Guidelines for Non-Map Art Packs

As discussed in Marketplace Item Types and Categories article, Art Packs are categorized on the Marketplace as Tokens, Maps, Objects, and Weather and can be accessed from the Art Library tab of the VTT or a user's "My Marketplace Items" page.

This article will walk you through best practices for creating Tokens, Objects, and Weather.

Click here for specific instructions and guidance for creating Maps.  

A Point of Clarification, re: Art Packs = Token Sets

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On your Item Management Page, you will see the phrase "Token Set" displayed on any Art Pack that is created and moved through the approval process (even if you are creating, say, a Map Pack). This can be confusing since our public categorization of Marketplace art features specific sub-categories including "Tokens". Do not be alarmed - there is an explanation: 

Technically, within the Roll20 software, a "Token" is any piece of art that can be dragged and dropped on the VTT. This initial categorization will be further refined to a public-facing classification during the Item Creation process: 

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Token File Types and Dimensions

When creating any Art for Roll20, be mindful to adhere to our Image Guidelines in addition to any information found below, paying close attention to image resolution recommendations. 

We recommend creating Token art at 4x scale to prevent image pixelation when zooming in on a Page past 100%, and to allow GMs and Players to enlarge artwork on the VTT. (Example: if your Token is going to take up 1 square: your art should be 280x280 pixels. If your token should take up 4 squares, 560x560, etc.)

The following table displays the recommended pixel dimensions at which to create Art Pack assets by grid type. Non-Square Grids have pixel approximations for some of their cell height and width values as the grid is mathematically drawn. Unless you're specifically creating Hex or Isometric/Diametric artwork, use the square grid dimensions.

Image Dimensions for Tokens

Grid Type Grid Cell Pixel Dimensions Pixel Scale for Token Art (per grid cell)
Square Grid 70px wide by 70px tall 280px wide by 280px tall
Hex Grid (Vertical) ~75px wide by ~88px tall ~300px wide by ~352px tall
Hex Grid (Horizontal) ~94px wide by ~81px tall ~376px wide by ~324px tall
Isometric Grid ~121px wide by 70px tall ~484px wide by 280px tall
Diametric Grid 140px wide by 70px tall 560px wide by 280px tall

Note: These image dimensions are for static art assets (not animated). Animated art for Tokens should try to use the smallest pixel dimensions and image resolution possible to mitigate file size.

File Types

Static: For static Tokens, we recommend creating PNGs with an Alpha Channel to support transparency/translucency. Files should endeavor to be smaller than 5MB as a best practice and should be no larger than 10MB, in general, to prevent performance loss on various Purchaser hardware and internet connections. 

Animated: For animated Tokens, we recommend creating WEBMs if you need translucency in your Token graphic as well as transparency. Use the GIF file type if all you need is transparency in your animated Token.

Types of Token

Token_Art_Examples.png

(credit to Creators: Tulsevran's MenagerieJaytaroArt of Amanda NPVertighostMatt.M Animations)

To optimize Marketplace search results, Creators must choose the correct Token categorization during creation. You can review all Marketplace Item Types and Categories here

As a summary, the Categories for Tokens are:

  • Figures: Transparent, full-body, non-bordered characters
  • Bordered Tokens: Tokens with borders (typically round)
  • Portraits: Character portraits, often used for Character entries, Handouts, or Avatars
  • Token Elements: Token borders, flair, effects, or templates
  • Status Icons: Status icons for Tokens (ex: poisoned) - sometimes used interchangeably with Token Markers

Next, let's take a look into the specifications and use cases for each: 

Figures

Token_Figure_Examples.png

(Credit to Creators: PogS Props, Alec Thomas, Yuikami, David Baldridge)

Figures are transparent, full-body, non-bordered characters that resemble miniatures used on a real-world tabletop. They feature the entire body of the character or creature being represented and are designed to work on Top-Down or Isometric Maps.

Figure Design Recommendations

Figures may cast a shadow on the floor plane they’re standing on. Outlining around the perimeter of a figure may also help it pop against whatever backdrop it gets placed on.

Tip: Always test your Tokens against different types of Map terrains to ensure they don’t get lost in the background. Your yeti Token might stand out clearly against a jungle map, but you might find it disappears within a snowy map without enough outlining and shadowing.

Bordered Tokens

Bordered_Token_Examples.png

(Credit to Creators: DMDave, Retrograde Minis, Renflowergrapx, Paper Golems)

Bordered Tokens feature the artwork of a character or creature contained inside a frame. Often the frame is circular, but you’re not restricted to that shape. The border can be as simple or as ornate as you want.

Bordered Token Design Recommendations

The border of the Token should stand out against a Map backdrop. You may want to consider using a drop shadow around the perimeter of the token or using a bold outline to help with visibility. If the creature’s artwork sits above a backdrop within the border, ensure that the colors and contrast of the backdrop don’t drown out the foreground artwork.

Portraits

Token_Portrait_Examples.png

(Credit to Creators: cupidbeaux, MonkeyB’s Toybox, BlackLilithMoon, Art of Amanda NP)

Portraits aren’t commonly used on the VTT itself (unless featured on a Dashboard Display), and are most often be displayed in Handouts and the Portrait section of a Character Journal to provide an up-close view of a character or creature. Portraits are head and shoulder "bust" style images that are commonly included in Art Packs alongside Figures and Bordered Token variations of each subject.

Portrait Design Recommendations

There isn’t much that dictates the right or wrong way to create a Portrait image for Roll20. Whether the subject of the Portrait image has a backdrop or any framing elements is entirely up to you.

Token Elements 

Token_Elements_Examples.png

(Credit to Creators: Wild Magic Surge, Richard Tran, Daniel R., Gabriel Pickard)

Token Elements are images assets that help the Purchaser create non-commercial custom Token art, embellish existing maps, convey conditions, and denote the area of effect for spells and ammunition.

Token Elements Design Recommendations

If you plan to use grid markings on these art assets, such as spell templates, we recommend you also include a copy of the image without the grid markings in your Art Pack. That way, the Purchaser can use the gridless image as scenery or map embellishment if they so choose.

If creating condition rings or other elements that sit over or directly under a Token, you’ll want to ensure that the image’s dimensions allow your image to be visible on the Tabletop. Are you expecting the image to cover just the extents of a Figure or Bordered Token or do you expect it to wrap around outside of it? Those dimensions will be different depending on whether you’re creating condition rings that will be used on top-down or isometric Tokens.

Objects and Weather

The same guidelines and best practices as traditional tokens apply when creating Objects and Weather. When in doubt, review the assets available on the Marketplace for guidance, and never hesitate to reach out for guidance. 

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