WiseWall: HL2 Prop Wall

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This tutorial was originally created by wisemx.

Ported from SDKnuts.net to VDC by: Pinsplash (talk) 16:54, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

(Porter's note: I'm not formatting this one, just gonna paste right in. It's just not worth the time.)

Step by step HL2 wall with props on it.

This will be the first HL2 tutorial where I actually describe step by step the process for creating things you see in HL2 and things you can create yourself.

If you are an advanced HL2 mapper you should probably just download the sample file below. Based on the posts I’ve seen in the chatbear forums much of what I’ll describe here is going to be helpful, at least I hope so.

Of course the first thing is to create our wall that will have Props on it like this:


Tip: Most of your walls will more or less always work out best if they are either 16 or 8 units thick. You also need to consider the height of your wall more than the width since the distance between your floor and ceiling will generally be harder to change later.

Valve included some very nice textures that can help when you are designing your walls:


Typically I always use the nodraw texture and when my walls are complete I use the Face Edit tool to apply textures to each face while some will retain the nodraw texture. You should use the nodraw texture to conserve on resources anywhere a texture is not needed, for example the bottom face of a wall can almost always have the nodraw texture on it and can the outer edge of a window frame where it meets the wall. In the example file for this tutorial I did not apply a nodraw texture for the hidden face of the Wood pegs, the part you can't see should have the nodraw texture applied to it. Go ahead and do that with the example file below.

To use the Face Edit tool click on the green cube in Hammer 4 on the left side, “Toggle Texture Application”, (or Shift+A). Next left click on the face you will apply a texture to and then in the Face Edit tool click on “Browse”. You can now search for and select any texture and then right-click on a face to apply it.


Now that our wall is in place and the textures are applied to it we will use the same Brush tool to create the Wood pegs that will hold up our Gas bottles. You can get creative as Valve did with the walls in Ravenholm. If you pay attention the pegs have a slightly pointed/angled face. This can easily be created with the Vertex tool.


The Vertex tool is something that takes a little practice, it’s not difficult to use but you will learn your own methods. The following Screen shots are step by step in using the Vertex tool to angle the face of a peg, once it’s created I’ll just copy it for the remaining 3 pegs we need.

Select the Peg brush:


Click the Vertex tool on left menu:


Drag the handles on any of the wireframes to alter the shape:


When you have the shape you like click once on the brush in the 3D window and then select the Selection tool to confirm and create your shape:


Now we can apply a texture to our wood peg and then copy it:


To copy/clone an entity/brush use the 2D wireframe windows, select the object, hold down your Shift key and drag the object to a new location. If you did it right your original object is still in place and it has been cloned to the new location. Do this for the remaining pegs.


Notice that I placed the Gas bottles in the positions I wanted them to help with the placement of the Wood pegs. You will probably want to use methods like that.

Let’s create the 2 Gas bottles:

Class: prop_physics

Pitch Yaw Roll: Your X Y Z coordinates, in this example they are “-70 90 90”

World Model: models/props_junk/propane_tank001a.mdl


Motion Disabled: Checked

Enable motion on Physcannon grab: Checked

That’s all there is to it for the Gas bottles.

Our Saw blade can start out stuck in the wall:

Class: prop_physics

Pitch Yaw Roll: Your X Y Z coordinates, in this example they are “0 0 0.8”

World Model: models/props_junk/sawblade001a.mdl


Motion Disabled: Checked

Enable motion on Physcannon grab: Checked

I’ve added one Output for this Saw blade, a sound will play when the player grabs the Saw blade with the Gravity Gun:


sawBladeSound is the name of an ambient_generic:

Name: sawBladeSound

Sound Name: ambient/creatures/town_zombie_call1.wav


Play everywhere: Checked

Start Silent: Checked

Is NOT Looped: Checked

. . .That’s it. We now have a wall with items/Props hanging on it and our Gas bottles and Saw blade are ready for Player action.

See Also