Starbase WIP

Very early on in the effort. Wanted to share the technique I was using to create a section of the starbase and scale it out to fill in the other sections. The VMF is available to anyone that wants to try it out. Still needs some work but I thought the technique might be useful to others that are wanting to learn how to build a large area quickly. For example, I will spend most of my time working on the small 1/8 section of the map, and putting detail work into it. Once I get that to a place where I like it, I will create half octagon structures and start introducing some new variables to the map construction. I’ll also be able to use this general method for building multiple decks.

I probably could get some tips on lighting, etc.

There were a lot of little tricks I had to use, as my first few attempts to get an octagon with perfect alignment using the tools was pretty tricky. If anyone is interested I could do a full video of how I made the original octagon and got the perfect slice that I used here.

Compile it

I did, I wasn’t sure how to record the video with camstudio, maybe I will try it again in windowed mode.

Also this is my first map!

I’m curious, can you check whether all the vertexes are aligned to the grid? It will be interesting if they are

How do I check this? The video I showed was the only method I could find that was precise in having everything aligned perfectly to the center point of the map. So I think they are aligned.

Looking closer, there is some very tiny divergence in vertexes that can be seen if zoomed in as far as possible at some of the furthest points. I used the clip tool to do this, if I do it again I will use a brush turned at a 45 degree angle to clip with and I think that should fix it.

Doesn’t quite work like that.

It’s hard to explain, but each vertex needs to be aligned to the grid. If you turn the grid down to it’s smallest and look at each vertex in the grid (not in the 3D preview) you can check if it is aligned to the grid. I would recommend to avoid rotating solids as much as possible, apart from completely flipping the object or rotating by 90 degrees. Even then it needs to be realigned. Rotating brushes almost always will cause this problem and if you have invalid solids in your map (that this will cause) you will have so many problems that it’s really not worth having any vertexes of the grid. I actually try to keep my vertexes on the 16x16 grid as much as I can, only going lower in special circumstances or when working with arches.

Here’s a picture to demonstrate…

There are other things that cause invalid solids too, but the main culprit.

You can use ratio to have brushes rotated correctly however never use the rotate tool.

I see… I did have some weird issues with invalid solids. I thought it was a bug that I had to work around. Will see if I can somehow manage to do something similar while keeping it on the grid.

Also, my original base octagon wasn’t aligned to the grid for its vertexes…so there wouldn’t be any way that these could be aligned to the grid… however if I put the original octagon over what I’ve generated it lines up, so I didn’t lose any resolution there that I can see

I’ve always just used the selection thirdclick rotate and never had any issues.

I guess what I’m not clear on is how you could build anything that isn’t either square or at a 45 degree angle if all vertexes must meet at a grid point. (or just that if you make an actual octagon, I am not seeing how its possible to have it fit the grid given the dimensions just yet) Should I do away with the octagon design and make something square and just give the illusion of an octagon? I could still do modular building but I would have to do rectangles that I could rotate 90 degrees…

You can still make rounded things, you just keep them aligned to the grid as much as possible and stick to multiples of 2. Whenever you make something round (i.e. the cylinder tool) make the grid smaller and then manually realign the vertexes onto the grid to maintain the same shape but keep it on grid.

If moving something rounded about the grid or moving something grouped with models it can help to make a big box over the whole thing, group it and move it, align it using the big box then remove it.

You probably already know this. But I’m also in the works of making a futuristic style map. I’ve got alot of sci fi concept art, Predabs, models and other sci-fi textures you could use for your map. I’m more than happy to share you them to you if you need it. Just PM me your email and I’ll send them all to you.

Um what are you trying to show apart from a circular room?

It’s perfectly fine to have angles, just make sure the points line up on the grid, which you can do so using the vertex tool

It is actually octagonal, but what I am trying to show is the techniques I used so that I could get feedback (which I did, and has helped.) Because it is something that I’ve been spending a good amount of time on to learn the different tools and settings of hammer, this is critical.

The tools in hammer aren’t always intuitive, and unless you put things out there that you know some people will consider dumb, it’s very difficult to learn and improve.

[editline]2nd January 2013[/editline]

Will be using things that are creative commons or public domain only, so it can’t be stuff that is borrowed from others. Otherwise I cant wait to check it out

Once you get a hang of it’s strange quirks, mapping with Hammer is easy. In-fact it has become much easier than it was in the last few years