Hey guys I have some questions, would appreciate your help. It's my first map and it's targeted to the dodgeball mode. 1. I'm trying to mess with the $blendmodulatetexture parameter, to make my blending material look neat. However, I can't see a preview of the blending mask in hammer - I can only see it after compiling the map and running the game. Is it possible to see the result of the blending mask in Hammer? 2. The optimization articles in the VDC look very complicated, and I'm not sure I will read them all or understand them good enough. I'm talking about leafs, HINT, AREAPORTAL, etc. Can you please give me some general tips about what should I do in a map that has absolutely no walls, and it's basically a neighborhood baseball field with some trees, and has a huge skybox (extremely high, due to the gamemode needs)? I draw a huge trigger brush with "func_viscluster" all over the map but I'm not sure it's the ideal thing. 3. Can you think of any good material for metal poles? I'm speaking about poles that hold a fence. I tried some metal materials but they all seem to reflect the grass and become way too green. 4. Due to the gamemode needs, I need to avoid bright/white/shiny colors on my map. Unfortunately I need some light, better be bright daylight. Is it possible to have some darkish skybox with daylight, and without visible sun (or sun that is extremely low pitch, and I will cover it behind some trees)? Which skybox should I choose and what kind of brightness settings? Thanks!