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A tutorial on how to use displacments and their practical uses in SDK Hammer Editor.
Posted by CysticCraze on Mar 3rd, 2009
Basic Level Design/Theory.
There seems to not be any tutorials on displacements on this website so I figured Id make a simple one.
First open SDK Hammer and make a square.
Deselect the box you have made. Ok now go to the Texture Application Tool and select it.
A window like this will appear.
Select one side of the brick.
Select the displacement tab.
And click create. Now there are three options you have hear, one, two, and three. These numbers are the amount of times the selected face will be subdivided. Here is an explanation.
These are polygon squares, meaning these are practically separate pieces. Now click on Paint Geometry. There are four buttons that we will look at in this tutorial.
Effect: There are three effects, Raise to, which is barely used, and two more useful tools.
Raise/Lower: This is what we will mainly be focusing on. This tool allows you to raise and lower terrain by individual selections, or by raising/lowering large amounts of faces at the same time. By selecting the Axis drop down menu you can choose the direction to move the face. This means that you the tool does not limit you to the up and down axis.
Distance: This is self explained, this is the amount of units that you are moving the faces. It is also key to notice that the brush does not press down, by setting the number inside the box to a negative number, (ie. -5) the brush will go in the opposite direction.
Radius: This is the size of the brush. If you plan to individually move single points at a time, set the brush to 1. Obviously, if you want to move larger areas set this to a larger number. Also its safe to note that this number can be set using the keyboard to a much larger number than the movable bar allows. Meaning that the largest number it can go to is 256, however you can set it to 1000 with larger results.
Smooth: This should be apparent, this smooth’s the shapes you have raised or lowered, or moved north, south, east, or west.
Now that you understand the capabilities, let me explain a new button, and apply it to something. I made an alley way with 3 displacements, I have only selected two in this image to show you. Here is the reason I have made 3, if I had made one, there would be stretched polygons, you must attempt to make your displacements SQUARE at all times. If you do not the image will look distorted and unrealistic, here’s an explanation
Back to the original project, we are attempting to make an alley.
Select all three displacements and open the Texture Application Tool.
Open the displacement tab and select “Noise.”
Min means the maximum height and Max means the maximum low. So set the top to 3, and the bottom to 3. This means it will move all the polygons up or down, by 6 units on the grid. This will give the surface a semi rigid look. Now select the Paint Geometry button, and paint a corner of the wall so that it is raised along the wall. Grab the smooth tool and smooth the raised corner by a small amount, to make it look plausible. Add some Props and Decals and it should look like this:
Important Note: Displacments are nto considered brushes, so they CAN cause leaks. You must put a brush behind them.