Karl Wilcox
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Concerning Crowns and proper "Proper"

Concerning Crowns and proper "Proper"

Nov 27, 2021

As we know by now, the way to give a charge a colour (known as a "tincture") is to follow the charge with the name of the colour, for example:

"a lion azure"

Will give us a blue lion, where the precise shade of blue is defined by the 'palette' that you have chosen.

Now, some things can also be described as "proper" - that means that it takes the natural colour of the object, so for example:

"a leaf proper"

Will give us a green leaf, again with the shade of green defined by the current palette.

This is fine for simple shapes, like the leaf - this is a simple shape that has a single colour, making it easy for DrawShield to fill it with the chosen colour.

However, when we look at Crowns, we find that in heraldry they are often shown with rich colours, shading and differently coloured features like jewels and orbs. This doesn't fit very well with the DrawShield way of colouring things so up to now we have had to simplify crowns in order to use them - removing all the shading and additional colours to allow a simple colour to be applied. This is the still the case if we want to have crowns shown in a particular colour, however we can now do something a little better if the crown is described as 'proper'.

I have added a new facility which implements the following algorithm for charges:

1) If the charge has a colour applied evrything works as it does now.

2) If the charge is described as "proper":

2a) Is there is an SVG file of this name in the sub-folder called 'proper':

2ai) If yes, copy the whole file, unchanged into the DrawShield output

2aii) If no, look up the 'proper' colour in the metadata and colour the charge with that colour

Also, I have marked some charges (such as crowns) as not needing to have a colour specified at all, which will default to 'proper', so for example:

"a mural crown"

Is not an error, and you will get the full, beautiful mural crown complete with rich colours and shading as seen in Wikimedia commons. In contrast:

"a mural crown vert"

Will give you a much simpler crown image, coloured green.

There are also some crowns that are ONLY available in the "proper" version, for example, if you use:

"an imperial crown vert"

You will get an error message to the effect that "Imperial crown can only be proper".

Some Things to Note

Obviously these "proper" crowns do not support the hatching colour scheme, nor the outline scheme. In these cases the crowns are just drawn in a grayscale version. Similarly the yellow that you see in a crown is not the same yellow as "or" in your chosen palette.

When a charge is itself "crowned", like "a lion gules crowned or" you will only ever see the low resolution, simple version of a crown being used. This is because they need to be modified to 'fit' onto the head of the creature and they are typically so small that all the details of the "proper" crowns are lost anyway.

Crowns used in crests WILL use the "proper" versions if they exist.

Currently only a few of these new style crowns are available on the TEST system, they are:

  • mural crown

  • astral crown

  • english royal crown

  • french royal crown

  • english imperial crown

  • french imperial crown

  • naval crown

  • antique

  • vallary

But it is very easy to add others and more will be added over time.

Finally, the code is not just restricted to crowns and works for any charge that might have a higher quality "proper" version - helmets are another obvious category that I will look at adding as well.

Comments, suggestions and links to new "proper" charges are welcome!

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