Dialogue fragments

"Dialogue fragment" - What's this?

Dialogue fragments are individual lines of dialogue, so to speak.

The image above shows a dialogue object (the background canvas 1 on which child elements are placed) and a network of dialogue fragments 2 as well as a hub 3 and a jump 4 element.

Anatomy of a "dialogue fragment" object

The most obvious element of a dialogue fragment is the speaker entity 5, which is the character saying the phrase. The field for the speaker entity shows a lot of information at a glance: The entity's name, avatar image and color.

Assigning a color to entities becomes greatly helpful while editing dialogue, since unique entity colors help to quickly read and grasp a dialogue flow.

Select an entity in the navigator and use the color picker to assign a color.

Below the speaker entity field are menu text 6 for optional usage in dialogu-menus, stage directions 7 for VO recordings or motion capture, followed by the actual dialogue line 8.

In contrast to dialogues and flow fragments, dialogue fragments have only one input and output pin 9, since they can be considered an atomic unit in the flow that cannot be further broken down. It is impossible to submerge in a dialogue fragment, so no inner content can lead to a branching situation where multiple input our output pins would become necessary.

Pin conditions

As described in greater detail on the conditions & instructions page, input pins can carry conditions for the fragment to be triggered and output pins can be used to describe instructions.

Simply double-click a pin to open the "edit pin"-dialog:

Creating dialogue fragments in the Flow view

To create dialogue elements in flow view, you can ...
  • ... use the drag factory in the toolbar. (Simply drag objects onto the canvas)

  • ... use the context menu. Right-click on empty space and select "New" 10 then Dialogue Fragment 11.

  • ... CTRL + SHIFT + click on empty space. The default node is created at the mouse cursor position.
    To change the default node, use the radiobutton 12 in the "New" context menu.

  • ... Drag a connection out of a pin. When "dropping" the connection on empty space, an object creation menu will pop up 13.
  • ... Click on a pin to multi-create nodes. When clicking on the output pin once, a multi-create selector appears 14 which gives you the option to create one to four outgoing nodes at once. After choosing the desired number you can select Dialogue Fragment in the node type selector.

Assigning speaker and template when creating dialogue fragmentNEW in 3.2!

You can now create new Dialogue Fragments with speaker and template (before 3.2 you could do only do one or the other). After selecting a Dialogue Fragment in the quick create menu the speaker options appear 15. Any speaker / template combination already used on this flow layer will be listed in the top half 16 of the speaker options, the lower half 17 lists the speakers already used on this flow layer with the options to select a different template 18, as well as the option to add a blank dialogue fragment with a template 19 in case you want to add a new speaker.

A new combination of template and speaker will be added to the top half of the speaker options for the next time a new dialogue fragment is created 20, to make it easier to use this specific combination for the rest of this dialogue.

These new options are available for “New”, drag-out, and create multiple branches.

"See the improved Quick Create in action"

Creating dialogue fragments in other views

In list and tiles views, dialogue element creation is relatively similar. Instead of the drag fractory explained above, simply use the toolbar icons for creating dialogue fragments or other flow elements 21.

Assign speaker to multiple dialogue fragments

If you change your mind about who is supposed to talk in a dialogue you now can select multiple dialogue fragments in the flow (by click-dragging, or CTRL-click) and use “Assign character” 22 to change the speaker for all selected nodes at once.

Select the desired character from the pop-up window 23 and confirm.

A confirmation window appears showing you how many objects were changed. All selected dialogue fragments now have the new speaker.

"See Multi Assign speaker in action"

"Dialogue fragment" property sheet

All about the property sheet view in general can be found here.

Click the "property sheet" icon in the view selector to access the property sheet.

This is a basic dialogue fragment's property sheet:

The sheet begins with an automatically generated summary text 24, containing the speaking entity followed by a short version of the dialogue line. This text is used as the dialogue fragment's title in the navigator and other occurrences. Since it is a generated text, it cannot be edited.

Just like any other property sheet, the one for a dialogue fragment divides its properties into tabs 25. The "General" tab, the "Template" tab, plus any content of input or output pins of this node can be found here as well.

"General" tab

Below the summary line, a big avatar image represents the speaking entity. The dialogue line can even be given to another character by right-clicking the avatar and selecting "Choose target..." 26 from the context menu. This bring up a dialog for re-assigning the speaking entity.

The stage directions field 27 can be used to describe how the sentence should be delivered by the voice actor and where emphasis should be placed.

The full text area 28 contains the actual dialogue line in full length, as it will be used for VO recordings and appear in subtitles.

The shorter menu text 29 can optionally be used if the screen space for multiple-choice menus is limited or a summary text is required for whatever purpose.

A technical name 30 can be given to ease the handling of this dialogue fragment when parsing the XML export or using the articy:draft API

The External ID is normally empty but can be filled with an ID this dialogue fragment carries inside another application like an inhouse localization tool. Using this external ID provides an convenient way of opening the currently viewed dialogue fragment within another application.

The Object ID is the primary ID to identify any object within articy:draft. Normally you do not need to bother about this ID and you can't change it anyway.
In previous versions this was a GUID but now we changed it into a 64-bit Integer. This is important to know if you use the articy:draft API because instead if handling GUIDs you now need to handle this new ID type.

"Template" tab

Like all other articy:draft objects, dialogue fragments can inherit additional properties from a template. Imaginable templates for dialogue lines could be: "Quest log relevant", "Item exchange", etc.! See the templates section for details. Click "Select template" to bring up a template browser. Once you've selected a template, you can apply the template's default color to the dialogue line using the "apply color" button.

This makes sense when you started writing the dialogue snippet without a template assigned and later wish to convert it into a - let's say - dialogue line with item exchange. You can assign a template at any time, but this won't change the dialogue fragment's color. If you wish to keep it consistent in such a way that all "item exchange" dialogue lines appear dark blue, you can overwrite the color with the template.