Clip texture

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Clip textures are invisible tool textures that limit movement, typically of the player(s). A brush used with a clip texture is generally termed a clip brush. In the Source engine, the general dedicated clip texture is Clip, but alternatives are Player Clip, (Player) Control Clip and NPC Clip. These all share the same Clips VisGroup category. However, any unrendered brush or model can fill this role.

There are good techniques and there are bad techniques when it comes to using clip brushes to limit the player's movement.

Good techniques are the ones that keep the player away from possibly getting entangled and stuck in complicated brushwork such as in between a tree and a hill, or amidst the cracks of several rocks, forcing the player to restart. However, wedge-shaped clip brushes can also be used to prevent the player from getting stuck on small detail brushes like window sills or buttons while trying to run somewhere, and to prevent the player from jumping up on top of an all too narrow fence or window sill.

Bad techniques are known as invisible walls, that block the player from heading into a corridor that he or she is not "supposed" to enter. Apart from frustrating the player, this breaks down the illusion of an immersive world and reminds the player this is just a game.


PlayerClip use example.png

The fence on the right is enveloped by a toolsplayerclip tool texture for two reasons: First of all it prevents the player from getting caught on the brushwork when running alongside it, and second of all it prevents the player from jumping over something that would be at least cumbersome to climb over in real life. Be aware that the player could acquire physics objects and pile them up against the fence, and through this jump over the brush. If this is the case, you could consider extending this clip brush all the way to the roof of the map, but as this would create an invisible wall, it would perhaps be better to replace the entire fence with a solid wall instead.

See also