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Report RSS Detailing Your Maps Pt.1

This is a tutorial helping people to understand how to better detail their maps. Primarily for Source mappers but most things can probably be applied to other mapping programs as well.

Posted by on - Basic Mapping/Technical

DETAILS: A guide to adding detail to your maps

This tutorial will mainly cover Source and the Hammer Editor but most aspects could be copied over onto other things. These will be in no particular order, just the order I thought of them.

Pt.1: Ropes/Cables etc

Ok, these really add to the atmosphere and the realism in maps and yet I have seen so many maps either use no ropes, or way too many with virtually the whole sky blotted out with telephone wires and the like.

To make a rope going between two points follow this:
Start with a Move_rope, this doesn't have to be named but I like to anyway, I named mine "mr01" put it in the place where you want the rope to begin. Open its properties and where it says: "NextKeyframe" put "kfr01". Create a Keyframe_rope, put it where the rope should go next and name it "kfr01". If you have done this correctly a line should appear between the two, unless you want a pretty taut rope read on. Set the Slack on the Move_rope to a value between 80 and 120, these are the best looking in my opinion. It's up to you how you set the rest of the values, mess around with it and find out how the more advanced ones work.

Some examples of ropes in action:

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Between two power boxes
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Between two telegraph poles
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Combine power lines

Pt.2: Breaking up textures

These examples will show you how a bland, uninteresting wall can be made a lot better with a minimum of effort using props, overlays and brushes.

Okay, you have this wall:

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Stupidly boring right? Wanna spruce it up a bit? Of course you want to.
First lets add some supports:

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Those textures are still a bit bland though so lets add some overlays:

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I found these by typing "stain" into the texture browser.
Now add some lights and props and whatever extras you want and you are pretty much done, here is mine rendered ingame with a roof and some details on the floor:

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As you can see it is mightily improved, so much better than the blocky piece of crap at the start.
I'll leave all the experimenting to you, use these ideas and make them better and you will have lovely looking maps (eventually :) )

IDEAS: Add: Vents, pipes, grates, supports, I-beams, chimneys, rafters, rubbish, debris etc...

Pt.3 Inaccessible areas

These add significant amounts of detail to an area, making it feel larger and actually used for something other than a battlefield, unless your map is an arena or something. For example to make a simple corridor more interesting you could add a hole in the floor, with some sort of storage area below it (see example 1).

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How and where you add them is up to you and your imagination...

Watch for more parts coming soon!
Hope you found it useful!

Comments
Nebcake
Nebcake

Awesome tutorial

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SysOp.
SysOp.

An excellent tutorial that could be used on multiples editors. Well explained and nice pictures.

Great work!

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UrbanWulf Author
UrbanWulf

Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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GangAngel13
GangAngel13

Hey I'm a quake mapper.I use worldcraft(VERY simular to valve's hammer) can I still do all this?

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UrbanWulf Author
UrbanWulf

You can use everything apart from the very specific parts like the move_rope & keyframe_rope bit.

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Neclipse
Neclipse

great tutorial!

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tymaxbeta
tymaxbeta

Fantastic, I am using this for a reference every time I make a map now, thanks man...

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Ichiman94
Ichiman94

ty for detailing tips :)

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UrbanWulf Author
UrbanWulf

No probs :) I will get more done when i get time off revising for exams...

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omgpwn
omgpwn

This guide helped a lot. Thanks!

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Silverfisk
Silverfisk

This is a nice tutorial! Well done!

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levan563
levan563

nice)

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Maury
Maury

Thanks. XD

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Kausill
Kausill

This is delicious!
YES!
YES!

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