promEUs

Reflex Map editor - tips and tricks

7 posts in this topic

Hello!
The purpose of this thread is for mappers to share their knowledge and features of the map editor that might not be apparent for anyone starting out. This is not meant as a guide, more a resource for mappers to increase workflow and productivity.
Alright, let's get started.

  • To properly save a light map and making sure that it'll stay valid, make sure you have all the changes you want in before building the light map. Then you want to save the map, then reload the map, build the light map (r_lm_build), then save the map again once it is done. This is the easiest way I've found to be 100% sure the light map will stay valid.
     
  • Preventing light leaking on outer walls and where possibly, inside the map. Making all of your outside walls and the floor 96u thick (closing corners off with 96u as well) will prevent any light leaking resulting from the light map. You can use the r_lm_showprobes command to see the light probe grid generated with the light map, these are separated by 64u. 
     
  • Working with the vertex editor. The general rule of thumb is to use the same or lower snapdistance than the lowest used to modify the worldspawn. There are situations where this isn't entirely true, but this is the way to modify vertices consistently and efficiently. If anything, snapdistance 1 will almost always work.
    EXAMPLE:
    So if you create a worldspawn brush with a snapdistance set to 64, you will be able to modify it with the following snapdistances:
    1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64
    Likewise, if you then create a worldspawn brush with a snapdistance of 64, then move it using a snapdistance of 16, you will now only be able to modify it consistently with the following snapdistances:
    1, 2, 4, 8, 16.
    It's a good habit to keep which snapdistances you have used in memory, and in general, only use powers of two to maintain grid accuracy and consistency across your map. In situations where the vertices simply won't budge or align, I usually place a second brush with a corner to where I want the vertices to go, this helps the vertices snap together.
     
  • Working with snapdistances and proper binds to be efficient with editing. Personally I have bound 1-9 to snapdistances 1-2-4-8-16-32-64-128-256 and find myself never manually entering a snapdistances into the GUI. I have also bound 1-9 on the numpad for my most commonly used entities (1 is worldspawn, 2 is teleporter and such)
     
  • Optimizing performance with dynamic lights. For dynamic lights and point lights, make sure to adjust the far attenuation so the light will cover the intended surfaces, but not much more than that (use the r_showlights command to see where lights overlap). Overlapping lights can be a massive drain on framerate.
    You should tick off the 'Shadows' property some lights have unless they're casting a visible shadow on the surfaces around it (or the gothic brazier mesh). Keep in mind when you scale an effect with lights attached to it, you also scale the light properties.
     
  • Optimizing occlusion is mostly relevant on larger scaled maps such as tdm, ctf or race maps. This mostly includes leaving out windows where you can see large parts of the map through. Example Here you can see pretty much all of the middle area and a bit into the opposing base through their window, and blocking this window off lets the occlusion work its magic.
     
  • To edit an existing prefab without the already placed prefabs getting displaced you have to place a new prefab entity (not clone from an existing one) and NOT move it around. Ideally place it outside the map so you can easily drag select it when it is time to update the prefab (me_updateprefab)
     
  • Making invisible water, lava, and glass. If you want to achieve the underwater effect used on monolith, avoid glass z-fighting on any surface it touches or simply want to conjoin two brushes without having them overlap their colors or z-fight, you simply have to set the color of the material to 000000 (fully black). This works with any material with opacity. The darker the material, the less opague it is.
     
  • Powers of two. Using these numbers exclusively when mapping is a massive help to both vertex editing, maintaining grid accuracy and consistency across your map. I cannot stress this enough.

That's all I have for now. Will keep this post updated with tips as I come across them (or remember them). Did I miss something? Do you have a trick you use when you're mapping? Share!

Duck, Ramagan, SantaClaws and 19 others like this

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  • Rotating brushes on the X, Y and Z axis. If you create a prefab of a brush with the (me_createprefab prefabname) command, you can easily rotate said brush on X, Y and Z axis. If you dont wan't it to be a prefab anymore you can type (me_breakprefab). This also works with complex groups of brushes as it turns them into prefabs.

 

  • Anti-reflecting surface. Choose the glow or glow2 material in any darker color you like and you are already done. This allows you to create surfaces that can suck in the light. You wont be able to see any dynamic lights on that surface.

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Is there any way to get brushes and models from one of my maps into another? There's no copypasting in the editor and creating a prefab doesnt seem to let me place that prefab in a different map

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1 hour ago, owlyoop said:

Is there any way to get brushes and models from one of my maps into another?

if you open your .map file in a text editor, you can see all the brushes of the map in plain text, you can actually copy contents of one .map file into another .map file and the contents will show up in the second map file. You'll need to experiment a bit and observe how the structure of the parts are laid out but once you figure it out, it's pretty simple.

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3 hours ago, Nathan said:

if you open your .map file in a text editor, you can see all the brushes of the map in plain text, you can actually copy contents of one .map file into another .map file and the contents will show up in the second map file. You'll need to experiment a bit and observe how the structure of the parts are laid out but once you figure it out, it's pretty simple.

The easiest way to go about this is to prefab what you want in the first map, and then copy the prefab block into the new .map file.

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  • aligning prefabs, effects or brush vertices

probably obsolete for most editors, but i found it very helpful to toggle zoom (widget required) for fine alignment of prefabs, effects or vertices.

if you want to adjust something < = 1 unit, zoomed view will also scale your input when dragging or changing your position (viewing angle).

me_prefab_alignment.jpg?raw=1

On 5.7.2016 at 1:22 AM, irish said:

Anti-reflecting surface

there is a bug with these materials, i'm afraid. tried this in order to get matt black in gt1, but this surface will be partly transparent.

in this screenshot i used the glow material all black, but it's the same with other colours (fog enabled):

me_glow-000000_transparency.jpg?raw=1

@devs: can we get this fixed? :rolleyes:

On 11.7.2016 at 9:43 AM, Duck said:

The easiest way to go about this is to prefab what you want in the first map, and then copy the prefab block into the new .map file.

confirmed, but don't forget to copy&paste the prefab position data aswell. you can find all referenced prefabs at the bottom of the .map file:

me_prefab_position.jpg?raw=1

i also recommend using a duplicate of the .map file to have a backup if you end up with a corrupted result.

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I don't bother copying that second part, it just places the prefab at the origin which is easy enough to find.

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