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vRigger Learning Center

This also applies to cable, chain, and webbing.

Gear that is anchored includes anchors, rocks, trees, tripods, trucks, etc.

A "bight" is a simple loop in a rope that does not cross itself.

A "bend" is a knot that joins two ropes together. Bends can only be attached to the end of a rope.

"Descending devices" (e.g., ATCs, Brake Bar Racks, Figure 8s, Rescue 8s, etc) create friction as their primary purpose. The friction in descending devices is always considered when calculating forces.

The "Safety Factor" is the ratio between the gear's breaking strength and the maximum load applied to the gear (e.g., 5:1).

Gear Builder Graphics Page

The Graphics page in the Gear Builder specifies the gear's image. You must own, and be familiar with, graphics editing software to create the images. Quality images are the key to creating realistic looking gear.

Zoom button

The Zoom button changes the display of the image so you can see how it will appear when zoomed to various percentages. The Zoom button only changes the appearance of the item within the Gear Builder and does not change how the image will appear in vRigger. For example, if you choose "Zoomed 100%," the image will be displayed as if the vRigger workspace is zoomed to 100%.

Load main image

Click the Load main image button to load the gear's image into vRigger.

The main image must meet these criteria:


1 The image must be in the bitmap (i.e., *.bmp) format. If the image is in a different format (e.g., gif, jpg, tif, etc) you will need to convert it to a bitmap using graphics editing software. If you modify the image at a later date, you will need to reload it using the Load main image button.
 

Read detailed instructions on using Photoshop to create images .
 

2 Per the detailed instructions, most smaller gear items should be sized to 50 pixels per inch. For example, a carabiner that is three inches long should be 150 pixels. Smaller items that appear in firefighting illustrations should be sized to 25 pixels per inch. For example, a nozzle that is 10 inches long should be 250 pixels long. People should typically be 900 pixels tall (they'll appear small relative to carabiners and similar items). Note that larger images occupy more memory, create larger files and cause some computers to operate slower, but they also print more clearly.

You will be able to adjust the size of the image that appears in vRigger using the Reduce image size control.
 

3

Any areas in the image that should be transparent must be RGB yellow (i.e., 255 Red, 255 Green, and 0 Blue). The following image is used for the "Carabiner (locking)" in vRigger:

Since yellow is treated as transparent, there must not be any solid yellow on the item itself. (You can have yellow gear, just not solid RGB yellow.)

When you are selecting the area to change to yellow in your graphics editing software, do not choose anti-aliasing because that may cause the yellow to be blended into the edge of the gear. This can result in a yellow hue appearing around the item.

Anti-aliasing will create a yellow hue      No aliasing

If you take a digital picture of the item, it is helpful if you put the item on a solid color background (e.g., a white piece of paper). This will make it easier to select the background and change it to yellow. Read these detailed instructions on creating graphic images using Photoshop .

Knot Images

Refer to the instructions on the Forces Page of the Gear Builder for information on creating images of knots (e.g., the graphic images used for knots should be green, the "Is a Knot" checkbox on the Forces page should be selected, and you can use the additional rope segment commands to create images of knots).

Load icon image

Click the Load icon image button to load a small image of the item. The image will be displayed in the upper-left corner of the Gear Builder. This is the image that will appear in the gear panes.

The icon image must meet these criteria:


1 The image must be in the bitmap (i.e., *.bmp) format. If the image is in a different format (e.g., gif, jpg, tif, etc) you will need to convert it to a bitmap using graphics editing software. If you modify the image at a later date, you will need to reload it using the Load icon image button.
 
2 The image must be exactly 32x32 pixels.
 
3 The image should appear on a white background. For example, the following image is used as the icon for the locking carabiner in vRigger.

Gear sizing

The Reduce image size value reduces the size of the image from its native bitmap size (i.e., the size of the main image that was loaded) to the size it will appear in vRigger. This allows the image to maintain its high-resolution appearance when the workspace is zoomed or printed.

Per the detailed instructions, for smaller items that were scaled to either 50 pixels per inch (e.g., typical small rigging gear) or 25 pixels per inch (e.g., typical small firefighting gear), set this value to 75%. For people who are approximately 900 pixels tall, set this value to 50% (this will make people approximately 32 inches tall relative to other gear).

You can select the Show measurement grid checkbox on the Graphics page of the Gear Builder to display a grid on top of your gear. The grid measurements are appropriate for small rescue gear. For small firefighting gear, the gear should be half the grid measurement size (e.g., a nozzle that is 10 inches long and reduced by 75% will measure 5 inches long on the measurement grid).

Optionally, you can specify the approximate gear height in the Gear height box and then click Calculate reduction to have vRigger calculate the image reduction.

You can add both your gear and the ruler "gear" to the workspace to measure the size of your gear.

It may take a little trial-and-error to determine the percentage to reduce your image. In general, you should size rigging gear so it measures correctly with the ruler or measurement grid (i.e., 50 pixels per inch). Small firefighting gear should be half-sized compared to the ruler. People should be sized at approximately 50% of their actual height or they will occupy too much of the screen (you can always resize the people after adding them to the workspace). Likewise, large items like tripods and vehicles should be sized smaller than their actual size.

If the bitmap image is too small, you can specify a negative number for the Reduce image size value to increase its size, but this will cause the image to appear blurry. You can use the Zoom button to see how the image will appear on the vRigger workspace when zoomed to various percentages.

Default rotation

The Default rotation specifies the amount that the item should be rotated when it is first displayed. For example, if you enter "90" the gear will be rotated clockwise 90 degrees when it is added to the workspace. You can enter a negative number (e.g., "-90") to rotate the gear counterclockwise. Of course, you can always rotate the item after adding it to the workspace.

Can flip horizontally

Select this box to allow the gear to be flipped horizontally. Symmetrical gear, such as a ball, typically should not allow flipping, whereas asymmetrical gear, such as a rescuer, should allow flipping. Gear that contains text, such as a logo, should not allow flipping or the text will appear backwards.

Can rotate

Select this box to allow the user to rotate the item. Most gear should be allowed to rotate, but you might not permit rotating on a few items (e.g., a lamppost, a flag, etc).

Specify the point that should remain stationary when rotating

A dropdown list allows you to specify the location on the gear that should remain stationary when the gear is rotated. In almost every case you should choose Keep the center point stationary when rotating. An exception might be something like an arrow where you may want the tip of the arrow to remain stationary. (Note that if you rotate gear using the optional "rotator on a stick," the gear will rotate on its center point regardless of this setting.)

Maintain aspect ratio

When checked, the Maintain aspect ratio checkbox ensures that the relationship between the item's height and width remains constant when you resize the gear. When unchecked, you can resize the height and width independently. In almost all cases you should leave this box checked. A few exceptions are for the "fire" and "smoke" items that are used with firefighting illustrations—it is helpful to be able to size the height and width of these items independently.

The Maintain aspect ratio checkbox is disabled when the Can resize checkbox is unchecked.

Specify the point that should remain stationary when sizing

A dropdown list allows you to specify the location on the gear that should remain stationary when the gear is resized. In almost every case you should choose Keep the center point stationary when sizing. An exception might be something like an arrow where you may want the tip of the arrow to remain stationary.

Gear Builder links

Watch a video that explains how to create your own gear.

General page settings

Connections page settings

Ropes page settings

Forces page settings