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Basic Construction

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.

Essential Pointers


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

Moving Around

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".

Basic Construction

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

The Camera

Now, you will of probably made a shape or maybe you have just read the tutorial so far, but we now need to know how to use the camera to view the shape or the brush as mappers refer to constructed items.

Basic Camera Usage:

Hold Right Mouse Button + Rotate Mouse
= Camera will rotate as you move mouse
Right Mouse Button + Mouse wheel up/down
= Zoom in & out, Forward & Back
Arrow Keys
= Directional movement

These are the fundamentals of movement in the camera, so have a play around with that, you should see the shape if you created it and you will see that its not got a proper texture on it (see Fig 1.3) unless you applied one.

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.

Applying Textures (Basic) (full tutorial is here)

Now 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


Caulking, this is applying a texture called caulk (which is found in the common texture folder) to any faces that you cannot see when you are playing the game. This means the game engine draws less which means higher fps and lower rspeeds (rspeeds are the number of tris on screen etc, the higher the worse) Some mappers make there maps out of caulk first entirely and then put the texture they want to be seen on the faces. Remember that if a brush is entirely made of caulk (on all its faces) it will cause a leak. In a nutshell you have to seal your level off from the void, if there is a gap this is called a leak.

Basic key and mouse Functions

left mouse and shift
= select
= deselect
right mouse
= entity window
= when a brush is selected, it will copy and paste it.

You can find all sorts of detailed information in the q3_rad manual which is in the program files/radiant folder on your computer. It describes a lot of in depth information about radiant too as you might expect. You should now move on to the making your first room tutorial.

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