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. Write down your bugs as you go!

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    Everytime you compile your map you will spot visual errors or scripting bugs that you need to correct. To make this process easier simply have a notepad to hand and write down the bugs as you go, no matter how good you think your memory is you will forget them and then have to fix it as well as the next set of errors.

    Make a new list each time you fix the last list and eventually it will shrink down until you've solved every little error. Playtest your map with friends and write down what they see as well.

    Category: Miscellaneous

    Tip submitted by Blink

  2. Save Often

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Never forget to save your map often, and keep multiple copies of the map file. If you don't you WILL regret it later.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Spartan

  3. Aligning models to the grid - perfectly

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    Ever noticed how those pesky models just wont align up against the wall or on the grid just how you want them?

    Tip image

    Well be bothered no more!

    Tip image

    Indeed it is bloody perfect, but how did I get to achieve it? Simple, just pay me £10 through PayPal and I can email you the ans- what? No comission? Damn.

    Okay, here's how:

    While moving around any model, goes for brushes too (not that it would be useful on brushes), hold down the (left) ALT button on your keyboard and move the model around how you wish. It will act like the grid doesn't even exist, giving you superb precision and extra orgasmic mapping skills. Enjoy!

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Grudge

  4. Blend Half-life 2 textures

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    You can easily blend any texture from half-life 2 together by simply creating a custom vmt,
    in the example I would like to blend rockwall_cave02a with forest_grass_01
    just name your vmt what ever you want and type:

    "WorldVertexTransition"
    {
    	"$basetexture" "nature/rockwall_cave02a"
    	"$basetexture2" "nature/forest_grass_01"
    	}



    Now you will see the name of your vmt in the texture browser and you can use it, don't forget to add the vmt if you release the map.

    Category: Textures

    Tip submitted by source-maps

  5. Photoshop tiling

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    If you are making textures in photoshop and you are at the point of tiling the texture
    most people cut the right side and paste it to the left, and then cut the top and paste it to the bottom.
    Well there is a filter in photoshop that does this trick for you.

    Go to Filters > Other > Offset
    Fill in the half of your resolution in the Horizontal and Vertical boxes

    So if you are working on a 1024x1024 texture type 512 in both boxes.

    The rest is up to you and your 'healing brush' tool!

    Category: Textures

    Tip submitted by source-maps

  6. Use the SDK Maps

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    Valve graciously provided us with several maps with the sdk_ preference. There is a map for every physics effect, and also several maps for actual levels in the game or for the multiplayer components, to really learn how to get things done.

    Use these well made maps often, its the easiest way to learn new techniques, because you can run the map, then check what it does, then see how to do it in hammer.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Olympus04

  7. Use CLIP on interfering geometry

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Use the CLIP texture to smooth out areas of your map that have geometry that may interfere with a player's movement. Nothing will annoy someone more then dying because they got caught on a pillar, especially in multi-player.

    Tip image Tip image Tip image

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  8. Re: Tips Submission Thread

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    Alt-Right click: Used to align a texture as to the face selected. (Perfect for aligning textures on corners with ease)

    Ctrl-M: While in selection mode to rotate, scale, and move based on input values. (Very useful for turning brushes and props with precision.)

    Walls are ~16-8 units thick, 128 units high, and the space in-between floors is ~32-16
    Stairs are ~Rise-8 units, Run-12 units

    Arches are easier to build if one makes it manually (using vertex-edited blocks) from the outside of a cylinder brush.

    The skew tool loses alignment to the grid if used more than once on the same edge.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Chopium

  9. Smoothing textures to create smooth shadows

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Select a face from the brush, hold "alt" and right click on the surface you want to align. Move each align to the next face. When your texture is properly aligned see if a single brush face is big enough for one lightmap luxel.

    (3D window/lightmap grid) If not select the facetexture open its properties and choose a smaller lightmap grid. (default is 16, use numbers value of 2 => 16/8/4/2/1 ) Go back in to normal shaded/textured view. Select the faces you want to smooth (hold "CTRL"). Then go back into lightmap grid and click smooth, then select a number for its smoothing group.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by marnamai

  10. A Quick Clone

    Tip Rating: 3.00

    If you hate copying and pasting in hammer and having the copied object/brush be completely away from where you want, you can hold Shift + Drag the object you want to duplicate it, really quick duplications if you're placing many barrels or some brushes.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by forty-nin3

  11. Don't rush your first map

    Tip Rating: 2.00

    Often, one can spot that a novice mapper will post his first map without spending enough time on it. Spend time on your first map and you will get positive feedback. Enough time would be 2 - 3 weeks at the very least. Anything lower than that is pushing your luck.

    Category: Miscellaneous

    Tip submitted by YokaI

  12. Realism, and working from references

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    When working from real-world references, always beware confusing realism with accuracy. In games, realism is best thought of as 'suspension of disbelief', not accuracy. So, just because your reference photo contains oddly-aligned brickwork, or a glaring seam between two styles of brickwork, this doesnt mean you should recreate that - it'll end up looking like bad texture alignment. Similarly, a strong contrast between two lighting styles might not always carry over to the game well. In short, always prioritise the artistic qualities of the scene over it's accuracy.

    Category: Miscellaneous

    Tip submitted by Jest@

  13. Moulding your world

    Tip Rating: -1.00

    Practice using the clip and vertex tools. They will come in handy when creating complex geometry or simply spicing up a bland blocky room. Even a little goes a long way.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  14. Compile Often

    Tip Rating: 1.00

    This may sound weird but compiling is not something that needs to be left to the end. Compile after you do each major changes, displacements, all props, lighting etc because compiling at the end of your map will take ages - so any problems that come up won't be obvious until then.

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Blink

  15. Re: Tips Submission Thread

    Tip Rating: 0.00

    While in Paint Geometry mode:
    Alt + LMB = Change Radius (Drag Mouse)
    Shift + LMB = Move up and down (Drag Mouse)
    Alt + RMB = Get the normal of the current face
    Ctrl + LMB = Select/Deselect displacement

    Category: Hammer

    Tip submitted by Lord Ned

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