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Vertex errors in new Hammer, help please. Also: func_detail


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Pretty much what the topic heading indicates. Several people on the level design team for a Source mod I'm working on have noticed precisely the same thing. When editing a complex shape, usually a torus (I keep typing taurus and then editing it :(), the vertices of each part are perfectly lined up on the grid and connect with the other pieces of the shape as one might expect. However, save the file and then reopen it and there are tiny vertex errors all over the place.

Initially I just thought this was Hammer being crappy with rounding errors or something like that. Many of you will no doubt have noticed the new Hammer's tendency to make certain brushes appear as if they are not perfectly square at times. When this happens, the brush will appear to have a slight error when zooming out to a certain level. However, the brush is actually fine in these instances.

The problems I'm having actually involve geometry being altered. I initially thought it was perhaps some new feature where Hammer auto-fixes invalid geometry, but I've yet to trigger an invalid solid warning when using map->check for problems. I've never had such a problem using the old Hammer.

Also, has anyone else noticed that func_details currently split world geometry and look as if they are split themselves? When I load my map using sv_cheats and use mat_wireframe 1 it's subdiv city. I've used func_walls and func_illusionaries heavily for light fixtures and complex detail brushes in HL1 and this has never been a problem. I was under the impression that func_details behave exactly like world brushes except they are discarded during compilation when performing cuts/visibility calculations. Does anyone know what the problem is or whether I'm doing something wrong, or is it the compile tools?

I'll go install Photoshop then post a few pics. Didn't realise it wasn't installed otherwise I wouldn't have typed this post without including pics.

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Pics: (apologies for the delay)

Click the thumbnails to view.

Here's what the geometry looks like in the 3D window:


Top view of the curves


Zoomed Top view of the vertex errors.


Fixing those vertex errors and then saving & reloading the map simply reinstates the errors. This isn't much of a problem for simple stuff like the above example, but if you're making a large curved tunnel with bevelled walkways and things like that it gets extremely crappy.

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This kind of problem does occur in hl1. Creating slopes on curves like that is really problematic. The part on the top of the curve.

The best you can hope for when creating whole pieces like that is a 45 degree angle. So this is what you can do to fix the problem:

1. Cut those wedge shapes on the curve into pie like pieces. Then place them next to each other. Might look something like this from top-down view:


This way the top of the slope has 3 verts. 6 total if you count both pieces. When you have 4 verts on a slope like that, and all those verts aren't on the grid even down to 1 unit, when you reload hammer those verts are snapped to the grid at 1 unit.

When this happens you get a convex (hopefully I got that right.. convex, concave... ? eh?) shape on that plane. If you use pie shapes (triangle on the top), you can insure this will never happen.

2. Model that shit! BSP sucks for curves unless it's doom3 editor.

As for the func_details... I don't know. I don't have that problem myself. Splits should occur on itself, any objects grouped with entity, but not onto world geometry.

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Triangles work nicely, cheers (I have nightmares thinking back to making a huge rockwall and terrain solely ouf of vertex manipulated triangles...).

To anyone wanting to know how to very quickly achieve the triangle method just do the following:

  1. [*:3uzmycej]Select a brush that must be changed to triangles

    [*:3uzmycej]Select the clipper tool

    [*:3uzmycej]Put a clip node on one corner and the other on the opposite corner

    [*:3uzmycej]Hit Shift-X a few times to change the clipping mode so it keeps both brushes (both pieces will remain white in the 2D mode)

    [*:3uzmycej]Make the cut

    [*:3uzmycej]Vertex edit any erroneous vertices back onto the grid

    [*:3uzmycej]Save and reload the file to make sure it's still as you intended

Pretty obvious stuff, but it beats making the triangular brushes by hand and a few chaps here and there may not twig about using the clip tool as a shortcut.

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