Lighting and Vvis issues

Ok, so this is my second map, and my first HL2 map, and having unusual issues, mainly with lighting, that I did not have making my TF2 map.

I’m making a map for GM using the HL2: EP1 engine.
The problem is, when compiling, I have VRAD on, BSP on, and VVIS off. With these settings, All the water in my map looks like it’s surface is a Nodraw texture, but when I go in the water it looks normal. It looks like this:

See that gaping hole in the ground through which you can see the skybox? Y’know, the one that consumes half the damn picture? That’s all supposed to be water. It actually still is water, it just looks retarded.

But sometimes, the water looks normal, even with the same settings, but the lighting doesn’t work, as in the map is set to fullbright and I can’t turn th environment lighting on, even through the console. This always happens when the VVIS is set to fast. I don’t know what happens when VVIS is all the way on because it literally takes days to compile with it all the way on.

Another, less concerning/important problem:

I made a giant block that’s supposed to cover up the water when you press a button and uncover it when you press the button again, but I can only make the block either cover up the water and stay there, unable to be moved, or make it bounce continuously between open and closed, never stopping. How can I make it work like I want it to?

Water won’t be displayed with VVIS set to off or fast, it requires visleaf calculations to render properly.

I suggest you read this guide in order to quicken VVIS compile times and attain higher FPS in-game.

aw dang. I was really hoping you wouldn’t say that, since I intentionally made the skybox really tall for use in Garry’s Mod. But if it means faster compiling and a working map, I’ll do it.

use a func_viscluster for the sky if you still want to have a high sky and you want to speed up compile.
http://www.facepunch.com/showpost.php?p=20901848&postcount=72

tall skyboxes generally don’t affect much,as those leaves won’t get cut on the Z axis until they hit a building or something, you need to work on optimizing your actual map.