Material map compile flags

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Several special shader parameters exist that start with a % sign instead of $. These are read by the compile tools to alter the properties of the face or the brush they are attached to. Most are intended to produce the special tools/ textures, but they may also be used for other materials.
All flags are boolean properties and invisible to players. So far %CompileLadder is the only flag which may be visible to players, depending on the proxies inside the material. %CompileTeam Is also the only flag that is not a boolean.

See also Tool Textures for more detail about the propeties of individual materials.

 $basetexture developer/custom_clip
  %compileclip 1
Note.pngNote:As with shader parameters, the names of compile flags are not case sensitive: %compileclip 1 and %CompileClip 1 deliver the same result.
Note.pngNote:These flags are associated with contents and surface flags which are stored in the BSP can can be stored in the VMF; see BSP flags (Source) for more information.
Blank image.pngTodo: Mapbase VBSP has %CompileChopLow, %CompileChopHigh, and %CompileChopAll, which affect how brush faces are spilt when touching other brush faces; document these.

Exclusive Flags

Only one of the following flags may be set on any given material.
Every flag is available in all Source Engine branches, unless specifically mentioned in the Availability box


Name Seen in .vmt Availability Effect
%CompileClip toolsclip Makes the brush block only players and NPCs. This is equivalent to a combination of %PlayerClip and %CompileNPCClip.
%CompileNPCClip toolsnpcclip Makes the brush block only NPCs. This implies NoLight and NoDraw.
Note.pngNote:Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Blocks bots, even though they are players.
%PlayerClip toolsplayerclip Makes the brush only block players.
%CompilePlayerControlClip toolscontrolclip (removed since Half-Life 2: Episode Two)(also in Garry's Mod) Unsure as to how this was meant to be used. Usually seen together with func_vehicleclip.
Material also uses $surfaceprop player_control_clip.
%CompileGrenadeClip toolsgrenadeclip (only in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) Makes the brush only block grenades.
%CompileDroneClip toolsdroneclip (only in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) Makes the brush only block drones.


Name Seen in .vmt Availability Effect
%Compile2DSky toolsskybox2d Makes the face render the 2D Skybox only, in addition to emitting light_environment light.
%CompileFog ToolsFog This may be a deprecated flag that so far has not been seen as being useful.
%CompileNoChop Prevents subdividing patches on the surface for lightmapping ("chopping"). Also affects how the face is converted to triangles. A brush face using a material with this parameter will be limited to 31x31 luxels.
%CompileNoLight nolight (in all games since Alien Swarm)(also in Source 2013) Disables generating lightmaps for a brush face. Useful for materials that don't need lighting info or are always invisible. This is disabled on water materials.
Confirm.pngConfirm: Is this necessary for UnlitGeneric materials?
Icon-Important.pngImportant:No effect in Hammer++ Hammer++ lighting preview.
%CompileOrigin toolsorigin
Obsolete-notext.pngDeprecated:Sets the rotation origin of a brush entity.
Leftover from ORIGIN in GoldSrc. Still functional in some branches (such as Source 2013 Singleplayer), but is no longer necessary.
%CompileSkip toolsskip Removes the face during compilation, making the brush into sets of planes.
%CompileSky toolsskybox Makes the face render the (2D/3D) Skybox and emit light_environment light.
%CompileTrigger toolstrigger Makes the brush suitable for Triggers. Implies %CompileNoLight.

Additive Flags

Multiple of the following flags may be applied to any given material.
Every flag is available in all Source Engine branches, unless specifically mentioned in the Availability box

Name Seen in .vmt Availability Effect
%CompileBlockLOS toolsblocklos Makes the brush block only the line of sight for NPCs.
Note.pngNote:Also works for bots in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
%CompileDetail Forces the brush to no longer cut visleafs, similar to func_detail.
%CompileHint toolshint Makes the face hint-cut visleafs. This implies NoLight and NoDraw.
%CompileInvisible toolsinvisible Makes a surface behave like NoDraw, but still allows bullets to pass through it, except in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. This also implies NoLight.
%CompileLadder toolsladder Makes the brush usable as a func_ladder.
Can be applied to any material, such as metal/metalladder.vmt for a cheap ladder without a prop. Else also add %compilenodraw to make it invisible.
%CompileNoDraw toolsnodraw Makes a brush behave like tools/toolsnodraw.
%CompileNonSolid Makes the brush not solid to anything.
Icon-Bug.pngBug:Left 4 Dead 2 Turns brushes non-solid and invisible but still casts shadows.
Tip.pngTip:Analogous to NOCLIP tool texture in GoldSrc GoldSrc (ZHLT, VHLT, and derivatives)
%CompileNoShadows (only in Slammin' Source Map Tools)(also in Mapbase) Prevents shadows from being cast onto the texture.
%CompilePassBullets Makes the brush behave like a grating, allowing bullets to pass through but blocking other objects. Useful for foliage or metal grates.
Note.pngNote:Allows explosions through, but not bullets in Team Fortress 2.
%CompileTeam climb_versus (only in Left 4 Dead series) Decides which team should be affected by this tool texture.
%CompileWater Marks the brush as a water-type material. Makes it non-solid, allows swimming inside, etc. If %CompileKeepLight is also set, the brush will retain its lighting data.
%CompileSlime same as %CompileWater, but with green splash particles.
Icon-Bug.pngBug:Left 4 Dead 2 %CompileSlime uses default water splash particles.
%NoPortal toolsblack_noportal (only in PortalPortal 2) Makes the texture non-portalable unless Conversion Gel is used.
%NoPaint (in all games since Portal 2) Makes the material unable to be painted by Gel.

Implies $nodecal, as they share a surface flag.

%CompileStairs toolsstairs (only in INFRA) Makes brushwork traversable up to an angle of 63.4349488, as opposed to the usual 45°.
$NoDecal Makes the material not receive decals.
Icon-Important.pngImportant:This is a map compile flag when used on brushes and displacements, but not when used on models, hence why it starts with $ instead of %.