you'll be able to create as many drawings as you need. You could have a different one in each sequence or reuse the same a few times for example.
Using a slightly different drawing in different sequences
As you might have understood from the previous paragraphs, Maps are kind of all or nothing. You can't have some shapes in common and some not if you are using different Maps.
But sometimes you might need to use almost all of the same shapes in different sequences, with just one or two exceptions, like add a circle here or there let's say. You could always just copy/paste in place ([CTRL/Cmd + Shift + V]) some shapes from one Map to another, but they won't be linked, so if you need to change something, you'll have to reproduce it in both maps.
One tip might be useful to know if you want to have slight exceptions: the hide/show state is independent from Maps! Indeed, only geometric features are saved in Maps (coordinates of vertices, locked or not, masked or not, name), but not if it is hidden or not.
Let's rephrase with an example: you could keep the same Map in all sequences, but simply hide a shape here or there in specific sequences when you need it, and it would only affect the current sequence. That way, you wouldn't lose the link between the position of all shapes, but you'd have different drawings.