Assistance Requests

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Revision as of 22:53, 14 August 2006 by Mflux (talk | contribs) (Modeling)

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This page is intended for questions not already covered within the Source SDK FAQ or the Tutorials sections. For level design and Hammer Editor questions, make sure you've looked at the Level Design FAQ.

This page is for:

  • Tutorial/article requests.
  • General material requests. Materials should be provided in a raw format, such as .vmf, so others can see how it was done. Be vague. General requests will be more helpful for the community.
  • Questions towards the Valve team. This should keep their Talk pages clean, especially if the person to direct the question to may not be obvious.
  • Answering questions posed here. Simply place the answer directly after the question, indented to be a clear difference. Further discussion should be kept to Talk pages to keep this page clear, if it does not clearly benefit the community.
  • Posting requested materials. Upload them to your own webspace, and put the links here.

This page is not for:

  • Editorializing. If you don't like someone's idea leave them alone.
  • Mod recruiting. Create a page in the appropriate category and request help from there. Feel free to use the Template:Recruiting template. Check out an example here.
  • Specific requests. Do not ask someone to create a player model for you, but you can ask for details about making your own.

This page will be split into more specific pages if it is needed.


  • A more in depth tutorial or sample of advanced material shaders would be nice. I am trying to implement dynamic lighting and dynamic environment reflections on an object, and am having some difficulty.
    • Why are only 2 lights created in the common_vs_fxc.h file (cLightInfo[2]).
    • Where do these lights get passed in (in the .cpp file?)?
    • Can I have 5 render targets and render 5 passes of the world each frame (or at least to one view each frame, switching views each frame)?
    • Can I manipulate the camera with my own transforms and remove the object (the one I want to have reflections) when I'm rendering the reflection render targets?
    • Is there already functionality to do all or some of the features I'm trying to implement?

I'm already solid with the postprocessing effects pipeline, but the material shader system seems to function a bit differently. While I've been able to pass variables from the render to postprocessing shaders, I haven't been able to pass variables to material shaders. It would be really nice to have the TDD or some official docs for the shader system, but I know that's not possible, so if there is any way to answer some of these issues, I would greatly appreciate the help.


  • Details on how to change a sprite on a weapon (special effects attached to nodes?) when changing firing mode. Anyone have any ideas?
  • Is there a Source-Code Solution-Map? (like displaying the dependencies, where you can find what and so on...)
  • Tutorials on how to put players in two teams as opposed to deathmatch.

Level Design

  • A tutorial detailing the creation of the intro sequence of Half-Life 2, with specific focus placed upon the graphical effects used during the G-Man's speech (switching to black and white, warping the depth of field as you appear on the train, scenes from the citadel appearing overlayed on the G-Man's model, etc). I'm assuming these things are done with things already implemented in the code that can be summoned by the level designer at will. The source to this part of the intro level would also be a helpful addition to the SDK.
I thought the source to the intro level was included with the SDK. It's the first train station VMF, correct? --Campaignjunkie 15:56, 31 Aug 2005 (PDT)
Yes, and yes. --Charron 17:30, 31 Aug 2005 (PDT)
Okay, the source is there. But a tutorial explaining how to set this kind of thing up would be nice. The .vmf is very complicated, using about a million entities, and it'd be much better to have the process broken down and explained in an article as opposed to trying to work out what each of the 50 logic_relay's do. --Graham 11:53, 2 Sep 2005 (PDT)
This is a subject I know *very* well. I'll try to put something together. I wrote a quick bit on the script_intro entity a while back, but I've learned a bit since, and need to make a second pass at it to explain it more fully. Expect an article on this in a week or so. --Spektre1 05:53, 12 Jan 2006 (PST)
UPDATE: I did this a while back but forgot to link it from here. :( This is the overview for how to use the script_intro entity, which is the primary controller for the introduction scene in HL2. Go see Script_intro. --Talia 18:36, 28 Jul 2006 (PDT)
  • In HL2 savegames are named by their chapter title but there's no clear way to achieve the same thing for custom maps (their saves take the map filename). Anyone know? I'm pretty sure it's nothing to do with worldspawn. --TomEdwards 03:21, 1 Sep 2005 (PDT)
I think it's done in codes. When I changed gTitleComments[] content in gameinterface.cpp to make chapter unlocking work, I noticed the savegame name changed, too. CServerGameDLL::GetSaveComment names savefile. It compares map filename with gTitleComments[], and if the map is a part of a chapter, the chapter name will be used as savefile name. Otherwise the map filename is used. -n-neko 17:46, 12 Dec 2005 (PST)
  • Haven't been able to get func_trackautochange to work in HL2, even when triggered. --wisemx 08:21, 2 Sep 2005 (PDT)
It isn't used in any of the HL2 maps, so may well be in a similar position as terrain morphing. --TomEdwards 14:51, 2 Sep 2005 (PDT)
Indeed, however the SDK code for it appears to be valid plus it can be made to return errors. --wisemx 04:14, 3 Sep 2005 (PDT)
  • I'm curious if anyone has figured out a decent waterfall. If so, how was it done? --Charron 17:17, 30 Nov 2005 (PST)
    • Can probably be done with a trigger_push and a non-solid func_brush covered with a custom semitransparent material. Have a look at the material I used for the shoreline waves in Metastasis as a possible basis... —Cargo Cult (info, talk) 10:19, 1 Dec 2005 (PST)
      • Could work. I'd also need something (sprite, probably) for the splash point, and the audio effect (should be easy to find). I'll work on it. Thanks. --Charron 12:08, 1 Dec 2005 (PST)
    • Turtle Rock used a model to create the waterfall on cs_militia. They simply created a plane, mapped a scrolling texture across it and then placed this plane atop of a normal water brush. The effect is superior to any brush-based alternative. I'll ask my modeling friend if we can do a tutorial on it, he did say it was laughably easy. `zozart .chat @ 03:44, 21 Jan 2006 (PST)


  • There is no tutorial on how to make breakable models (like the table or board) that allows you to pick up the broken pieces again. For example... I try to make a new exploding barrel, but I cannot pick up the pieces of the barrel like you can with the valve exploding barrel. How do you do this? Is it possible?
  • How many frames per second do the animations play at in HL2?
    • They play at whichever the animation specifies to play at—ts2do (Talk | @) 17:21, 12 Dec 2005 (PST)
      • It is entirely specified by the QC files that compiled the animation, as well how the code sets the framerate.--Mflux 15:53, 14 Aug 2006 (PDT)
  • I am trying to make an animated prop that is a door that slides open ala Star Trek. I have the animations working, but I cannot get the collision model to move. I looked at Ravendoor.mdl in props_lab and the collision mesh moves with the animations set there, what do I need to do to have my collision mesh move as part of an animation?
  • I have been having problems getting a prop into a map, its a large prop that requires and animated collision model however when i use $collisionjoints it turnicates unanimated [properly rigged] sections of the geometry. Also, in hammer when the model is applied to a prop_dynamic entery it only uses one piece of the complete collision mesh. I'm basicly left with a giant sphere and players are free to walk threw animated pieces. a Player_collision brush isn't going to fix this simply because of the animations. I've managed to figure out that having $concave in the QC will prevent it from loading as a prop_dynamic but it still isn't working correctly.Ryoku
  • I am trying to export a collision model that I made in XSI, but when I click on the SMD exporter in the valvesource menu, a blank window comes up. This is the only model that it does this with, all other models export perfectly.MisterMashu


  • How do you make a looping sound file? --TomEdwards 01:01, 21 Dec 2005 (PST)
Make an ambient_generic with its Is NOT Looped flag not checked, or are you talking about something else? --Andreasen 03:21, 19 Feb 2006 (PST)
The wave file itself should have "Cue" points at the start and end of the file so the engine knows when the sound is finished and where to loop. I know this was true in Half-Life 1, haven't tested it in Half-Life 2.
  • What directory would you put wave files in order to use them in your Mod? Or what path prefixes the wave files used in you soundscape file? ex. ambient/levels/citadel/strange_talk3.wav


No Chapter Title
  • I am trying to figure out how to get the chapter title to appear when you start a new game for a mod I am making. I have gotten as far as getting the first chapter to appear in the new game dialog (no problem there), as well as getting a image to be displayed properly for the chapter (also easy) but I can't seem to figure out how to get the Chapter title to appear. All I get is #destiny_Chapter1_Title for a chapter title. (BTW: Destiny is the name of my mod.) See thumbnail image. It would really help if there was a clear easy tutorial that showed how to create new chapters for a mod and have the chapter title be displayed.
Try resources/modname_english.txt and friends - the HL2 originals should be a decent guide as to what to do. I think they live in source_engine.gcf or similar. A tutorial is still definitely needed! --Cargo Cult 15:18, 30 Aug 2005 (PDT)
I have completed a tutorial on how to add chapters to your mod. See Adding chapters to your mod --Created by: X 13:29, 31 Aug 2005 (PDT)


  • Need a tutorial on how to setup and use multiple computers to compile maps using the VMPI tool? --Created by: X 15:00, 31 Aug 2005 (PDT)
It isn't out yet. --TomEdwards 01:35, 2 Sep 2005 (PDT)
Can we expect it? I run my own MySQL server, and wouldn't have an issue with the licensing, I believe? I realize the issue of distributing with a commercial product. And some of us in the community could really make use of this feature; I have 6 boxes here, 5 sitting unused. --Spektre1 00:40, 18 Sep 2005 (PDT)
  • REQUEST FULFILLED I am seeking a way of unlocking chapters in my mod but I do not know how. For example when playing HL2 you play a few maps thru the game and then when you goto the new game dialog and you see that chapter 2 has been unlocked and you can start a new game starting from chapter 2. How do we unlock chapters for our own mods? Do we do it in the maps using hammer or is there a script file or source code we need to edit? I have already provided a tutorial on how to Add chapters to your mod. But the last thing I need to figure out is how to unlock chapters as the player plays thru the game. A tutorial or quick description on this would be really helpful --Created by: X 14:54, 1 Sep 2005 (PDT)
Search for sv_unlockedchapters in your sdk code -ts2do
I am aware of the sv_unlockedchapters console command, as well as it's presense in cfg/config.cfg that does not help me. I need to find out how valve unlocked there chapters simply by playing thru a sequence of maps. Or better yet, a way to unlock chapters by setting up triggering an entity in hammer. --Created by: X 22:30, 1 Sep 2005 (PDT)
I've no idea if it's the 'right' way of doing it, but there's always the point_clientcommand entity... --Cargo Cult 01:58, 2 Sep 2005 (PDT)
A tutorial on Unlocking chapters in your mod is now availible. --Created by: X 12:47, 18 Sep 2005 (PDT)
  • Need a tutorial on setting up a custom surface type, ie "glass" "water" etc, with different sounds for that surface and so on. --Pon 23:06, 2 Sep 2005 (PDT)
  • Are the distributed compile tools available to the public? I keep finding references to their existance, but can't find the tools themselves. --Ljb2of3


It would useful to have more technical detail about the implementation of HDR, specifically the range of values and the way that the autoexposure controls work. In its current version, the autoexposure seems to lower and raise contrast, varying the size of the displayed dynamic range, but keeping the shadow point constant, rather than keeping the size of the displayed range constant and sliding the whole thing up and down.

This means that while bright areas 'white-out', dark areas never 'black out' only become increasingly gray and low contrast. This implementation works well for HL2 style daylit areas but is very limited in usefulness for dark maps.

Also, it would be helpful to know if it is possible to control the speed at which the autoexposure adjusts to changes. At the moment it seems to adjust very quickly to darkening, but more slowly to brightening, which is the opposite of the human eye. I would be good if the tonemap_controller could also have parameters to allow level designers to control this kind of behavior, Like iris_speed_open and iris_speed_close for example.

I can answer your second question: mat_hdr_manual_tonemap_rate. --TomEdwards 02:02, 21 Dec 2005 (PST)
mat_hdr_manual_tonemap_rate is not exactly an answer.


I can't seem to open faceposer, everytime I try to, it crashes. Any idea? I'm running a 3.2ghz p4, with a 6800 256mb card. I also have 1gb of ram.