[GUIDE] Making Source Beautiful Again

Discussion in 'Tutorials & Resources' started by Emil_Rusboi, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. Emil_Rusboi

    Emil_Rusboi L4: Comfortable Member

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    Introducing
    So, I was inspired by 3kliksphilips video and decided to create my own guide... to how make your map more... beautiful.

    Disclaimer
    I am not professional mapper, all of these just my thoughts, advices and knowledge.

    Lighting
    Lighting is the one of the most parts of the map. One of these parts is using right skybox and lgiht settings for it. You may or may not have some different custom skybox, but custom skybox (even without specific light settings) makes map more Beautiful! For example:

    Cp_Mahogany (its custom blue skybox and cool light settings!)
    20190502105556_1.jpg

    Cp_Axlebox (this is really beautiful for alpha map!)
    20190731134906_1.jpg

    Yes, these map also uses sun! If you want use these too, just place env_sun somewhere on your map, make sure it works correct with your light settings and dont forget about shadow_control (I dont know why, but it crashes without it)
    (me, using sun in my new farm map)
    20190803125444_1.jpg

    So, our next part is small lights. Light and light_spot guys. Dont forget about them, in some cases, using light_spots are better than just lights. Dont be lazy, take some of your time to make good lighting interior for your alpha map! (image from plr_longboy)
    [​IMG]

    Dont forget that our teams have different colors! So, sometimes you might change color of one of your lights to make area more friendly for player!
    20190802023052_1.jpg

    HDR. One of the most powerful parts of lighting. But sometimes, people dont know how to use it and it makes maps kinda like this...
    20190803132948_1.jpg

    Dont forget to change HDR lighting parametres and tunemaps to scale down HDR a bit! :) (but this still looks too shiny anyway)
    20190802233525_1.jpg

    Reflective textures
    Lets start with Water first! Using some of the water textures can give you images like this!
    20190731121002_1.jpg
    To be fair, this is not tf2 water texture, but still looks awesome! If you want, you can use it on your maps! So, what we gonna use instead of this? The best thing I found was 2Fort Expensive Water:
    20190731144248_1.jpg
    20190731144645_1.jpg 20190731144705_1.jpg
    To be honest, not the best reflections, but still usable!

    So next thing is reflective floor. There lots of reflective floor (not only floor) textures, but to properly use them you need cubemaps! As many cubemaps you have - the better result. But remember, that cubemaps affect on map file size! There is my round calculations:

    1 cubemap entity - 2061 kb
    11 cubemap entities - 4810 kb

    So, be careful with placing them or dont use custom assets much! It dont give you ultra-raytracing reflections, but look at this:
    20190803161242_1.jpg
    20190728125053_1.jpg
    Polished floor from Egypt Thing and this tiled floor (base texture!) from Snowbase

    I think We need moooore reflective stuff for tf2!

    Fog
    Sometimes you need to use fog. It is really good tool for optimisation and also makes some feeling of far and high objects!
    20190803162153_1.jpg

    Speaking of optimisation, Dont forget to optimizate you map!
    20190731200452_1.jpg

    Blend textures. Displacements walls
    The last thing I want to speak of is - Displacements walls. This is really cool new feature which was introduced in such map like Watergate:
    20190731134012_1.jpg
    And then Valve picked up this idea and used it in new Dust 2! Most of its stuff are displacements and models!
    [​IMG]

    Particles
    Dont forget to use particles! They do very good job!
    20190728125859_1.jpg
    20190802192400_1.jpg

    this just inspirational images for my map... but I am sure you find more particles in ASG maps than dragons (or alligators) in the whole world!

    Ending
    Remember, even in >20 years old engines you can make cool and beautiful images of your maps, just keep trying! Good luck everyone! I am leaving you with this low-poly parrot looking on sinked low-poly boat :)
    [​IMG]
     
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