What are Hints, Skips, and Clips?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Three Million, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Three Million

    Three Million L5: Dapper Member

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    I see a lot of maps using the Hint, Skip and Player Clip brushes everywhere on them and have always wondered what the need for them is. The Valve wiki on those types are too confusing, and I was hoping someone on these forums could provide a real simple explanation on these so I can include them on my map and optimise it. Why/where would I need them?
     
  2. Kraken

    Kraken Few more zeros and ones for the site to proccess

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    Hint tells the game where to cut a vis leaf.
    Skip does nothing. Its helpfull as a measurement.
    Player clip is like any brush, but only stops the player. (Bullets and projectile go trough it.
     
  3. Kraken

    Kraken Few more zeros and ones for the site to proccess

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    This is a great tutorial about optimization.
     
  4. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    Hint brushes are used to cut visleafs, something VVIS uses during a map compile to calculate visibility on a map (optimizing for the best performance on a map). The VDC wiki article on on visibility optimization is a good start. It's the most tedious part of mapping and takes quite a lot of knowledge of the subject in order to be used as good as possible.

    Skip brushes don't do anything in-game making them useful like in-Hammer measuring tools, used with Hint brushes or for rotating a half of a map to mirror it for game modes like KOTH or 5CP.

    Clips simply prevent players from going to an area. Used to make roofs inaccessible or prevent people from going to the out-of-bounds areas on a map. Also used to smooth edges on a map, such as making a wall with support beams sticking out of it be smooth to the player if they walk against and then next to it.
     
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  5. Muddy

    Server Staff Muddy Muddy

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    You shouldn't need to worry yourself too much about hints and skips when starting out, as they're a bit hard to understand at first. Besides, you don't need to do any in-depth optimisation work until well into the development stage.

    Clips, on the other hand, are crucial 'cos they stop players from getting to places they shouldn't.
     
  6. K2Kief98.

    K2Kief98. L1: Registered

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    [HINT]When you compile your map, vvis calculates what the player can see and from what angle. These are done through vis leafs which are generated throughout the map. If one vis leaf can see another, the section is loaded through the clients game. If they can't see each other, than the vis section isn't loaded for the client. All hints do is suggest to vvis where things are visible. Hammer does a pretty good job of auto generating vis leafs, but usually I go into my maps and place hints just to make sure there aren't any visual issues. I find that vis leafs often mess up when there are large vertical spaces or objects behind other objects which have very small details that poke above the vis leaf section which can cause a "popping in and out" of the brush or prop depending on the angle the user is looking at it.

    Example of how vis leafs work. The separate colors are different sectors. (Vis Leaf)
    [​IMG]

    [SKIP] Literally does nothing. When it's compiled it just tells hammer to not add it to the map. I don't ever use it, but I guess people like to use it to measure.

    [PLAYER CLIP] The same as nodraw, or invisible besides the fact that it only clips with player entities. It's useful for making stairs, steps, or change in elevation where a smooth transition is desired.
     
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  7. zahndah

    aa zahndah professional letter

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    Its good to use this in conjunction with hint brushes so that the hint only cuts vvis on the sides you want it to, just put skip on the faces that wont be cutting vvis / on the faces you dont want to cut vvis and then it is guaranteed that it wont.
     
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  8. henke37

    aa henke37

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    You have three errors here. The first one is rather petty: It is vbsp that makes the visleaves, not hammer.

    The second one is that hint brushes suggests what is visible. That is not true. Hint faces (not brushes), cut visleaves. They do not suggest anything about visibility. They change the areas that visibility will be calculated for.

    The third one is in the picture. The blue area is is visible from the red area. It's not point vs area, it is area vs area.
     
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  9. Crash

    aa Crash func_nerd

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    I'm sad no one has linked this yet:

    http://www.optimization.interlopers.net/index.php

    This is the absolute bible of optimization. Give it a good read through and you should have a decent understanding of hints, as well as areaportals and general source visibility.
     
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  10. Vel0city

    aa Vel0city func_fish

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    I was looking for that actually.
     
  11. K2Kief98.

    K2Kief98. L1: Registered

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    1.I know. I'm just making things simple, instead of bringing the concept of a compiler.
    2.I'm trying to make things simple. I wasn't talking about the vis nodes them self, but the vis leafs the PLAYER can see. I was trying to explain that players in those colored areas can or can not see the other areas. Here's an updated picture if you really don't like mine. I hope this explains it better.
    3. My mistake.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. K2Kief98.

    K2Kief98. L1: Registered

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    I suppose I never thought of that. Good to know