Choppy HDR lighting

Hello folks,
I’m a new mapper, and for the most part I’m figuring it out as I go along but I’m having a problem with HDR lighting. I compiled my map with HDR enabled for grins, and in each subsequent compile of it (even though HDR is unchecked) light transitions are really choppy and look terrible. Is this remedied by simply doing a full and final HDR compile when I complete the map, or is the solution more involved?

Thanks in advance.


Or try your own solution idea first.

Let me fire up Fraps.

Edit: Done and done. The quality is still crappy because of processing, once that’s done you can see it in the other parts but currently you can only really see it after you walk up the stairs.

Throw down some cubemaps, then type “buildcubemaps” in the console.

Just put them anywhere in the map, and how many? Also, in-engine console, correct?


I wouldn’t really say anywhere, about a height of 64 hammer units over the floor is recommended. Though it differs based on what the situation is, like reflections for a model, place it near the model. Also, a cubemap has a certain radius it calculates reflections in, the basic step to avoid reflection problems is to place a cubemap where your map changes lighting. Yellow to red, light to shadows, you get the idea.

So, in the building where the light is broken up? Do I need one per floor?

Prefferably. It is usually safe to put one in each room. But if you notice bad reflections, you have to change tactic :smile:

Well, I put one down 64 units above the world origin. The reflections off the wood floor look nice, and there’s a little bit of improvement in the flicker but it’s definitely still present. More cubemaps?

Edit: One on every floor, no dice. Still getting the flicker that’s in the video.

By flicker you mean the glowing silver things in the dark? Just put a cubemap near them. It’s not dangerous to use many cubemaps, as the reflections are not calculated realtime they are quite cheap to render. Though I advise you not to use TOO many, it just looks unprofessional. :smile:

Note: Don’t forget to build your cubemaps by typing “buildcubemaps” in the console with your map loaded, restart the game and load your map up again, that might fix it.

No, towards the end of the video when I walk up the stairs there’s a harsh transition from dark to light back to dark.

Looks like you used a model texture for the walls, check if the textures on the walls include something with “model” or “prop”, if it does, replace it with something else.

Ah, yes. Great, I get to retexture almost the entire interior. Is there a way to select all the brush faces painted with a certain texture to replace with a new texture?


select a face and press ‘Replace…’

Go to face edit tool>Replace>Under “find” type in the texture on the walls you want to replace>Under “replace” type in the texture you want to replace it with.


Ninjas :v:

Thanks for all your help :slight_smile:

Edit: Another quick question, is it possible to build the cubemaps before you compile the map, so once it’s exported to .bsp the user doesn’t have to do it themselves?

Before you release it, build them so the user doesn’t have to.

Yes yes, but how? The only way I’ve found to build them is after the engine has started.

Just make do not compiling them 'till you show screenshots or release it.