View Full Version : Brush details

06-26-2009, 06:09 PM
I've been toying around with Hammer for maybe around 6-8 months now. I've made a couple maps and I'm working on one right now. I'm learning the tools and ways to make good gameplay stategies ect. There is one thing that just frustrates me due to the fact that I'm terrible at it.

That is brush detailing and mainly architecture. So far I've made an all indoor zombie level, and outdoor level with a cave, and I'm working on a cargo ship that uses c-trains as walls. Ever since I started trying to make good-looking maps, I've avioded buildings. I can go to do the basics of a wall, building ect., but it just seems hard to have it end up detailed. I see other peoples maps with great architecture, yet I just can't seem to grasp the concept.

I'm realy just wondering if any of you guys struggled with this, and how you learned it.

Here are some pictures of a few buildings I have made. Any feedback on these would be awesome.







06-26-2009, 08:56 PM
The best thing you can do is look on Google Images for reference images. Using references will ensure that your buildings look as accurate as possible, and may even inspire you when you're stuck.

06-26-2009, 10:46 PM
Yep, look at real buildings and take note of the details.

06-27-2009, 06:39 AM
Your map will look much better once you do some lighting. Even simple architecture will look good if you spend some time making the lighting look good.

I like to imagine a small history for a building--Why it was built, how it was built and of what materials, how it has been damaged, remodeled, or added to, and what purposes it's been used for since it was built.

If you are doing a shabby, run-down industrial area, often those are highly damaged. A flat brush with a metal/wood texture looks too perfect. You may have to make broken and bent pieces to complete the effect. How detailed you should get depends on the overall complexity of the scene and how much time you are willing to spend. Most of the architecture can be textured boxes, but if you put in one really cool destroyed wall, the player will notice that.

06-27-2009, 07:15 AM
Lighting and displacement maps go a long way to making things look so much better :)

06-27-2009, 07:38 AM
Lighting and displacement maps go a long way to making things look so much better :)

In addition to making things look better, you can use lighting to get the player's eye to look at certain details in your map that you want to highlight.

06-27-2009, 09:49 AM
Thanks alot, those are good ideas. I'll just keep practicing but I'm going to think about what I'm doing more.

06-27-2009, 10:02 AM
First thing I noticed in yr shots is terrible texture alignment. Makes a big difference. eg wood posts will have vertical grain, not a mix between that and horizontal. The corrugated roof in pic 1 needs the same thing on the hip there. Learn to use alt+rightclick in the face edit tool.

One tip for that grate texture, if you want to sweeten it up nicely, clip a frame around it and texture it with a different metal, then make the grate itself 1 unit thick. Click "fit" on that grate, if it's too stetched divide one of the values by 2 to get it closer to the other one, and align it properly. That'll solve the unrealistic effect you have in pic 2.

06-28-2009, 11:50 AM
BTW the reason I have no lighting in any of these pics is because one of maps I didn't optimize at all, and had alot of problems with it, including fullbrught. The other map I'm waiting to add lighting at the very end since my comp is very slow.