Publication Date: Friday, 06 September 2019

Virtual Tabletop Token Creation

Virtual Tabletop Tokens

Sometime between 2004 and 2005 we discovered a piece of software by the name of Fantasy Grounds. This software aimed to re-create in the digital domain, the experience of a pen’n’paper role-playing game environment – complete with bouncing dice. The software application employed image files in the place of paper maps, and Virtual Tabletop Tokens to represent models.

Obviously being avid game players we jumped at the software and embraced it with gusto!

As we delved into the possibilities of Fantasy Grounds (and those possibilities are quite large via the ability to program plugins for the program itself), we discovered that the software makes extensive use of user created artwork. Both for the playing surface (maps) and player tokens.

This opened the door to creating ready-made artwork for use with Fantasy Grounds. Enabling players to import our artwork as tokens and maps for use in their role-playing sessions. Thus we started to compile 3D rendered artwork of stand-alone characters for use as player tokens. Each token represents a single character or object in the game world, rendered from a Birdseye view.

Token Creation Process

We have a few basic steps we follow when creating our tokens.

  1. Initial Render: Our tokens start out life as a fair sized 3D render from software such as Poser or Blender. We use a lot of ready made 3D models plus an assortment of 3D models created by ourselves.
  2. Adjust Color: The color is adjusted to compensate for any unwanted effects in the initial render. Normally this is a problem because of lighting. Easily fixed by adjusting the exposure to bring a bit more color into the shadows to help define the character.
  3. Scale: The character is resized down to the correct scale. All Studio WyldFurr tokens are produced at a 3:1 scale. That is 3 pixels to one real world inch (or as close to as possible).
  4. Shadowing: We add an outer glow to help lift the token out from whatever background it is placed upon, this also reinforces the characters shadow, which adds to the depth of field effect of a 3D character token. Then all we do is save that token to its corresponding character set.

Token Creation Steps

1st Gen. Token Set

Our first generation of tokens all consisted of what we call, isometric token renders. These are 3D object/character renders were the camera was setup over the object/character at a 90 degree angel to the floor. Resulting in a completely birds eye view of the object/character.

All token sets in our shop that come from this generation, have the above 1st Gen. Token Set icon.

2nd Gen. Token Set

Our second generation of tokens are much like the first generation of tokens, except that the camera was slightly offset to the front of the object/character when rendering the object/character in 3D. This provides a greater degree of detail and depth to the object/character.

All token sets that belong to this generation of rendering method, include the “2nd Gen. Token Set” icon in the product description.