The Assets Library

What is the ‘Assets Library’ ?

The Assets Library is an area of your account where you can upload all your assets’ files. These include all images, videos and sound/music.

The Assets Library is separate from your Data as it allows us to provide you with a much more streamlined user experience.

You can think of your assets library as simply a folder, that is reserved for all your images, videos and music. It has a separate quota limit from the data folder, which holds your game’s databases and installed systems and modules.

Advantages and limitations

The use of the Assets Library brings many advantages to your gaming experience. It also has some limitations that are important to know.

Geo distribution

Every asset becomes available through a globally distributed network of servers, allowing maximum bandwidth and optimal latency for every player, wherever they are located in the world.

This is allowing you to get your scenes to load as fast as possible, and if you are in Europe for example, and some of your players are in North America or in Asia, or both, you will all be able to download the scene’s maps, tiles, tokens, music and other artwork at full speed without any visible latency.

Image optimization

Images uploaded to the assets library will be automatically optimized when viewed from within your Foundry VTT game. If a player is using a browser that supports the WebP format, a WebP version of the image will be served instead, making it download even faster.
This has the effect of speeding up pages loading.

Image manipulation

You can manipulate your images easily by adding tags at the end of their urls. For example, to blur an image, simply add ?blur=25 to the url to add 25% blurring. You can also use ?flip=true.
An integrated UI will be provided soon to ease the manipulation of images, directly from within Foundry VTT on The Forge.

Player assets isolation

Since ever user that is logged into The Forge has their own personal Assets Library, this means that the assets from one player are isolated from the assets of another player.
You don’t need to ask your GM for permission to upload your avatar or a new token image, you can do simply upload it to your own assets library and use it.
Similarly, a GM doesn’t need to worry about a curious player snooping around in their library and spoiling the surprises they had prepared.
Additionally, if you are a player in multiple different games, you wouldn’t need to upload your files into each game you join, as your assets library comes with you and is associated with your user rather than with a specific Foundry instance.

GPU Texture limit avoidance

Some Game Masters like to use very high resolution maps for their games, or simply use the maps they found or were given without thinking about the image’s resolution. This has the unfortunate effect that it may not work for all of their players. Images of a size above 16384x16384 pixels will simply not load in a browser. That’s a limitation of the WebGL technology, but there’s also a limitation imposed by each player’s individual GPU’s (Graphics card) capabilities.
While a map might load for you, it may appear entirely black to one or more of your players, because the limit imposed by their graphics card could be 8192x8192 or even 4096x4096. This is most often visible for people using integrated graphics cards, such as found in laptops.

To prevent this from happening, all images loaded within Foundry VTT will be automatically scaled down to a maximum of 4096x4096 resolution, making sure that your maps will load on everyone’s computer, regardless of their GPU capabilities.
The files will remain untouched however and can still be accessed in full resolution when accessed via the Assets Library on the forge.

Using high resolution maps

I know that some Game Masters may want to use high resolution maps and would not want to lose any of their hard earned pixels. In those cases, the best thing you can do is to actually split your map into multiple tiles that you would place on your scene. By using smaller tiles, you ensure that the map will be visible to all of your players at the high resolution you want it to be, regardless of their machine’s capabilities.
Do keep in mind however that this can have a detrimental effect on performance, as a 16384x16384 image alone would take over 2GB of your GPU’s limited RAM, even if it is split into sixteen tiles of 4096x4096 images. That can interfere with the proper functioning of the rest of the FVTT software, including the dynamic lighting layer which would also take an additional 2GB of RAM, and overall, the performance will be severely impacted.