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    Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

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    Chip
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    Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by Chip on Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:31 am

    Welcome! Read This First!
    This is my collection of tutorial sites and FAQs




    Table of Contents:
    1. Tutorial Sites
    2. Optimization
    3. FAQs
    4. Last note




    Section 1 -- Tutorial Sites
    |---------------------------------------------|

    I want to start off here by sharing the tutorial sites I learned from. These are truly a godsend and if you follow each one, you really become better all the time.

    First, the VDC (Valve Developer Community).
    The VDC
    Some tutorials on the VDC
    This has an article for almost all the entities in hammer, with their functions. It also has all the I/O (Input/Output) functions and an explanation. There are also some tutorials, as well as some advanced things such as color theory (What colors set what mood, what colors go together). Check this place out!


    Next, Halfwit-2.
    Despite the humorous name, it is my favorite tutorial collection of all the ones I know of.
    Halfwit-2
    It sometimes goes a bit without new tutorials, but it gets some here and there, and they are great! Make sure to start from the beginning if you are new!


    Interlopers.
    Interlopers
    Interlopers Compile Log Checker!
    Interlopers Tutorials
    This place is also great, and for tutorials it has some architecture ones (How to build this and that out of brushes) which are very useful when you need to build something in particular.


    I wanna map.
    I wanna map
    A tutorial site I've heard of, it appears to be down right now.

    This is not all of them by a long shot, I'll add 'em as I remember 'em.
    |---------------------------------------------|



    Section 2 -- Optimization
    |---------------------------------------------|
    Well, do you know what it is? I didn't for a long time. Ever wonder why your map takes so long to compile?

    If you are new to mapping, this won't be as big of a problem, but it is a good thing to learn early and design your maps so they don't take five days to compile!

    Half-Life 2 Map Editing Optimization Guide


    Here is a quick overview of map compilation:

    First, there are three parts of a map compile. (From here.)



    Vbsp - The BSP tool is the one that actually converts the .vmf file data into a usable .bsp file that the game engine can load. Once the BSP tool is run the map is essentially playable with the exception that it will have no visibility matrix and will have no lighting at all. Those crucial features are applied by the next two tools VIS and RAD.

    Vvis - This tool creates the visibility matrix for the map based on the level's geometry. This matrix is what determines which polygons the player can see, might see, and can't see from any given point within the level in game. It is critical that this tool be run on every .bsp you create. If it is not run then the entire level will be visible all the time which would, in all but the simplest of box maps, make the map unplayable due to video-lag. In-depth information about VIS can be found at visibility determination.

    Vrad - The RAD tool, or Radiosity tool, is responsible for generating and applying all lighting effects in a level. Everything from entity lights and the "sky" down to the lowly texture light has to be handled by this tool. A .bsp that has not had RAD run on it will appear pitch black in game or full-bright depending on video-mode and console-settings. This tool is normally the one responsible for slowing down compiles most of the time as it has to process huge amounts of data in the completion of its task. In-depth information about RAD can be found at http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/RAD_(technical) (The end of the link (technical) is part of the link and has to be added manually to the address bar).


    In reality, Vvis should take only seconds. Why does it take so long for me then? Well, the map is badly optimized. See the link above for the in-depth tutorial. Vrad SHOULD take the longest, and the link above explains that too!

    |---------------------------------------------|



    Section 3 -- FAQs
    |---------------------------------------------|


    Q:How do I make a light?
    A:See Here.

    Q:How do I make a door?
    A:See Here.

    Q:How do I make a skybox?
    A:See Here.


    I keep the simple ones here, anything that is more complex deserves it's own thread! Make one if you want and help teach the community!

    |---------------------------------------------|




    Section 4 -- Final Note
    |---------------------------------------------|

    There are things these tutorials DON'T cover, and I plan to make some tutorial thread covering those as I see em!

    |---------------------------------------------|



    Hey You! Thanks for reading!

    Smile


    Last edited by Chip on Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:35 am; edited 8 times in total
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    Bam
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by Bam on Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:34 am

    Very helpful Chip =]

    Thanks!


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    Chip
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by Chip on Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:40 am

    Yeah, I'm going to put the obvious, simple questions in the FAQs like, How to add a skybox or other things, and the bigger tutorials will take separate threads, as I hope they have a lot of content!
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    chargers5583
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by chargers5583 on Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:55 am

    Hmm maybe you could put some harder tutorials up since there are people here (like me) that have experience but don't know all there is to know about hammer
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by Chip on Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:34 pm

    chargers5583 wrote:Hmm maybe you could put some harder tutorials up since there are people here (like me) that have experience but don't know all there is to know about hammer

    I can but I have no idea what you do and don't know how to do, or what you want to learn, until you tell me.
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by chargers5583 on Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:44 pm

    I dunno...I haven't really thought about what I want to learn in hammer...do you know a little about the AI stuff? I'm not very good at that, but I was going to make a map where you have to save Alyx and then you leave with out her and she blows up...and a knife gets blown into her head...I then flames burn her up...and then she gets smashed by a Super Mutant Behemoth and then I run over her. LOL (NOT REALLY)
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by Samuel Hall on Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:13 pm

    One very important note: DO NOT USE CARVE TOOL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by chargers5583 on Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:55 pm

    Samuel Hall wrote:One very important note: DO NOT USE CARVE TOOL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

    Never have...never will...
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by HikariMisako on Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:09 pm

    Samuel Hall wrote:One very important note: DO NOT USE CARVE TOOL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
    Everytime you carve god kills a kitten. Exclamation
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by chargers5583 on Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:06 pm

    Thats a shame!
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    Re: Mapper Resources! (Read This Please!)

    Post by Twistedlink07 on Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:47 am

    Samuel Hall wrote:One very important note: DO NOT USE CARVE TOOL UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
    I actually find the Carve tool quite useful, if you know what youre doing. Align to grid and keep a standard size, and carve is your best friend for doors and windows Smile. However, if you find yourself asking "Is it okay to carve here?" then dont use carve period xD. Keep it clean and regular and youll have no problem. If you dont, youll have all sorts of weird geometric shapes thatll just give you and anyone who looks at your .vmf a headache XD.

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