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> Small Tips And Tricks For Hammer, post them here.
James Asner
post Mar 31 2011, 04:58 PM
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Wanted to share this.

How to mirror copy in hammer -
I had an asymmetrical brush and wanted a mirror copy of it. I copied the brush and used translate to scale it by -1 on the y axis. It created a perfect mirror copy. If you used the vertex tool and do this manual, it creates an invalid solid.

Post your little tricks.


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gRanTeLbArT
post Mar 31 2011, 05:45 PM
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Ctrl + L
Ctrl + I

Flip horizontally/vertically
(sometimes the shortcuts won't work. it's also available in the context menu unter Flip Objects >)

Doing both on the same brush also achieves a 180 turn.

For most transformations, it's fine to use CTRL + M though.

Copying things and using paste special from the context menu. It allows you to paste the stuff at exactly the same region that they were copied from (option "Start at center of original"). This is useful to quickly expand brushwork somewhere out of brushes that you copy and then move or for copying parts from another save of your map. It also allows pasting it multiple at once or pasting things with an offset to the original position.


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James Asner
post Apr 1 2011, 08:43 PM
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most people know the standard for texture height is 128 units or 512 pixels. That means each floor of a building is 128 unit tall. It's easy to stick to this standard but if you butt the edges of the walls they are difficult to paint. That's why I always
1:make sure the walls are all 16 units thick.
2:nodraw the four walls of the house.
3:use the vertex tool to add 45 degree angles to the corners
4:only ever modify the houses x and y axises with the vertex tool.

To texture either the inside or outside it only takes 4 selections. Plus, with a two level houses it easy to add a different texture to the top level. This all sounds obvious but it took me three houses to figure this out. So... stop teaching people to build boxes and hollow them, YOUTUBE. It confuses them over the long term and it's just a bad habit.

This post has been edited by James Asner: Apr 1 2011, 08:44 PM


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James Asner
post Apr 4 2011, 11:13 PM
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Whenever you have a ramp or slanted brush to build at an angle (like a roof) your best bet is to cut the brush into triangles and then change their height with the vertex tool. With triangles, you can modify them any direction and not result in an invalid solid. Plus, if you spend the time to line up the vertices people won't notice that it's not one piece. Plus, if you need to change it later it's easier to adjust than something built with clipping and transforming.

This post has been edited by James Asner: Apr 4 2011, 11:18 PM


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James Asner
post Apr 21 2011, 06:37 AM
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I was building a tunnel with a set of stairs. In the first picture you can see the wall extend past the step brushes. When two brushes meet at only a vertex and not a face they will MOSTLY block light. However, with this wall there the light will hit that brush face on the bottom and leak through.

In the second picture, I extended the step lengths to cover the wall face. This will fix the leak but it's not very clean. You can fix it in three ways:

1. use the clipping tool at this point to cut the ends off at the same angle as the bottom of the wall (as I did in picture 3).

2. If you already have the steps use the vertex tool to modify that one corner on each step to cover the wall face.

3. If you haven't built the steps yet then builid the first step, modify the bottom with a 45 degree angle (or the angle needed), copy the brush and paste special as needed.

EDIT:Also, when you post pictures on the forums make them long and not tall. Sry, too tired to fix it.

This post has been edited by James Asner: Apr 21 2011, 04:14 PM


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klifsnider
post Apr 21 2011, 09:12 AM
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You're doing it wrong James!!!!!
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gRanTeLbArT
post Apr 21 2011, 11:53 AM
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Can you show the brush outlines by selecting the stair of last picture? I believe you really are doing it wrong, as Klif says :(
Having the individual stair brushes overlap is not necessary (nor efficient), unless they are actually meant to be visible from below. I will post a picture of how you could actually solve this problem much better soon.

Edit: now posted below

I believe this is what you did (why bother with the vertex tool for it?)



You should have done it this way (bottom brush is optional, unless the brush supposed to be visible from the side). Notice how every stair is now a triangle, and has only 3 faces (plus 2 sides), making this very efficient to texture. The textured faces also do not overlap at all.



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James Asner
post Apr 21 2011, 04:09 PM
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Yep. I cut them in the wrong place. Sorry, it was late. I should have set the clipping tool 16 units higher.

The reason you use the vertex tool is to quickly create the triangle at first (merge vertices) and then paste special. You CAN do that with the clipping tool but I only recommend that tool when you need to modify several brushes at once. I don't know, I really like dragging vertices by hand. The clipping tool is always messing with my texture faces.

EDIT: I'm not sure how that actually affects the render though. If a texture brush meets a nodraw brush on the same plane, doesn't the nodraw brush "override" that section of texturing and not render it? It creates nearly the same result, I'm just not sure about the CPU cycles involved. Moot.

This post has been edited by James Asner: Apr 21 2011, 04:13 PM


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James Asner
post Apr 21 2011, 05:44 PM
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Big tip/trick (not mine):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km5kVAO-QjQ

BG2 is limited in waterfall and ice textures so this same video provides this download with a TON of content (pretty sure it's royalty free).
http://www.tophattwaffle.com/wp-content/pl...rceBETAv1.0.zip


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gRanTeLbArT
post Apr 22 2011, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE (James Asner @ Apr 21 2011, 06:09 PM) *
EDIT: I'm not sure how that actually affects the render though. If a texture brush meets a nodraw brush on the same plane, doesn't the nodraw brush "override" that section of texturing and not render it? It creates nearly the same result, I'm just not sure about the CPU cycles involved. Moot.


Nothing much of the optimisation in brush layout really affects the rendering. Some things result in splits into fewer triangles, some things result in a more efficient storing of the geometry, making the map file smaller. At the end of the day, even bad things such as the texture for the front of the stair step that would overlap with the stair step below are probably eliminated by source since the compile optimizations got better. The good thing about the layout I posted is that you can remove the bottom brush if the stairs aren't going to be visible from below/side so that only the actual stair steps are needed, and that it seems to be split a slight bit more efficiently. I can send you the map .vmf I've been using to build these things if you want to take a look at that.

QUOTE (James Asner @ Apr 21 2011, 06:09 PM) *
The clipping tool is always messing with my texture faces.


If clipping creates new faces (well it always does?), they are of course applied with the default texture in default texture size. Also, with both vertex and clip tool, the alignment of textures to world/face may get lost, resulting in textures that look slightly stretched when surface of the brush isn't just parallel to the grid.


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James Asner
post Apr 22 2011, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE
Also, with both vertex and clip tool, the alignment of textures to world/face may get lost, resulting in textures that look slightly stretched when surface of the brush isn't just parallel to the grid.


True, but things like that are quickly fixed in the face edit sheet. The point here is the face has a nodraw texture on it so I want to retain that and clipping won't. It's like with water brushes. NEVER clip a water brush unless you need to create a new face because you'll lose the nodraw texture and it'll render wrong.

I usually decide like this:

Have all the faces I need but the brush needs translation/modifying? Use the vertex tool along with transforming (to rotate/scale).

Need a new face on an existing brush and don't want to build a new one or need to fit a vertex into a fraction of a unit position? Use the clipping tool and hate myself for not working in powers of 2.

Need a new brush with more than 6 faces? Try a new prefab. There are shapes other than blocks.

Of course we are missing the most useful feature of the clipping tool. To NOT clip but rather cut. The easiest way to build a roof or vaulted ceiling is still the clipping tool.

This post has been edited by James Asner: Apr 22 2011, 05:02 PM


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gRanTeLbArT
post Apr 22 2011, 06:30 PM
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Btw I need to correct the above. The texture the clip tool chooses varies. Sometimes it's the texture of the thing you just clipped, sometimes it's nodraw/the default texture you set.


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James Asner
post May 28 2011, 08:42 PM
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Displacement walkable surfaces

If you're having trouble building "hilly" displacements that are also either traversable or not a handy toggle tool is the Displacement Mask Walkable. Super simple to use just turn it on and any displacement in your map will have a mask applied to it, indicating whether a triangle can be walked on or not.


Yellow = Not walkable

You can see that this ditch is a barrier, allowing players to leave on one side but not the other. Also, make sure to test before relying on the mask. Just because they can't walk it doesn't mean they can't crouch-jump it.

This post has been edited by James Asner: May 28 2011, 08:48 PM


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James Asner
post Feb 12 2012, 03:14 AM
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