Setting default texture? And proper handling of corners?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by 404UNF, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. 404UNF

    404UNF No longer a "TF2 Beta/Cut Content Historian".

    Messages:
    228
    Positive Ratings:
    58
    I'm working on a TF2-ized version of gm_construct which has so far involved me redoing a vast majority of brushwork in the map from scratch (not to mention getting rid of duplicate brushes hidden inside of other brushes that the map creator(s) forgot about) and I've got 2 questions.

    Is there any way to change the loaded default texture in Hammer? Or is there any way to have it where new brushwork is automatically textured using nodraw?

    This is the default texture that always loads when I load a map:
    [​IMG]

    I want to change it to nodraw. Ideally, I'd love to have that "automatically texture new brushwork using nodraw" as possible option but I don't know if it's possible. I'm a stickler for making every new brush be fully textured with nodraw. I'm a stickler for making sure there's no textured brushwork facing the void or that the player can't see. If it's not possible, oh well, nothing I can do then. I highly doubt it's possible but I figured I'd ask.


    Also, a question about the best "corner" method when doing brushwork:
    When working on buildings/perimeter walls/skybox/etc, I usually stick to a specific set of methods of building that I prefer as I think of them as more professional ways of building. My question though relates to corners and the various ways you can build them.

    There's "babby's first idle map".
    [​IMG]

    I dislike this method for one reason...this shit:
    [​IMG]

    In the above image, I've done "babby's first idle map" corner method properly, nodrawing the side faces. I've seen maps before that this wasn't done to, and you can tell when it hasn't been done because you'll see this shit:
    [​IMG]

    Then, we take a step up to "figured out conjoining brushes for a corner is a bad idea". I also dislike this method for corners. It's the most commonly-used method out there and even I used to always do corners like this. I still do some corners like this if I can't get away with my current corner method for whatever reason.
    [​IMG]

    There's also the "just the tip, mind, and only for a minute" method, where you touch the corners of two brushes together to form a corner like so:
    [​IMG]

    Here's my way of handling corners. I only do this to corners of buildings where necessary.
    [​IMG]

    Should I be doing corners the way I am, with the 45's? I've not had any issues thus far with doing so, though if I have to resize an already-cut piece for whatever reason, I can easily just stretch the length out and re-cut the brush. What corner method do you guys use? What would you consider "the best" method? Is there a "best" way or is it just a matter of personal preference?

    Or is it all just a matter of personal preference and I'm just making myself question the way I'm doing things for no reason?
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  2. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

    Messages:
    1,429
    Positive Ratings:
    1,173
    All the new brushes get covered with your active texture, which, upon loading Hammer, will always be the very first that would show up in the texture browser without any filters.
    As for corners: the 45 method is considered superior since it creates the least polygons in best case and is the cleanest, espically if you've mastered vertex editing. A usual _| joint is mostly alright as it's very editable, but it does leave more polygons.
     
  3. Micnax

    aa Micnax I maek map

    Messages:
    2,056
    Positive Ratings:
    1,382
    It was actually proven in another thread that the 45 method actually creates more sides rendering per brush on the engine and that the _| joints are superior (diagonal cuts are considered 'off the x/y grid' and won't merge with other faces) ,which annoyed me quite a lot since I use 45s!
     
  4. Crowbar

    aa Crowbar perfektoberfest

    Messages:
    1,429
    Positive Ratings:
    1,173
    I can't imagine how that would be possible, of course if we don't take into account external cuts such as 1024s. Link?
     
  5. 404UNF

    404UNF No longer a "TF2 Beta/Cut Content Historian".

    Messages:
    228
    Positive Ratings:
    58
    Ah, wonderful! So my very-close-to-OCD level of attention to things like corners does pay off. I've even done T-junctions for walls with 45's in a shape similar to this: __/\__ I've kind-of stopped doing that but I'm supposing I should start doing it again.

    I was pondering if my ability to create buildings from scratch would be better if I were to work that way, carving through one solid primitive and defining walls and such on the fly instead of working brush by brush.

    For example, I'm working on a TF2 conversion of gm_construct. I didn't like the original brushwork of a lot of stuff in the map so I've done a bit of rework on things like the outer wall and the apartment building right close to the water. I also dropped any power 4 displacements down to 3 as the compile log warned of additional computer processing power required for power 4 displacements or something to that effect. And I've gotten very specific with my brushwork as you can see here:
    [​IMG]
    The walls are made of two 16-unit wide, 128-unit high, <whatever length> brushes. The interior walls act as the interior walls. The exterior walls are walls right now, but they will eventually be reshaped and cut up and used for detailing around windows of the building and the like, and then func_detailed. Total wall thickness ends up at 32 units which is the largest I'll go for a building wall unless extra thiccccc is needed. Interior panels and exterior panels have all had ends cut at 45's. Non-visible sides of every brush are nodrawed.


    EDIT: Shit, and I see that apparently this creates more render time? Really?? Fuuuuuck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  6. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Messages:
    2,842
    Positive Ratings:
    4,771
    The effect is tiny anyway. Do whatever you prefer.

    However I don't see why people prefer miltered corners when it makes it harder to edit and longer to create. The only benefit is texturing marginally faster
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. 404UNF

    404UNF No longer a "TF2 Beta/Cut Content Historian".

    Messages:
    228
    Positive Ratings:
    58
    For me, it's like....OCD, but not OCD...but OCD in everything having to be professional looking, not sloppily made, not slap-dash, etc.
     
  8. 404UNF

    404UNF No longer a "TF2 Beta/Cut Content Historian".

    Messages:
    228
    Positive Ratings:
    58
    So I figured a fix out.

    I just copied tools\toolsnodraw.vmt and .vtf, pasted the copies into my local "tf\materials" directory, and renamed both to "a"

    For the VMT file:
    Code:
    "LightmappedGeneric"
    {
       // Original shader: BaseTimesLightmap
       "$basetexture" "a"
       "%compilenodraw" 1
       "%keywords" "tf"
    }
    
    Every new brush I create is textured with this. Obviously I have to change the default used texture back many times while mapping, but it made the process easier as all I have to type is "a" and it shows up.

    Since it's essentially nodraw, I don't think I'd need to pack it into the map? Or would not packing it cause clients who load the map to end up seeing checkerboards on any brush that used the custom nodraw?

    I had the idea of just making the "a" VMT, and setting "$basetexture" to "tools\toolsnodraw" so that Hammer will always read "a.vmt" as the default texture, and it would ingame use the already existing toolsnodraw VTF, but I haven't tested that yet. As it stands right now, I'm most likely going to do a Find & Replace texture operation to find any instances of my "a" nodraw, and replace them all with toolsnodraw before release.