Cliffs I: Generating Cliffs - NemPosted: Jul 4th, 2003 - 12:01:39 am

This tutorial series goes through the basic steps needed to create a cliff based level for Half-Life. Additionally it will cover many of TG's basic tools, generation and texturing features as well as how to plan your level to insure it performs well in Half-Life.

First off we need to create some starting terrain. To do this we first need to access the 'New Terrain' form in TG. From the 'File' menu select 'New'. For this tutorial I chose to use a setting of 48 triangles along the X and Y axis with a triangle size of 160 units. This will produce a large +/-3840 unit level which is just inside the +/-4096 hard-coded Half-Life limit. Your screen should look something like this:

Now it is important to note that increasing the size of each triangle and decreasing the number of triangles along each axis will reduce r_speeds and compile times, so feel free to experiment with these values as I have chosen a very detailed terrain. Other configurations such as 40/40/192 and 30/30/256 will all result in the same sized terrain with the latter containing approximately 40% of the triangles. Once you are happy with your setting hit 'OK', you should now be staring at some terrain:

Next we are going to add some generated features to the terrain. From the 'Terrain' menu select 'Generate'. Under the 'Geometric' tab check the 'Circle Algorithm' and fill in the below settings, this will produce some mild bumpy features on the terrain.

We next want to smooth these features down to be less obtrusive. To do this we will use both the 'Smooth' and 'Erode' options under the 'Smoothing' tab. Your settings should look something like:

Finally, since this is random terrain, we will probably want to try the generation features a couple of times until we get one that most suits are needs, to do this we will need to reset the terrain from generation to generation. Under the 'Miscellaneous' tab select the 'Reset' option and give it a value of 0:

Now that we have everything set up all we have to do is press the 'Generate' button. This will close the 'Terrain Generation Features' form and generate our settings on the terrain. The end result we are looking for is shown below, basically a flat yet uneven landscape. If you are not happy with the result all you have to do is select 'Regenerate' from the 'Terrain' menu and a new set of features will be generated. Feel free to experiment with the settings until you're happy with your starting terrain. Here is what my terrain currently looks like:

Next we are going to add some height variations to our terrain to build the cliffs off of. Select 'Raise/Lower' from the 'Tools' menu and drag four or five sections of the terrain up 1000-2000 units. Your end result should look something like (I know it looks silly):

We are about to perform some pretty severe alterations to our terrain so it might be a good idea to back it up first, in the 'Edit' menu select 'Push Revert'. This will save a copy of your terrain on TG's Undo/Redo stack which you can pop back up at any time (restoring your terrain back to the state it was in when you pushed it on the stack (phew)).

Next lets create some cliffs. Grab the 'Flatten' tool from the 'Tools' menu and position it so its selection is on top of one of the chunks of terrain we raised with the 'Raise/Lower' tool. Now press and hold your left mouse button and drag your selection outlining any paths you want to create in your terrain. If you're confused check the below picture and you should be able to figure out what I mean. If you screw up you can always select 'Undo' from the 'Edit' menu, or if there aren't enough undo states to undo what you've done, just pop the revert state back with the 'Pop Revert' button. Your end result should look something like:

Now we've got some nice smooth paths running through some horrible blocky terrain. Let's remedy that shall we? What we basically want to do is smooth the cliff portion of our terrain without touching our paths (the terrain in between the cliffs). From the 'Tools' menu select the 'Lock' tool. Next proceed to drag this tool along the paths of your terrain highlighting all the vertices you want to lock in green. If you lock anything you didn't want to you can either press 'Undo' or use the 'Unlock' tool. Your paths should be highlighted as shown below:

To complete our cliffs out were going to perform some erosion and smoothing on them via the 'Terrain Generation Options' form (from the 'Terrain' menu select 'Generate'). First make sure nothing we don't want to run is checked, right click anywhere on the form and select 'Uncheck All Options' (or just go through each tab unchecking everything as you go). Next fill out the 'Smoothing' tab to look something like:

Finally hit the 'Generate' button and your cliffs should appear all smooth without affecting your paths. Here is what my terrain currently looks like:

From here you may continue to modify your terrain until you have it exactly as you want it. If you wish to unlock all the locked vertices you can accomplish this by selecting 'Tools' then 'Locking' then 'Unlock All Points'. Once you are happy with your terrain head on over to the next page and we'll discus how to texture it.


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16. AndroidPosted: Jun 18th, 2005 - 8:30:46 pm
Does terrain generator only make squares of a map to start with? I'm really bad with the sky texture, as in i can't make an outline of my maps with it. Since this program automatically boxes the map perfectly with sky, is it possible to create a map thats in a weird geometrical shape, like an octagon? If not, i think it would be good if you did that, because noobs at making a 3d outline with sky, like me, so we wouldnt have to take the time deleting each individual triangle and manually putting sky around the map. Or otherwise i just need to learn :-/

17. InVaDeRPosted: Jul 6th, 2005 - 1:47:15 pm
Well i cant find an good wad files the 1 i know of is only reely half-life but i have GFScape where would i find the wad files that have e.g dirt1 like u use in them?

18. NoBodyPosted: Jul 7th, 2005 - 9:04:31 am
Weird is somthing that is realy hard to generate controled square is a very easy shape to generate and makes it less of a chalange to make all the tools compatiple so i guess you just have lear :)

InVaDeR the dirt1 is in the half-life wad that is in the half-life gcf
thers some decent textures in the othere games's gecf files also check google and wadfather

19. nems_toolsPosted: Mar 20th, 2006 - 1:49:34 pm
when i am supposed to make paths with the flatten tool it will just take all the terrain away. Pleez help!

20. nems_toolsPosted: Mar 25th, 2006 - 8:13:05 pm
never mind i figured it out happy

21. Joe FajitaModified: Apr 3rd, 2006 - 2:33:23 pm
exactly what size are the guys in the map i make with this tool? how would i know what size to make certain stuff if i have no idea the size of the men in the actual level?
applei like apples

22. NemPosted: Apr 3rd, 2006 - 5:10:05 pm
A unit in TG is the same as a unit in Hammer, but there is no real easy way to see scale in TG. I am no longer developing TG v3, but instead will try to work on TG v4 (using Crafty's engine). This is, however, a long way off (I have to first finish Crafty).

If you find your terrain's scale is wrong, you can always resize it in TG (under the Terrain menu).

23. mulisPosted: Jun 4th, 2006 - 10:00:45 am
Hello i problem w the texture file in the option.

24. mulisPosted: Jun 4th, 2006 - 10:03:15 am
:were: is the packets menu? cant find it=(
plz help me

25. Xerox29Modified: Oct 7th, 2007 - 1:20:43 am
packageOk i downloaded it but how do i change where i look? do you have texture i could download? My running system: Windows XP proffesionalfolder

26. suffolkpoPosted: Sep 19th, 2008 - 5:24:27 pm
Hello, I have a question about the TG utility, bear in mind your talking to a newb. when I try to import a texture set from sdk or hl2 they are not coming up as available. do these need to be extracted from the sdk if so how? question 2 I made a terrain with the default settings,select file/new/etc. well it looked great eveen though there were no textures applied I exported it as a vmf for the hammer editor. problem is its massive so much so that hammer will not display the horizon unless you pan the camera in the general direction, the field of view is obscured until you scroll to it directionally.question 3 how do I compile structures onto the terrain, copy from the hammer of the structure and paste onto the terrain? thanx so much

27. EnforcerPosted: Mar 27th, 2009 - 4:32:24 pm
I have read the tutorial, but I do not know how I can create detailed rock walls such as diagonal indentations on vertical or roughed up cliffs, rather than just moving fixed vertecies up and down.

Is that possible? or not with this tool?

28. jenkins08Posted: Apr 24th, 2009 - 9:20:54 am
I have read the tutorial, but I do not know how I can create detailed rock walls such as diagonal indentations on vertical or roughed up cliffs, rather than just moving fixed vertecies up and down.

Is that possible? or not with this tool?

Yes just make the wall as a floor first, rotate it X or Y 90 degrees and theres your wall with diagonal indentations on vertical or roughed up cliffs capoera

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