Emancipation Grid

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"Please note the incandescent particle field across the exit."
- The Announcer

An Emancipation Grid (also Emancipation Grill or more commonly, Fizzler), is a special energy field in Portal 2 which resets the portal gun of any player (destroying both portals) and vaporizes other objects that touch it. It also blocks portals.

In Portal, the Emancipation Grid is composed of two models, a trigger-textured invisible trigger_portal_cleanser and a particle system emitter (info_particle_system).

In Portal 2, however, it is composed of an entity (trigger_portal_cleanser) combined with a pair of models (fizzler.mdl). The brush used for the trigger should be nodraw except for the two visible faces which have a fizzler texture on them.


As with most of Portal 2's testing elements there's an instance for this gameplay element as well. These are static and are only 128x128 units, and they were specifically designed to work in conjunction with the turbine elevator, so their use is very limited. However it comes in three designs, including decayed black and white, and clean black.

  • instances/gameplay/fizzler_black_clean_128x128.vmf
  • instances/gameplay/fizzler_black_dirty_128x128.vmf
  • instances/gameplay/fizzler_white_dirty_128x128.vmf

Manual Creation

This tutorial aims to be easy to understand even to users with little or no knowledge of hammer.

Step 1

Create a prop_dynamic and, for this tutorial, use the world model "models/props/fizzler.mdl". There are a few more "fizzler" models for use in the Old Aperture themed maps, and for dynamic 'open-close' sequences. Change the skin on the modern models to choose between Clean, Rusty and Laserfield skins.

  • models/props/fizzler.mdl: Static model that is always open.
  • models/props/fizzler_dynamic.mdl: Dynamic model with open/close animations.
  • models/props_underground/underground_fizzler.mdl: A 128*128 model used for corridors and entrances. Use the "fizzler_underground" texture.
  • models/props_underground/underground_fizzler_wall.mdl: A model for larger fizzlers.

These are the main four, although there are more models, some more detailed and some less.

Step 2

Notice how the brushes surround the model so it won't clip in the wall

Now you would like to place one model at each end of the area you would like things would get 'fizzled' in a way they both face each other. The fizzler model, as you might have noticed, sinks in the wall to let the closing animation to be played if necessary; even though we are using the 'static' model the socket is still there.

Note.png Note: Don't just put a wall behind or through it, as it would just look strange.

To solve this we would make three brushes that surround the fizzler from the back, sides and part of the front (note that the side brushes would be the front side too), don't forget to tie these brushes to a func_detail.

We would now make two brushes, each 32x8 units and 128 units tall, we would place them on each side of the fizzler's model. Make sure the fizzler's attachment panels sit each on a brush as seen in the picture. Add one more brush behind the model to seal off the void (if there's another wall there already, there's no need for it). All these brushes can be textured with nodraw, although the brushes on the top and bottom should be textured with the floor/ceiling texture.

Step 3

Create a brush using the 'nodraw' texture (tools/toolsnodraw), extending from one fizzler model to the other. This will act as the emancipation area. It should be one unit thick and 128 units high. Tie the brush (pressing Ctrl+T) to a "trigger_portal_cleanser" entity. Set "Visible?" to yes and hit apply.

Note.png Note: You might try and place it exactly in the center of the model but the model's center is 2 units thick

Make sure you checkmark, in the flags tab, the "Physics Objects" if you want things other than your portals to be removed when touching it, like cubes and turrets.

Step 4

Open the Texture Application tool and select only the front and back faces of the fizzler, the parts that will be seen. Click "Browse" and filter "fizzler" select "effects/fizzler" and change the texture scale to 0.125 on both the X and the Y axis, now click "Apply".

You should now have a working fizzler! If you name it you can open and close it through the I/O system, in this case don't forget to chose a "models/props/fizzler_dynamic.mdl" and to add proper animations when it's closed and opened.

Dynamic Fizzler

Sometimes, when the fizzler is a test element in a chamber, it must be enabled/disabled or opened/closed. This following tutorial teaches you how to make a dynamic fizzler.

Step 1

1. Create 2 prop_dynamic entity with the following settings :

Property Name Value
World Model models/props/fizzler_dynamic.mdl
Name fizzlers
HoldAnimation true
Collision Not Solid

2. Create a bloc trigger_portal_cleanser, with 128 units high with the following settings :

Property Name Value
Name fizzler_brush
Visible yes

Select Flags :

  • Clients
  • NPCs
  • Physics Objects

Step 2

3. Create a logic_relay entity, with the following settings :

Property Name Value
Name relay_fizzler_enable

and following Outputs :

My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnTrigger fizzler_brush Enable <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnTrigger fizzlers SetAnimation open 0.00 No

4. Create a logic_relay entity, with following settings :

Property Name Value
Name relay_fizzler_disable

and following Outputs :

My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnTrigger fizzler_brush Disable <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnTrigger fizzlers SetAnimation close 0.00 No

Step 3

A trigger is necesary to open and close the fizzler. In this tutorial, we'll use a simple prop_floor_button. When the player, or a cube, press the button, the fizzler will be disabled. And when the button is unpressed, the fizzler becomes enabled.

5. Create a prop_floor_button entity, with following Outputs :

My Output Target Entity Target Input Parameter Delay Only Once
Io11.png OnPressed relay_fizzler_disable Trigger <none> 0.00 No
Io11.png OnUnPressed relay_fizzler_enable Trigger <none> 0.00 No

Your dynamic fizzler is now operational! You can also change the trigger, for example a prop_button or a trigger_multiple, etc...

Larger Fizzlers

Notice the glow emitted on the edges by the emancipation device

Sometimes a fizzler should be higher or wider than 128 units, but as the fizzler model is only 128 units tall a set of another two fizzler models, and brushes, on top the ones you just created are required. To do this, simply copy-drag everything you just created 128 units high, repeat as many times as necessary.
Do not stretch the brushes to the height you need, as you want only a part of the field to flash in white when a portal shot hits it; For consistency official maps use this approach.

To make the fizzler wider we would need to split the brush to three parts. Just use the Clipping Tool (Ctrl+X) on the sides closest to the models, make sure both sides of the clip remain (both are highlighted in white). These two new brushes should be 64 units long. The middle brush should stretch between these two brushes - it's length doesn't matter. Again, open the Texture Application tool and color both front and back sides of the middle brush with "effects/fizzler_center", one of the other brushes with "effects/fizzler_l" and the one left with "effects/fizzler_r". Then 'Fit' the texture to the face. Due to the way texture wrapping works, a small seam can be seen on the edge of the l/r brushes. To fix this, use the Vertex Tool ( Shift+V) to widen the center brush by about 4 units, shrinking the others to match. This ensures the textures don't resize in any way.

Note.png Note: The difference between "fizzler_l" and "fizzler_r" are the direction of the glow emitted by the device, an effect the middle part does not have.

For Old Aperture there are similar textures:

  • Center: effects/fizzler_underground_wide_center
  • Left: effects/fizzler_underground_wide_side_l
  • Right: effects/fizzler_underground_wide_side_r
  • Short: effects/fizzler_underground_side_emitters


These should be used wherever you don't want the player shooting one portal in one area and another in a second, and when you don't want the player to bring objects into another area. These destroy portals and objects.


Warning.png Warning: NEVER enable Flag "Everything" on a trigger_portal_cleanser, especially if using a dynamic fizzler, else your Models WILL get emancipated!