Mapping Workflow, Keeping Your Sanity for the Extra Long Projects

Posted by on Dec 2, 2011 in Past Stories

If you’re even reading this right now it’s because you use Hammer editor, and know that is can be a black vortex of your time. Knowing how to work through a project without giving Hammer too much of your time is always a wonderful thing to do. You could be spending that time on having a life in the great outdoors, or making another level in hammer. So with that you are the artist, and that newly created map file is your canvas. Lets turn it into something wonderful. Planning Stage Planning your level can do wonders for the time spend creating the level. It also helps reduce the amount of reworks that do you because you think that you can do better. When planning your level out you should know your skill cap, and the limitations of hammer along with the engine. Planning to do something that you can’t, or something that is impossible for the engine is a waste of time and will make you feel like crap for wasting your time on it. So keep it simple, working around you. If you see something in another level and want to emulate it for your own level but don’t know how find out. You can either contact the creator of that level and ask for help on the situation, or decompile the level. Now when I say decompile the level, I’m saying this as a learning purpose only. If you go and just copy what they have made you’re not learning anything, you’re just hurting yourself. Once you have the idea in your head you might want to get it onto paper, or some other form or medium that you can store it in. You don’t need to be Van Gogh with your design when putting it onto paper. You are most likely the only one that is going to be looking at in anyways. Here are some of the doodles that my Lab Rat team have come up with for designs. As you can see they are by no mean pretty, but they get the point across. You mainly want it to prevent you from forgetting what you wanted to do. You might find that you will constantly get ideas for your level just going about your daily life. I get a lot of mine right before bed and I keep a notebook near by so I can jot them down before I go to bed. If you’re not the kind of person to doodle, then you can always just make a rough outline in hammer with the dev textures. It takes no more than 20 minutes to lay out an entire level. Start Mapping You now have your layout, and you’re most likely feeling like you’ve gotten a lot done. This is in fact not that case! I don’t want to burst your bubble but the longest part has...

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Hammer hot key list

Posted by on Dec 1, 2011 in Past Stories

There are many hotkeys in Hammer that can help you turn the blank map into a wonderful masterpiece in no time. Hammer does give you a list of most of then in various places, but some are completely hidden and have little, to no way to be found. Tools ⇧ Shift+S Selection Tool ⇧ Shift+G Magnify Tool ⇧ Shift+C Camera Tool ⇧ Shift+E Entity Tool ⇧ Shift+B Block Tool ⇧ Shift+A Texture Application Tool ⇧ Shift+T Apply Current Texture (to selected brush\es) ⇧ Shift+D Decal Tool ⇧ Shift+O Overlay Tool ⇧ Shift+X Clipping Tool ⇧ Shift+V Vertex Edit Tool File Operations Ctrl+N Create a new file. Ctrl+O Open an existing file. Ctrl+S Save the current file. Alt+B Export again. F9 Run/Compile Map. Ctrl+⇧ Shift+S Open Sound Browser. Undo/Redo Ctrl+Z Undo. Ctrl+Y Redo. Clipboard/Copy & Paste Ctrl+C Copy selected objects to clipboard (also Ctrl+Insert). Ctrl+V Paste objects from clipboard to cursor location (also Shift+Insert). Ctrl+X Cut selected objects to clipboard (also Shift+del). Grid [ Decrease the size of the grid (also Alt+A). ] Increase the size of the grid (also Alt+S). ⇧ Shift+R Toggle viewport grid on/off. ⇧ Shift+W Toggle grid snapping on/off. P Toggle brush face 3D grid on and off (with mouse cursor in 3D view). Ctrl+B Snap selected objects to grid (based on selection bounding box). Ctrl+⇧ Shift+B Snap selected objects to grid (individually). Grouping Ctrl+G Group selected objects. Ctrl+U * Ungroup selected groups. Ctrl+R Create prefab with selected objects. Ctrl+W Toggle Ignore Groups mode to bypass entity and group selection. Ctrl+T Ties selected brushes to entity. If a selected brush is part of an existing entity you will have the option to add the other selected brushes to it. Ctrl+⇧ Shift+W “Move to world”, removes entity status from selected brushes * this won’t ungroup brushes tied to the same entity Carving/Hollowing Ctrl+⇧ Shift+C Carve selected objects. Ctrl+H Hollow selected objects. (This hot key is no longer supported. But you can find that option in the Tools menu.) Viewports Ctrl+A Auto-size 4 views to center. ⇧ Shift+Z Maximize/restore active viewport. Arrow keys Pan the view * Nudge the current selection in the current 2D or 3D viewport. ⇧ Shift+Arrow keys * Clone the current selection and nudge it in the active 2D or 3D viewport. Ctrl+I Flip selected objects vertically. Ctrl+L Flip selected objects horizontally. Ctrl+B Snap selected objects to grid (based on selection bounding box). Ctrl+⇧ Shift+B Snap selected objects to grid (individually). F2 switch to 2D Top (x/y) view F3 switch to 2D Side (x/z) view F4 switch to 2D Front (y/z) view F5 switch to 3D textured view ⇧ Shift+F5 switch to 3D shaded textured view * with “arrow key nudge” enabled in the “2d views” options menu 2D Views Tab ⇆ Switch view types (top/side/front). NumPad +/- Zoom in/out (hold Ctrl to synchronize all 2D views).  scroll mouse wheel Zoom in/out (hold Ctrl to synchronize all 2D views). 1 to 9 Preset zoom levels. Spacebar Hold Spacebar and left mouse button to drag the view position around. Alt Disable...

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