Draw distance on terrain

Is there a way of changing how far a user can view terrain? For example…

This is what the player sees when they spawn in

And when they move forward the terrain magically appears (doesn’t fade in, just pops up)



This, make a thick fog that doesn’t allow you to see when the farther part of the terrain just pops up.

Isn’t that just a badly applied band-aid? Is there a draw distance in L4D1/2 that isn’t in the other Source games?

Change the FarZ clip plane to a higher number.

Thanks, this worked fine. Any tips on making the brush less silhouetted?

Use the fog blend keyvalue with fog color 2 or whatever. So that way one is the color of the sky looking at the sun, the other is the blue opposite of it.

You lost me a little. Sorry to be a pain, but is there any chance you could go into a little more detail? My Hammer Editor knowledge is fairly restricted

use env_fog_controller (if I’m not mistaken)

Play with the fog settings to get a fog in your map which hides the very end of the road, try match it with the skybox color to really fit in.

This will give a sense of atmosphere aswell as slowly bringing the brushes in, instead of instantly popping in.

(Also, as a tip, try adding model trees before using the tree ‘card’ texture, as it’ll look much better!)

I think I’ve got it blending quite nicely now. Also Livewire I already have a bunch of props but I hid the VisGroup I had them in so I can render faster / make the editor seem less cluttered. There’s a whole lot of foliage.

Here’s a couple of screenshots, rate me artsy if you like it.


Ah yes, good job!

I’ve been through your problem before until I finally found the solution on how to get the fog to blend properly with the skybox.

Basically Valve used a method where they create a 3D skybox and place inside of it one large flat round prop known as a sky plane, and all around it they create about 20-30 brushes that go from black to transparent from the bottom up. This helps create the fog as seen in the offiicial levels.

If you want to change the color you simply do that with the sky_camera entity, there you can adjust certain settings like you would with an env_fog_controller.

You can create this yourself or go to one of the prefab maps such as semiurban_styleguide ( I think this is the only one that has the 3D skybox method I’m talking about, where as urban_styleguide and (swamp?)_styleguide don’t ).

Yeah I had a quick look at this before when I was playing around with my first L4D map.

The problem with this though is that I don’t know how big my map is going to be yet, so I don’t think I’m at a point where I can implement something like this?

You can create a fake terrain LOD in your 3d skybox, so as the Z Clip Plane cuts off the rendering, the “fake” terrain in the 3d skybox shows up underneath.

You can also create a large black displacement in the 3d skybox, and raise the edges up to the horizon, this helps create the appearance that there’s a proper horizon in the distance.

If you want your map to have a seemingly high draw distance, either of those ways is a good way to go. The first option lets you get away with having little to no fog, whereas the second method may be better suited to an L4d map.

Or you could try try creating a mountainous backdrop around your map in the 3d skybox. You could set reverse values in the 3d skybox’s fog, that way it appears that you’re inside a valley, and there’s a “pool” of morning fog in your area, whereas towards the mountains, the fog will peter out and the mountains will be crystal clear. It looks really good if you can pull it off.

These are probably better suited for larger maps. If the map is pretty enclosed, just try to match the fog to the skybox, and play around with the z clip plane.