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info_overlay is a internal point entity available in all Source games.

Entity description

The overlay is a more powerful version of a standard decal: it can be resized, rotated, scaled, and distorted. It is automatically placed when you use the Hammer Overlay Tool. The sides keyvalue is automatically set when placed in this manner. If you need the overlay to span multiple faces, open the overlay's properties in SmartEdit mode, choose Brush Faces and then <Ctrl>-Click in the camera window to add more faces.

Note.png Note: This is an internal entity. When the map is compiled by VBSP it is processed and then removed: it does not exist when the map is running.
Warning.png Warning: If you carve, clip, or otherwise change the shape of a brush, you will have to update an overlay with the new brush face(s) id. Use the Check for Problems tool to see which overlays are missing faces.

The info_overlays are all packed into a special lump in the BSP file. To enable accesses by name, a info_overlay_accessor entity is created in the compiled map, which translates targetnames to info_overlay ID numbers.

Note.png Note: In Source, decals and overlays are not actually "painted" on surfaces. They are simple planes that overlaps from a close distance brushes surfaces. This is to keep in mind when you deal with overlays that will be projected on differents faces that are not coplanar. A little gap will be visible between faces as you can see on the picture below. This cannot be avoided since Source work that way. (Actual painting texels would be too expensive to do.) This is the same working for fake dynamic shadows and others projected textures on surfaces.

Overlays gap.jpg

Caveats and Bugs

  • Info_Overlays will only work on world brush, displacement or func_detail, not any entity type.
  • The material name can only be 256 characters long at maximum.
  • There can be a maximum of 512 overlays in a single map. This limit was raised to 1024 for CS:GO.
  • If an overlay is set on a spot which has several (over 64) faces near by, the overlay will count these even if the faces arent set to the overlay. This will then cause VSBP to crash on compile with "Abnormal Exit in VBSP ParseLog causght! Catch: in vbsp_finish!"
Tip.png Tip: On spots like this it is recommended to use infodecal - entity instead. Another solution is to seperate that spot from other, by creating a new brush, curving it, and putting new overlay on it.

Distorting overlays

If the overlay is not yet placed, select the overlay tool and your material, and click where you wish the center of the overlay to be. You should now see 4 white boxes at the edges of the overlay, and you may drag them about to distort it.

If you wish to distort an existing overlay, first select the overlay you wish to edit, and then select the overlay tool. Then you should be able to distort the overlay as described above. If the overlay does not respond, try deleting it and then following the above procedure.


Name <targetname>
Name of the overlay. Used to access the overlay with an env_texturetoggle.
Material <material>
The material to overlay.
Brush faces <sidelist>
Faces on which the overlay will be applied.
RenderOrder <integer>
Higher values render after lower values (on top). This value can be 0–3.
U Start, U End <float>
Texture coordinates for the image X-axis. This normally starts at zero (left) and goes to 1 (right). Adjust values to change position and scaling.
V Start, V End <float>
Texture coordinates for the image Y-axis. This normally starts at zero (top) and goes to 1 (bottom). Adjust values to change position and scaling.
Overlay Basis Origin (Read-Only) <Vector>
Offset of the surface from the position of the overlay entity.
Overlay Basis U (Read-Only) <Vector>
Direction of the material's X-axis.
Overlay Basis V (Read-Only) <Vector>
Direction of the material's Y-axis.
Overlay Basis Normal (Read-Only) <Vector>
Direction out of the surface.
Start Fade Dist <float>
Distance at which the overlay starts to fade (<0 = use fademaxdist).
End Fade Dist <float>
Maximum distance at which the overlay is visible (0 = don't fade out).


Minimum CPU Level (mincpulevel) <choices> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead>)
A user with a CPU level lower than this will not see this object rendered in-game. CPU levels are determined by the Effect detail setting.
Maximum CPU Level (maxcpulevel) <choices> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead>)
  • 0: Default
  • 1: Low
  • 2: Medium
  • 3: High
Minimum GPU Level (mingpulevel) <choices> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead>)
A user with a GPU level lower than this will not see this object rendered in-game. GPU levels are determined by the Shader detail setting.
Maximum GPU Level (maxgpulevel) <choices> (in all games since <Left 4 Dead>)
  • 0: Default
  • 1: Very low
  • 2: Low
  • 3: Medium
  • 4: High

See also