Level Overviews

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Some mods (Counter-Strike:Source, Day of Defeat:Source) have a mini-map mode, that shows a level overview and projects players and objects on that map. An overview map is an image made from in-game screenshots and must be created once a new map is finished.

* Making a mini-map for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Make the raw overview image

  1. Start the game. Click Options and switch to the Video tab. Change Resolution to "1280x1024" pixels and the Aspect Ratio to "Normal".
  2. Load the new level with the map <mapname> console command and enable "sv_cheats 1".
  3. Join the Spectator team.
  4. Bind the "screenshot" command to a key, etc. "bind p screenshot" using the console.
  5. This is important, as using the default screenshot key (F5) will take a compressed JPEG rather than a raw TGA.
  6. Remove any HUD elements with console commands "cl_drawhud 0" and "hidepanel all".
  7. Remove disturbing world effects like skyboxes ("r_skybox 0"), fog ("fog_override 1" and "fog_enable 0"), props (optional: "r_drawstaticprops 0"), etc.
  8. Move in spectator mode to a position where you can see the whole level from above.
  9. Switch to orthographic mode with the console command "cl_leveloverview x", where x is the scale factor.
  10. Set "cl_leveloverviewmarker 1024" to show a red helper line on the right. You will need to briefly toggle cl_drawhud 1, line it up, and then toggle the HUD off again.
  11. Note:Several people have commented that the red line does not appear when doing this at 1280x1024 resolution. If you don't see the red line, read the No red line section below.
    Sample level overview (de_dust2)
  12. You can move around while cl_leveloverview mode is on. You are still in spectator mode and moving, so move the arrow keys to change the position. Now change scale so the map fits into the square defined by the red line. The right edge of your map should be on the left of the red line, anything to the right of the red line will be chopped off in a later step. Check the attached screenshot to see how this step looks in de_dust2 running under Counter-strike:Source.
  13. The current projection data (position and scale) will be updated in the console, eg "Overview: scale 6.00, pos_x -2651, pos_y 4027".
  14. Once everything is perfect, take a screenshot (using the key you bound to "screenshot") and write down the projection data values. You will need them in a later step.

No red line?

If you don't see the red line appear at step 9, make sure you have set cl_drawhud 1 (turn this off again before taking the screenshot though). After this, if you still can't see the line, you may want to try starting over but use 1024x768 resolution instead of 1280x1024. Set "cl_leveloverviewmarker 768".

Create the overview material

  1. Close the game and open the screenshot in an image editor. You will find it in <game dir>\screenshots. Using your editor, crop away the unused part of the image to the right of the red line so that the image becomes a square. If you don't see the red line, then just make sure that the image is square.
  2. Modify the image as you see fit, perhaps adding an alpha channel to remove unused areas.
  3. Resize it so that its dimensions are a power of two. 1024x1024 is a good choice, assuming that your image starts off larger than that!
  4. Save your image in a lossless format (e.g. PNG or TGA) and create a material with it. You can use this template for the VMT:
UnlitGeneric
{
	$translucent 1
	$basetexture overviews/mapname
	$vertexalpha 1
	$no_fullbright 1
	$ignorez 1
}

Creating the VTF

Don't forget to Clamp S and Clamp T when you are creating your VTF otherwise the border pixels will stretch and look horrible. Additionally it would appear that VTFLib.dll isn't clamping correctly so you will have to use Vtex.

When making a vtf with vtex you can use this for the configs:

"clamps" "1"
"clampt" "1"
"nocompress" "1"
"nomip" "1"

You can also use this code in a bat file to run vmex:

cd steamdirectory\steamapps\username\sourcesdk_content\gamefolder\materialsrc\overviews
"%sourcesdk%\bin\orangebox\bin\vtex" mapname.tga mapname_radar.tga
pause

Be sure to create a new folder called overviews in materialsrc and place the overview tga files in there. Don't forget to also change the italics in the bat code.

Create the overview script

Finally, create a text file called <mapname>.txt in <game dir>\resource\overviews\. This file will define the precise numbers needed to align the overview:

<mapname>
{
	material	overviews/mapname	// texture file
	pos_x		-2651			// X coordinate
	pos_y		4027			// Y coordinate
	scale		6.0 			// scale used when taking the screenshot
	rotate		0			// map was rotated by 90 degrees in image editor
	zoom		1.3			// optimal zoom factor if map is shown in full size
}

See also