List of Portal 2 Instances

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A main feature of Portal 2 is its use of instances. In short, instances (placed in Hammer with the func_instance entity) allow for the placement of VMFs inside other VMFs. They are similar to prefabs, but when the source file of an instance is modified the changes take effect in all maps containing them. For more information see Instance.

Below is a list of the instances provided with the Portal 2 Authoring Tools. They are categorized by the folder structure in which they are packaged and I've tried to make a short description for each one; any help is greatly appreciated.

Instances are stored in C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\portal 2\sdk_content\maps\instances\.

Note: the terms "powerup" and "powerdown" refer to the activation and deactivation of the facility, respectively, as this is the terminology Valve uses in the animations.


  • global_ents.vmf

Environment and campaign entities. Recommended in all maps. global_ents.vmf (Portal 2) contains a list of the HDR preset settings available in the instance.

  • global_ents_generic.vmf

Basic set of environment and singleplayer entities. Useful for test maps.


  • 64x64_animated_wall_panel_x4panels.vmf
    • A horizontal row of four panels that can be triggered to use powerup and powerdown animations.
  • 64x64_wall_repair_x2panels.vmf
    • A horizontal row of two panels that can be trigger to use powerup animations.
  • 64x64_wall_repair_x8panels_bendy01.vmf
    • Two columns of four panels that can be triggerd to use powerup animations. Slighty more "bendy" and organic as the name suggests.
  • 64x64_wall_repair_x8panels_bendy02.vmf
    • Same as above only using a slightly different animation.
  • 128x128_ceiling_panel_fall_01.vmf
    • A dirty ceiling panel below a clean ceiling panel; the dirty one hinges and falls, replaced by the clean one. Does not use models but instead a func_physbox and func_door.
  • 128x128_ceiling_panel_fall_02.vmf
    • Same as above but without the clean ceiling panel replacing the dirty one. Dirty panel hinges and falls.
  • 128x128_ramp_90degree_01c.vmf
    • A 2x2 square of panels that can move back and forth from vertical to horizontal to form a ramp from a wall.
  • 128x128_wall_panel_fall_01.vmf
    • Identical to 128x128_ceiling_panel_fall_01.vmf but vertical for a wall.
  • 128x128_wall_panel_rotate_01.vmf
    • A wall panel that moves slightly forward and rotates.
  • 128x128_wall_panel_rotate_01.vmf
    • Same as above only rotates in the opposite direction.
  • 128x128_wall_replace_01.vmf
    • A 2x2 square of vertical panels that can open into and close back into the wall of a chamber to allow a "peek" effect. Seen when Wheatly pops his head in to a chamber.
  • 128x192_ramp_90degree_02b_reversible_02.vmf
    • A large section/ramp that can be rotated into and out of a wall.


To be added soon.


  • floor_button_black_intact.vmf
  • floor_button_base_intact_black.vmf
  • floor_button_base_intact_white.vmf
    • Clean button bases with black or white panels.
  • floor_button_base_destroyed_black.vmf
  • floor_button_base_destroyed_white.vmf
    • Ruined button bases with black or white panels.
Warning.png Warning: The button base edges are made of a lot more brushes than necessary and cause tiny fissures. It's recommended to optimize them!


  • entry_hallway_tall_dirty_nocaps_bustfloor.vmf
    • A static hallway with a bulging floor. Random stuff (cubes, turrets, etc.) can be seen below causing the bulge.


  • glados_gen_actor.vmf
    • A nodraw box containing the generic_actor set to GLaDOS. Presumably for use with in-game scenes, lines, etc.


To be added soon.


  • destruction_ambience.vmf
    • Several entities including an ambient_generic, env_shake, a logic_timer, and the other logic entites that make them work. All entities are parented to a func_tracktrain that moves around a very large square, which I assume is used to give the impression that the noises, shaking, etc. are coming from different directions.


To be added soon.


  • active_03.vmf
    • A "junk stacked in elevator" scene. Used in sp_a2_column_blocker.


To be added soon.


To be added soon.


To be added soon.


To be added soon.


To be added soon.


To be added soon.


To be added soon.


  • arrival_departure_transition_ents.vmf
    • Contains entities for spawning in or transitioning between levels. Recommended for test chamber maps. To do: Page describing Portal 2 transition entities.
  • transition_entry.vmf
    • Nested in arrival_departure_transition_ents.vmf. Entities for transitioning into a test chamber. Contains info_player_start.
  • transition_exit.vmf
    • Nested in arrival_departure_transition_ents.vmf. Entities for transitioning from a test chamber.


To be added soon.


there are two type of instance the departure and the arrival

  • _base.vmf
    • the XX_base.vmf is the structure of tube elevator, there are some different skin of the room (destroyed,clean,...) with 42 vgui_movie_display entities
  • _logic.vmf
    • the XX_logic.vmf is the motion of tube elevator, there are two version (come from up or down) contains some trigger to activate elevator sound or open first door of the map. there is a logic_script to call the video script for the vgui_movie_display ine the X_base.vmf

all this instance (logic and base) can be stick with the long block behind the structure of elevator


To be added soon.