Getting a feel for the new toolset

Since we’re not going to be working with assets from Alyx, I’ve been spending a bit of time getting familiar with the new tools, screwing about with a blender setup that transitions easily to source2, and picking apart Valve’s maps to pick up useful tricks to take into account with my own assets.

Most of these textures were made with the new hotspot and fast-texture features in mind. I also tried to see how much time I could save with a greeble texture. It actually works pretty well at a distance, but a lot of the larger details ended up looking like they’d be better off as a proper mesh, as should be expected.

A lot of the textures ended up gradually becoming more and more mismatched as I played around with values, but it’s not a huge deal considering the fact that I’m now going to be re-doing or overhauling everything now that I have an idea of what I want to go for.

Next progress post should be more interesting than a grey square hall now that I’m satisfied with my explorations and have a goal in mind.


Looks awesome so far! The architecture definitely feels like old-style sci-fi. Love the lighting panels. Are you using blended materials for the grime details on the floor, or are they part of the texture?


Wow, I cant wait for s&box to fully release so we can play maps like this. Amazing work btw I could only dream making something that looked this good.

it may sound boring but I cant wait to see “enhanced” ports of my favorite maps and enjoy side by side comparisons

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:heavy_check_mark: Would be very cool to see

Good work man! Always nice to see you working on starwars stuff Riddick!

A lot of it’s more or less my own spin on various Star-Wars environments so if it gives off the old-school sci-fi feel I must be doing a decent job so far.

The grime is a part of the texture right now because the blend shader doesn’t have a specular option so I figured I’d be better off just making the most of the VR Complex shader. I am planning on making a couple detail textures to help make these pop, though.


Looking forward to it! :wink:

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How are you finding the new tools? I’m assuming the workflow is a lot cleaner

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They’re a dream to use, especially compared to the workflow for Source.

Getting new models ingame is quick, painless, and doesn’t throw me off when I’m in the groove of things. ModelDoc even automatically detects when a source file has been updated and the re-compile prompt appears.

Even small things like the ability to mirror models in ModelDoc end up saving time, because of it I was able to just pop out a mirrored girder to match rather than mirroring and exporting from Blender
Very handy considering the fact that if I were to rotate it instead of actually mirroring it, I’d need to reposition it afterwards because the pivot would then be misaligned, which bleeds over to pretty much any action that I’d like to snap to the grid for.


Don’t forget how stupid easy collision model making is now. Just split the mesh where it needs collisions, import it and you’re done.


Been caught up with holiday stuff but I’ve cranked out a first pass at a new trimsheet. Whipped up a little hallway to see how it’s coming together. Definitely does what I want it to, just need to re-do parts of it that don’t tile as well and see how it looks with more grime and some painted bits to help ease up the grey.

Works really nicely with my light texture as well. Love it when things work out.


Started experimenting with dynamic expressions in materials, got a neat dissolve/cloak type effect going on


Looking dope

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Still chopping away at all the bits and pieces I need to build out a bigger, better scene but in the meantime I might as well post a little update:

Finally got around to making a detail texture for my metal, and it works quite nicely. I’ve bumped up the normal intensity for the sake of showing it off.

Detail textures are pretty standard nowadays, and are even available in Source, but still it’s nice to have my own set that I’ll reliably have access to, and one of the many fundamental aspects of a good end result that’ll hold up from every angle.


Thank goodness, that looked like sandpaper, Star Wars RP gamemode speedrun.

Cool textures for SWRP!

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That’s some destiny 2 level stuff you got cooking, very cool!

Looks pretty cool :+1:

Last blog post inspired me to pick this up again and update with some of what I’ve been working on

Mesh Decals

Mesh decals are a great way to get more detail out of a model without skyrocketing the polycount or texture sizes. Problem is, if there’s a satisfactory way to pull them off with the existing shaders, I haven’t found it.

I’ve found mild success through creative use of a second UV and the detail map, but this comes at the cost of being able to use the detail overlay as intended. It also has some nasty Z-fighting issues at a distance, which could be resolved by offsetting the decals in the LODs. Faking decals isn’t my preferred solution overall, but I think this method would prove useful in specific cases. Takes one draw call too, so that’s a bit of a bonus. Either way, I’m definitely looking forward to being able to write a shader to resolve this issue.

More hallways

Thanks to @gvarados helping me out with an incredibly specific bug with tile meshes, I’ve started setting up more granular pieces that let me get the most out of it. Right now the only thing using it are the straight wall panels, but the curved hallway pieces are going to get the same treatment. The idea is that I’ll be able to spend less time on corridors, and more time making interesting spaces.

Trimsheets are fun

Same trimsheet from last time, and it really makes the floor pop. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, hammer’s new texturing tools are everything I’ve wanted.

Tech panels

A big part of the Star Wars look is unlabeled mystery panels, so I started on that as well. Tried a little experiment with cramming all the different materials into one atlas texture, and it worked out alright. On the next pass I’m going to fill out a hotspot texture with a crapload of panel line variations.

It’s gratifying to see everything coming together so nicely. Any time I need to make a change, I can do so without needing to restart the whole game to see an update. These corridors have been a good way for me to quickly see what gaps need to be filled, and now that I have a foundation to build off of, I’m starting to look towards more varied environments.