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How do I make my displacements not suck?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by func_dustmote, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. func_dustmote

    func_dustmote L1: Registered

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    Long story short, I'm really bad at displacements and making them look good/natural. What do I need to know to not make crappy displacements?
  2. RaVaGe

    aa RaVaGe

    Positive Ratings:
    The more smoother they are the best it is, use a very large radius when you work on them, and then work on some part with a smaller one. Work a lot on your brushes before switching them into displacements, create a rough geometry to see what it will barely looks like.
  3. Shanghai

    Shanghai L6: Sharp Member

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    Also keep in mind that you can choose which axis to push the displacement vertex along. I know it's basic knowledge but I only just found out about it and it helps a lot.
  4. The Asylum

    aa The Asylum

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    If you're trying to create rounded cliffs that make smooth corners, you know you can create displacements on all faces of a brush, not just one, right?
  5. fubarFX

    aa fubarFX The "raw" in "nodraw"

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    practice practice practice practice practice practice practice

    tl;dr practice
  6. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    I'm going to suggest a specific type of practice, one that I did a few years ago when they introduced the sculpting tools for displacements, but you might want to do for both that and paint mode (assuming you're relatively new to hammer, pardon me if this isn't the case).

    Make some arbitrary assortment of connected displacements. Flat surfaces next to walls, inside corners, outside corners, whatever, any size. Then just go through all the tools toying with every setting and seeing what all you can do. The most important part of any aspect of mapping (or, well, anything) is knowing what tools are at your disposal and how they work.

    Thinking "I can make my displacements better by doing X" doesn't help if you're not sure how to perform X. Getting comfortable with tools will help you get your ideas out of your head and into the editor and make things that look nicer.
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  7. Idolon

    aa Idolon the worst admin

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    The "face normal" option for the axis is incredibly useful in combination with a "displacement cube," a cube with all the edges beveled in so you can easily select any of the three main axis, or a diagonal. I can't really provide a picture of what a displacement cube looks like atm, but I'm sure someone else here can.
  8. Sergis

    aa Sergis L666: ])oo]v[

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    dis one?
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  9. Bermuda Cake

    Bermuda Cake L9: Fashionable Member

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    Decompile pl_upward and check out how VALVe did their displacements - select them, hit destroy, see what shapes they were before they were displaced.
  10. Pocket

    aa Pocket func_croc

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    Or you could click this button:


    which will show all displacements as if they had never been... well, displaced.
  11. grazr

    aa grazr Old Man Mutant Ninja Turtle

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    If you're doing this, i might recommend opening up some existing, provided map files.

    Then you can see the angle and scale of dispalcements used by experienced mappers. Usually you'll find they're comprised of multiple faces to a 256 grid, set to a small or medium power, then worked into larger abstract geometry. Floors also tend to be larger cuboids than walls as they cover larger areas and aren't a focus of the players attention.

    TF2 textures stretch better because they're less grainy than standard Half-Life games.

    So yea, practice is good, but i think researching is just as useful for a technique like this. It may be worth your while looking up youtube videos of this tool being used.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013