Skip and weather particles

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by sevin, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. sevin

    aa sevin

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    I've had two things on my mind I can't quite figure out. I know skip is mostly used in conjunction with hint textures to hint visleafs around your map, but I've also heard it's got a secondary function: to help things snap to the grid. I don't get that. Why couldn't you just turn on snapping and mess around with the grid size until it works? The second question I have involves rain and snow particle systems. I know how they're set up in TF2, but a lot of custom maps I've seen have the "flag as weather" field set to "no". Is there a reason for this? If you flag it as weather, the clients are then allowed to turn the effects on and off at their leisure to help with FPS.
     
  2. puxorb

    aa puxorb

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    Certain props, such as rails, align themselves to the floor in a weird manner. You would need to go down to a 1 unit grid in order to get them to the right height, so creating a 16 unit high brush out of skip and then grouping it with the rails allows you to work in an 8 or 16 unit grid without having to worry about adjusting the height on every single rail.

    This is most utilized in A Boojum Snark's Ultimate Resource pack where all the rail prefabs are created out of a 16 unit high skip brush with the rails set to the correct height and grouped with the brush.

    Another reason you might use a hint brush grouped with a prop would be for when you have props rotated at odd angles, or multiple props that you want to move or copy. It is much easier to move a bush along with it that you are certain is going to snap to the grid, while the props themselves will end up giving you trouble if you try to move them on their own.

    Also, skip brush is completely ignored by the engine so you can leave it in your map and create a visgroup to ignore it, however it should be noted that the more brushes you have, the longer the compile time will be.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  3. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    The flag for weather was only patched in half way through TF2's lifetime. Custom maps made before that won't have it turned on.

    Skip brushes are also useful for visually seeing the radius of particles and such. I group a cylinder of skip with all my rain particles corresponding to the radius, it lets me see what area the particle is going to be raining on.
     
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  4. sevin

    aa sevin

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    I know that weather effects are shown regardless of if that flag is set to yes or no, but why wouldn't you flag weather as weather? I know for a fact Sawmill's rain gets toggled when you turn off weather effects in the options. It just seems weird to me why most custom maps leave it off.

    How do you know the radius? I normally just guess and place them around and check in game. And do you have any idea when that flag was added?
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  5. henke37

    aa henke37

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    It is just incompetence, laziness and the option not being there when the map was made.
     
  6. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Not completely... most of the time you don't need to worry about it, but if you start having way too many, or they are too large, or they are overlapping each other, you can end up with a really rare error and it won't compile. (Happened to Mangy's Wildfire until I figured out the cause)
     
  7. Freyja

    aa Freyja ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    The radius is usually shown on the particle name, like rain_1024 or something. Or you open it in the particle editor and see!

    I don't remember when it was added, to be honest. It was a few years ago now. It was after sawmill and viaduct though, so those particles had to be retroactivly changed by valve.