Editing Tips

Interlopers Editing Tips

We've collated some useful tips for you to read and learn from. Whether you're a complete novice or an advanced level designer - you should find something here to interest you.

To contribute your own useful tips please visit this thread and read the first post for instructions.

Tips statistics

In total there are 50 tips

The users who submitted the most tips are:
The users with the highest rated tips are:
  1. Be realistic

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    When you're mapping what ever it is, be realistic in what you're doing. Example, don't place a huge metal door in a wood cabin is, and that goes for props too. Don't place barrels in somebody's house or on the street. Just try to think what that place would look like in that time period, or after a certain event.

    Category: Miscellaneous

    Tip submitted by Blink

  2. Nudge it around!

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    By default the arrow keys on your keyboard let you pan around the 2D viewports, as well as rotate the camera in the 3D viewport.

    Since panning can be more intuitively accomplished by holding space and dragging with the left mouse button, there is an option that makes the arrow keys more usefull.

    If you go to Tools->Options in the top menu bar, and select the 2D views tab you will see a checkbox labeled "Arrow keys nudge selected object/vertex." Check that and now the arrow keys will move what you have selected in any of the viewports by the number of units that snap to grid is set to.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Mr. Happy

  3. Ignore Groups

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    Got several brushes tied to an entity and need to adjust one? Don't waste time moving them back to world brushes, hit the Ignore Groups button along the top toolbar and then adjust the chosen brush(es) as you need.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  4. 3D Camera Movement

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    Place your cursor over your 3D camera view aand hit the "Z" key. This will lock your cursor in the center of the 3D Camera View. Use the WASD keys like you would in Free-Look Mode in Counter-Strike. This is helpful to quickly navigate to the specific area your working on. Hit "Z" again to exit this mode.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Hyp-R

  5. Getting help

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    Before getting help at all, try searching tutorials for yourself. Most of the time, unless there's an error with the program itself, someone has already written a tutorial about it.

    Category: Miscellaneous

    Tip submitted by Dead-Inside

  6. Adding to your 'simple' room

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    You'll notice that every room in your house isn't square per say, add little chamfered corners or round them out. It depends on the situation but roof support is something you should think of too.

    Category: Miscellaneous

    Tip submitted by Sorrow

  7. Base Brushing

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    When creating your map at the start phase, create the geometry in "DEV" textures (Search for "DEV" in the texture editing). When you have made the start geometry, i.e: the first hallway with a room in the end with some main things. Throw some "light" enities in your map, and compile.

    Now look and see if everything is how you wanted it.

    Summary: Compile often, and there is no need to texture everything before you know it looks right.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Garrador

  8. Use Vertex Manipulation on corners

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Very often you see newer level designers creating slanted corners by dragging the connecting brush and clipping off the excess. This is not optimal as it stretches the brush and creates problems when texturing. Far easier to use the Vertex Tool to move the edges of the brushes as shown below.

    Tip image Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  9. Using the grid

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    When creating brushwork make sure to stay on the grid. This means that brushes should have even lengths. It becomes very time consuming to deal with odd numbered brushes.

    Also changing the scale of you grid can make work go much faster. In the beginning stages of the map put the scale up. Using 16,32 or 64 units works well. In these larger scales it is very easy to line brushes up.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Mage_ofOld

  10. Measure using textures

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    Use textures as a guide to determining the lengths of some of your brushes. Most textures are lined up with the grid and if used on an even length brush will line up very well. This technique will make your maps crisp and professional looking. It is also a good idea to try and keep textures aligned to 0,0 for easy of alignment.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Mage_ofOld

  11. Every light needs a source

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    It seems obvious but people neglect this time and time again. Make sure that any lit area of your map has an obvious and realistic light source to potray your chosen lighting. A small lantern won't light a huge room for example.

    Tip image Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  12. Map Edit

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    The map_edit command in Source is a useful feature that if used correctly allows you to alter certain parts of your map from within the game itself.

    An example of this is running the map and allowing all the prop_physics objects to settle and fall in to place and then writing these new positions back to Hammer so that processing time can be saved by not calculating the props' location everytime the map starts in future.

    This article on the Developer Wiki goes through the process in full detail.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  13. Rotating textures

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    When texturing large open areas of concrete or terrain it is a good idea to rotate the texture to about 40 to 45 degrees and increasing the scale to minimize the effect of tiling that will occur.

    Category: Textures

    Tip submitted by Blink

  14. Final Release

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    Never submit a final version of you map with out running a Full HDR compile in Hammer's Advanced Options

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by amckern

  15. Triangles

    Tip Rating: 3.00

    Func_details are nice for the source engine, easier to compile than just brushes, but triangles are even easier for it, especially if they're also func_details. So try to make any brushes you can into triangles to make it less stressful on the engine.

    Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by forty-nin3

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