(This one is for you Kakujitsu)
If you like mapping and map a lot it is a really good idea to get used to certain shortcuts in the hammer editor. Not only will it make it easier for you and be faster but it will also reduce the amount of strain from overuse of computer mouse etc. and more time to do other things.
First of all lets go through all of the shortcuts of the main tools.Main Tools
- Shift+S (Selection tool)
This would have to be the most used tool in the hammer editor. Whenever you are resizing, rotating, deleting an object you are clicking the selection tool in order to do this. By clicking Shift+S you do not need to move the mouse to the sidebar to click the selection tool picture, neither do you have to take your hand off the mouse.
- Shift+G (magnify tool)
This is essentially a useless tool. You can just as easily zoom in and out of the hammer grid using the mouse wheel or the numbers 9-0. Personally I never use this.
- Shift+C (Camera tool)
The Camera tool is not for looking around your map (sawwy 1911) but should be used rather for creating checkpoints which reduce the time you are travelling around the 3d view in your map, especially if you map is large. These checkpoints can be created with the LALT or LSHIFT keys while moving the mouse + Left Clicking. You can press PAGEUP and PAGEDOWN to cycle through these cameras and DELETE removes a set camera.
- Shift+E (Entity tool)
Another important tool, this creates entities inside of the map. You can either create an entity by moving the green crosshair inside the 2d grid and pressing ENTER or clicking inside the 3d View, making it spawn on the current block your mouse is on.
If you are like me then you will find that you will use this tool a lot. Seeing as I was annoyed at how everytime I created an entity I also opened its' properties (ALT+ENTER): I binded both SHIFT+E and ALT+ENTER to the middle mouse button. If your mouse comes with profiles (like the G9) then creating a profile especially for Hammer is a good idea, that way it can access longer or harder to do shortcuts with a press of a button.
- Shift+B (block tool)
This opens the block tool entity, personally I think it is easier to press the button on the sidebar rather than using the shortcut as my hands aren't very big to reach both shift and b at the same time. But a shortcut like this can reduce the amount of time taken to move the mouse to the block type etc.
- Shift+A (Texture Application tool)
This is a tool that you should use all the time with the shortcut. Time can be more focused on how you are going to texture an object rather than clicking the texture application tool on the sidebar. I will go in more detail to explain the shortcuts to texture objects later.
- Shift+T (Apply Current Texture)
This is a very useful quick command if you want to cover a block wholly with the same texture. Usually I use this to change a block's texture to nodraw and then using the texture application tool selecting the visible sides to texture. Or if you have a tool texture, covering all of it (like clip).
- Shift+O Shift+D
The Overlay and decal Tools is not necessarily needed to have a shortcut. It is just as quick to click the picture on the sidemenu.
- Shift+X (Clipping Tool)
The Clipping tool is almost an essential tool when it comes to cutting triangles and shapes with more than 4 sides. It is quicker and easier to clip a block into shape than it is to make a block from a wedge (or create a cylinder with so many faces to make an oblong shape). Multiple uses of the shortcut also changes the mode of how you want to clip so then you do not need to reverse the clipping line to cut the other way.
It comes in three modes A-B B-A and A|B where - indicates one side being removed and | a split but both sides still remain.
And unlike the Vertex tool there is much less chance that you will get a bad brush that would pull up errors or prevent compiling altogether.
- Shift+V (Vertex tool)
This is a shortcut I use all the time, being careful and knowing what is an illegal shape I usually use this tool in order to move vertices of an odd shape: as using the selection tool to resize it will distort it the wrong way.
There are 3 modes: Corner Manipulation only, Corner and middle Manipulation and Middle manipulation only.
The only one I use is the Corner Manipulation as the Middle manipulation usually moves the object so the corners are not aligned to the grid. Every block should be attatched to the nearest grid point as this improves compile time and rendering time when playing. Half points can also lead to unwanted brush morphing the next time you open your map.
A useful little tool that comes with the Vertex tool comes when you press ALT+E. It pops up a dialog that can reduce or increase the scale inbetween points. This reduces the time to create a cone shape easier.
Please note the huge importance of the clipboard tools. These save a huge amount of time when it comes to the number of times you will use these. If you have to navigate into a menu to click undo several times your probably wasting time.3D view and 2D view
- CTRL+Z - Undos last action
- CTRL+Y - Redos last action
- CTRL+C - Copies current selection
- CTRL+V - Pastes current selection
- CTRL+X - Cuts current selection
- CTRL+N - Creates a new file
- CTRL+S - Saves current map
- CTRL+O - Opens a file
- ALT+B - Exports as new file (or SaveAs)
If you did not know already the hammer editor bases your movements on what section your mouse is over, for example if you mouse is over the 3d View you can control the 3d view.
- The 3D view
There are 2 main ways respecitvely to look and move around the 3D view. The first is using the WASD (forward, left, back and right) and the arrow keys in order to change the direction (up, left, down, right). This however needs two hands to control and you lose the use of the mouse when you are moving around.
The second and better way is to toggle the mouse look in the 3d view by pressing Z and using the mouse to navigate through the map. This is also beneficial as you can continue using the mouse to texture faces while in the 'Texture Application Tool' and selecting multiple brushes with the 'Selection Tool'.
Selection of objects can be done by clicking on a brush (in the 2D view or 3D grid) while having the "Selection Tool" activated. Mulitple objects can be selected by holding down CTRL and clicking with the "Selection tool". It is easier and probably quicker to select objects from the 3D view, especially if your map has lots of complex brushwork.
To unselect all selected brushes and entities hit ESC.
- Useful Shortcuts
- CRTL+SHIFT+E - Centering the 3D view to currently selected brush or entity.
Using this you do not need to travel to the object in the 3D view manually. This is similar to CRTL+E
where it centers all grids to currently selected object. Otherwords the reverse of the above.
These increse and decrease the size of the grid, only useful if 'Snap to grid' is turned on.
- Shift+W - Toggles snap to grid on and off.
Is useful for moving models into more precise places or just a shortcut to get to the 1 grid unit. Use carefully.
- CRTL+H - Hollows currently selected blocks.
This is a very easy way to make boxes, rooms and hollow pipes etc. without having to create each of the blocks manually. Be careful when trying to hollow more complex objects.
EDIT: They have removed this shortcut from the editor and replace the shortcut with Quick Hide
. See Quick Hide
.The 2D view
Hammer comes with 3 2D grids representing each of 3 directions (X/Y, Y/Z, X/Z) it is necessary to be able to navigate differently to that of the 3D view as each of the 2d views can be centered on completely different parts of the map.Movement
The SCROLL WHEEL will zoom in or out depending which way you scroll. This is used to see finer details.
Holding down SHIFT and using the SCROLL WHEEL to zoom in or out will zoom all the grids at the same time. This is very useful when it comes to editing different sized blocks at the same time.
Holding down SPACEBAR and clicking + drag on the current grid will move the grid in that current direction.
CTRL+E will center all the grid views on an selected object(s) make it quicker to edit.
Holding SHIFT and moving the mouse while having a brush or entity selected will duplicate the current item.
This is VERY useful.
Instead of creating prefabs and inserting them individually you can just duplicate it and move beside or in another place for easy creation (for example creating a window that looks the same and moving it next to it).
- CTRL+I Flips selected objects vertically
- CTRL+L Flips selected objects horizontally
These are also useful when it comes to creating a map consistent in design. Using these also remove the need to re-texture whole sides of brushes if they are aligned correctly. Please note that you have to double-select the block so then it knows which 2D grid to flip it in. (Double-click or Double-SHIFT+S).CTRL+M
Just to show u the importance of this shortcut I bolded and underlined it. This brings up the Transformation menu. This can only be accessed if you have a brush or entity selected. It can rotate, scale or move your selected objects with whatever value you specify for precision purposes.
Please note: Only brushes can be scaled. A scale of a point entity will not do anything.
Useful uses of this tool
When making a 3D skybox (if you do it my way by first joining all the displacements and brushwork in real size and then moving it into the 3D skybox) you can create a sky_camera at [0 0 0] and selecting all objects wanted in the 3D skybox around it to scale it down to 16x smaller (0.0625), rather than using the selection tool.
Rotating an object, where a grouped object (or object) can be duplicated and rotated for consistency of design.
Creating smaller or larger versions of an object.
Precision rotation, especially for things like entities.
Precision moving, especially for things like lifts or default height and widths.General useful tools and shortcuts
- Grouping and the select buttons
Grouping is almost necessary for mappers to organise different parts of their maps. For example if you make a table out of brushes you would want to group each of the brushes together so you do not have to constantly select each brush individually when you want to move the table again.
- CRTL+G - Groups currently selected objects (Select buttons must be in Groups or Objects).
- CRTL+U - Ungroups currently selected objects (Select buttons must be in Groups or Objects).
- CTRL+T - Ties currently selected objects to an entity (only works with brushes)
If you haven't seen or used the Select buttons it is probably wise to get to know them. They are located to the right of the interface and include 3 buttons :Groups, Objects and Solids.
Groups refers to Grouped objects were if selected it will select the multiple objects in the group. To select the individual brushes of the group click 'Objects'. Objects refer to whole brushes or entities. A block entity will be wholly selected like a group if you are on 'Objects'. To edit each of the brushes individually in an entity you must click on the 'Solids' button. The 'Solids' button will always select the individual brushes.
ToWorld also comes into this category. If you find you no longer want brushes to be an entity, click this button to turn them back into world geometry.Vis Groups
Vis Groups are respectively brushes and entities that are added to a group that can be hidden or made visible using the Vis Group panel. This is extremely useful as you can hide parts of the map you are not working on to increase performance, and make other brushwork inside a small area easier to edit.
There are 2 sections of Vis Groups. They are: User defined groups and Automatic defined groups.
User defined groups are groups you create by highlighting certain blocks and using the Hide button and then specifying a name for the vis Group. You can create a new group or insert the selection with another one. There are 2 ways you can hide objects: by hiding selected objects or hiding unselected objects (for say if you want to edit a certain area so other blocks dont cram up the grid).
Automatic defined groups is inside the Vis Group panel but under the AUTO tab. You can hide certain types of entities and brushes such as Sky, Func_details and clip. This can help you search for leaks (also see 'Find Entites'), hide scripting or functional blocks (such as DustModes and Clip) so you can edit the world better and be used for quick compiling time if hiding large amounts of objects.QuickHide
QuickHide is a new feature that was added in the Orange Box update. Objects can be selected and temporarily hidden for quick use when editing a certain area. It can be done using the H button for hiding selected brushes, CRTL+H for hiding unselected brushes and U for un-hiding QuickHide hidden brushes.
This is much quicker to use than making a vis group and then deleting it after, seeing as Vis groups can build up and can be forgotten (if not given a reasonable name) to what they are.The Find and Replace tool (CTRL+SHIFT+R)
This is VERY useful when it comes to creating multiple entities that do the same thing.
Just select the group of entites that you would like to replace the names of / outputs and enter the names of which you want to replace and the names you want to replace to.
(e.g. I have a lift called Lift1 conected to a button, I duplicate the lift and button and use replace to change the name and outputs to lift2)
The Find Entities tool (CTRL+SHIFT+F)
This is used to find an object with a certain targetname (e.g. I have a func_door with a name of door_1). This can be used to find duplicates of the copied object or just to find the object you are looking for.
The Entity Report tool (Map->Entity Report...)
This is a very useful tool. Every entity is listed here and this can be used to quickly find or filter the exact entity you want. For example:
Here I have searched in my 'point_entities' with certain object of 'info_target' with the name including 'soundscape' therefore finding all my Soundscape points.
The Go To button will center all screens on the selected object, Delete will remove the object and Properties will automaticaly open up it's properties without having to ALT+Enter.
Go To BrushID (CTRL+SHIFT+G)
This is primarily used for finding a brush that was referenced as an error during compiling. It will center on this block so you can delete or edit it.
Check for problems (ALT+P)
This will allow you to easily find and fix problems that may accur over a period of long mapping. It can remove bad Outputs and remove any unused keys that entities aren't using.The Texture Application
- Controls for texturing
- CTRL - Selects multiple faces of a brush
- SHIFT - Selects all faces of a brush
- SHIFT+CTRL - selects all faces of a brush plus current selections
- Right-Click - Textures side with current texture
Using all of these will speed up the amount of time you spend texturing.
Replacing textures when you want to replace one texture with another will also speed things up, hidden objects (quickhide/hide) with the same texture will not be replaced and is therefore a good method to use to change a certain texture in a certain area. (Use hide unselsected for selected objects to be changed).
The different modes also change how its' textured. Lift+Select is the default and most used mode. Apply Texture mode can be achieved by right-clicking. The 'Align-to-view' mode aligns the texture to the player camer in the 3d view. This can be useful to texture a wall which is both 'face and world' aligned but you want the reverse.The Texture Browser
Typing a relevant keyword into filters is a good idea to easily find a texture you are looking for. E.g. If you are looking for a grass texture type in 'grass' or 'nature'. It is also good practice to put the $keywords parameter in your .vmt files as you can browse large texture packs and then again use the filter to search specifically.
You can search for multiple filters by separating by a space between keywords.
The Texture browser also has a button called 'open source' where you can open and edit custom made materials instead of manually searching through the folders.
Displacements generally have the same shortcuts as the Texture Application, however it involves more tools. To create a displacement highlight a side/sides and click the 'Create' button in the displacement tab. Destroy will do the opposite.
OB recently came with a new button called sculpt.. I need to check it out .