What do you dislike about Hammer?

Discussion in 'Mapping Questions & Discussion' started by Earl, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Earl

    Earl L6: Sharp Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm coding up a tool that will be a supplement to Hammer. You'll be able to load in your vmf files, edit them, and the save them back out, and then continue on your merry way in Hammer. If all goes well, I might start adding in more and more functionality from Hammer, and it could end up being a Hammer replacement. I plan on releasing it to the community when I have it in a functional state. It will still require Source SDK so I can hook into their DLL's for texture/model loading and entity data, etc...

    Right now I'm basically focusing on editing displacements, because in my opinion, working with them in Hammer sucks. I'm creating a level that is mostly displacements, and it is a huge kludge, because it takes about 20 minutes to get each face how I want it, and its very easy to screw things up accidentally. I can think of many ways to improve the UI and manipulate the mesh and how to implement them. e.g.

    -Vertex movement based on mouse-press time, rather than mouse movement
    -Manipulate an entire row of verts
    -Finer brush control (radius, softness) (e.g. hard circle or gaussian)
    -Smooth function
    -Noise function
    -Smarter subdivision
    -Decrease/Increase power factor while maintaining shape
    -More lenient sewing rules

    So what bugs you about Hammer, and what would you like to see in an improved vmf editing tool? I'd love your input so I can add features that would be beneficial to the greatest amount of people.

    Keep in mind that initially, I will only be focusing on editing displacements. I'll move on to general geometry later.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  2. Pink_Panther

    Pink_Panther L3: Member

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    I really hate how it is so ingrained into Steam('the Devil' IMO). I just want to edit a map and AHHHHHHH fricken steam wont aarrrggg... That and I hate how it logs my time in everything.

    internally, i would like to see better options on the normal compile mode. Us older mappers know how to use the expert mode, but only do because we have to just to do everything right. So, if each compile step had a multiclick list with every option I bet everyone would be extatic.

    Other items:
    -on copy paste, they changed something in the code for hammer from WC 3.3 that made it not snap to the visual grid properly and its zeroing in on where you click instead of where your center of views are at. This can get really annoying. (i guess thats actually 2 things)
    -when making a new brush, it uses the dimensions of the last selected brush. would be nice to make that switchable between that mode, the last created brush, or no defaults at all
    -kill the frickin carve option completely. While your at it remove the 'make hollow' as well. Carve always ends up doing everything wrong or making gaps...either re-write or kill it.
     
  3. TheDarkerSideofYourShadow

    TheDarkerSideofYourShadow L10: Glamorous Member

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    If you paste an object with your mouse in one of the windows, thats where it will center/butt up against (3d view). If you take your mouse out of the windows, and then hit paste, its the center of the windows.

    Really need better subdivision. It would be nice to not have the edges of the object not sub divide. It would also be nice if there were some type of options that would snap the edges, or a selected edge, of a displacement back to where they were. Would be really nice in the even that a particular point ends up pushed in and you can't snap it back without destroying the object.
     
  4. Apom

    Apom L6: Sharp Member

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    I want an extrude/revolve function.
     
  5. TheBladeRoden

    TheBladeRoden L7: Fancy Member

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    Needs a "Snap selected vertexes to grid" button
    Needs a more accurate lighting preview
    Textures scale with the transformation tool
     
  6. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    How it likes to crash
     
  7. Earl

    Earl L6: Sharp Member

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    I agree with this, but to load textures and models you need to have the SDK running. I'm thinking of having a "Steamless" mode where everything is flat textured and models are omitted.

    This is kind of out of scope of the tool, but there already are third-party compiling wizards.


    Determining where to paste, and how to define a new brush is very ambiguous from a UI perspective. I wont be getting to general brush creation with this tool for a while, though

    It's very easy to not implement features. :p

    I agree. I should be able to make subdivide pretty awesome. I'm also thinking of having a "low-pass" filter for displacement geometry, to remove those pesky spikes that seem to appear for no reason.

    This can be done, but I won't get to this for a while. I'm going to make anything you create with such functions auto-func_detail.

    Snap vertices to grid is one of my ideas.

    Real-time, accurate lighting is the bane of computer graphics. At the very least I'll make it use the light settings from the light_environment. Anything more and the whole thing will chug.

    I think texture manipulation as a whole is kind of clunky. Anything like this will be in the far future though.

    I'll do my best. :)
     
  8. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Those two... I'm not seeing how you can preserve shape any better than Hammer does when changing power.

    and sewing... those aren't Hammer rules, I'm pretty sure they are engine rules that Hammer is abiding by. (sew doesn't just mean "move together", the engine actually considers them a single vertex... I think)
     
  9. Altaco

    Altaco L7: Fancy Member

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    Should have beizer (sp?) curves for warping displacements, like the photoshop pen tool if you know what I mean.

    Also, make it able to, when sewing, have it so you can make it so only one displacement moves and the other stays.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  10. Icarus

    aa Icarus

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    Actually, could you make it so you can compile without hammer open... anything to make it less processor-intensive
     
  11. Altaco

    Altaco L7: Fancy Member

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    You can do that. Look into batch compiling.
     
  12. A Boojum Snark

    aa A Boojum Snark Toraipoddodezain Mazahabado

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    Except the only thing that works is VBCT (which I don't exactly care for), because some SDK update broke using straight up .bat files and I can't find any info on how to fix it. :(
     
  13. ProfFiendish

    ProfFiendish L2: Junior Member

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    The only things I'm not liking about Hammer right now:

    Undo doesn't work during vertex editing. I want to be able to undo individual vertext edits without leaving vertex edit mode.
    I also want it to let me know when I have invalid brushes right away, because this is a big issue when doing vertex editing and dealing with displacements. You get invalid brushes from any non-planar quadrilateral faces and concave solids.​

    Besides that, there isn't a whole lot about Hammer I feel needs to be changed.
     
  14. Earl

    Earl L6: Sharp Member

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    Well it looks like hooking into the valve dlls will be a major pain in the ass, so I'm going to use HLLib and VTFLib, which are open source and actually have documentation. This means that you won't need steam running to use my tool. You probably will at least need SourceSDK installed though.



    As of right now, I can read in and write out .vmf files with no data loss. I'm working on basic visualization now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  15. eerieone

    aa eerieone

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    the major ones were mentioned
    i hate it that the undo-function also counts simply selecting/deselecting something as action. maybe implement an toggle-button/option to tell the tool if it should count selecting as action.
     
  16. YM

    aa YM LVL100 YM

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    This option already exists
    Texture scaling lock button looks like this: <-tl-> check it and the texture stays the same size in relation to the face of the brush :D
     
  17. laghlagh

    laghlagh L6: Sharp Member

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    Displacements.
    Big time.
     
  18. ProfFiendish

    ProfFiendish L2: Junior Member

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    D: This is one of my favorite features!

    Oh well, an option to switch off would be alright.
     
  19. zornor

    zornor L4: Comfortable Member

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    Something useful in terms of displacements could be something like brush vertex editing but for the displaced vertexes. Ie click a vertex with the tool, it's shown as selected in 2D and 3D grid, move it around like you would a normal vertex, except constrained to an axis?
     
  20. ProfFiendish

    ProfFiendish L2: Junior Member

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    Heck, make it constrained to a plane, then you can move it freely in one of the 2d views.