If you have followed the getting started tutorial, you should be all set up to begin your mapping, if you haven't you might want to check it out.
Before you start mapping you need to understand the grid, it differs slightly from other editors you might of used such as UTed, WC/hammer, basically keep snap to grid on, the smaller the grid, the harder it is to keep everything aligned and the more you have to zoom in to align things, so keep the grid as large as workable, I recommend pressing "5" (which is grid size 16, see Fig 1.0a), this keeps the grid to a nice size to make things, you can try other numbers if you wish. If you need to make certain items thinner, such as detailed items, then make the grid smaller, to do this either press a number or use the "[" and "]" keys, or go to "grid" in the toolbar. Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out of the map.
Fig 1.0a - Grid set to 16
Now you know about the grid, you need to know how to actually make things and what keys to press. Most mappers call produced objects they have made "brushes" so if you here "I made a brush" it means "I made a shape" its basically just about anything you construct is referred to as a "brush".
If you hold the left mouse button down on on top view (top view icon see Fig 1.0) you will see a red dotted line appear, when you move the mouse, it will move around. (Fig 1.1).
If you look in one of your vertical oriented windows (a window in which shows the height of what your making, it is known as the Z axis) you can move the mouse in there to give it the height and the red dotted line will move too, in this case up or down.
So the red dotted area is your shape that you are creating. When you are happy with it, deselect it by pressing "escape" or by going to "selection > deselection" in the toolbar.
It will then have a black outline (Fig 1.2) and you will be able to see it in the camera as well.
Fig 1.0 top view
Fig 1.1 red square
|Fig 1.2 Final Brush|
Fig 1.3 - Shape in camera
|So theres the basic shape (Fig 1.3), you could of made it a variety of sizes. It will though have the blue and black "shader not found" image on it. Basically because we didnt load any textures. That in itself is another tutorial, but radiant follows the pattern of you must load up the texture sets and then apply them, or load the texture, select it and then make your shape. If you see on the toolbar "textures" and then click it, down the menu at the bottom are all the texture packs, starting with "alpha". If you click on one, there will be a short pause and it is loading the texture pack up, if you have a window set to display the textures they will appear, if you dont you need to press "t" to pop up the window containing the various textures from the pack you just loaded.|
we have our texture window open, (if you have skipped to this
part, just go to "textures" in the toolbar and choose
a texture, then press "t") we need to select our shape,
which we do so by holding "shift" and clicking the
shape with the "left mouse button" in the camera view,it
will then be highlighted in red as in Fig 1.4.
Now just click a texture in the texture window and it will then texture the shape. Then press "escape" to deselect your shape.(You can see the textured shape Fig 1.5)
I chose to load up the "assault" texture set and chose the texture "awall_m04" it looks pretty dark in the camera view for me so what I did is increased the brightness so I can see better, you can do the same if you want, to do so go to "misc" in the toolbar then "gamma" and select a lower number like 0.5 etc. to make it lighter.
There is a tutorial on texturing which you might want to check out for the advanced texturing methods, if you press "s" now you can see the texture applicator which is discussed in that tutorial.
If you are just starting out, perhaps you might want to move onto the next tutorial Making your first room you will learn more about texture application in that tutorial.
Fig 1.4 - Selected shape
Fig 1.5 - Textured Shape