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How to Create Roads in Hammer Source Part 1/8: Basics, Realism and Intersections

Category: Source: L4D2, Source: L4D1, Source: CS:GO SDK
January 14, 2011

How to Create Roads in Hammer Source is 8-part series covering various beginner and advanced techniques on creating roads.

Part 1 is focused on:

  • Road Dimensions and Scale
  • How to Create Basic Roads
  • How to Add Realism to Your Roads
  • Human Reference Scale
  • Creating Simple Roads and Intersections

Full 8-Part Roads Series with Hammer Source:

1. Road Basics, Intersections and Adding Realism

2. 3 & 4 Way Intersections

3. Wide and Tight 90 Degree Turns

4. 180 Degree Turns

5. How to Create Curved, Sloped Roads

6. Brushes and Props - Blocking Roads Off

7. Terrain - Blocking Roads Off

8. Curved Sloped Roads - Blocking Roads Off

VIDEO: PART 1/8

ROAD DIMENSIONS AND SCALE:

Average road size:

  • 2 Lane: 256 in width
  • 4 Lane: 1024 in width

BASIC ROAD CREATION:

Use the Block Tool and block in the road using brushes.

Select the Block Tool.

Select the road texture by browsing through various road textures available in Hammer.

Filter by road in the texture browser.

Draw out the template for the road. Keeping the size of the road at 256 or 1024.

Click Enter to finalize the brush.

To edit textures, click on the Face Edit Sheet Tool on the left bar. Face Edit Sheet will open.

Select the top face of the brush and focus on Rotation, Justify, Texture Scale and Shift Values.

HUMAN REFERENCE SCALE:

Place a human character into your scene to gauge scale and proportion of your environment.

Select the Entity Tool.

Right hand side, under Objects, select:

  • info_survivor_position (L4D1/2)
  • info_player_start (Other Valve games)

Left Click on your road to place the entity.

ADDING REALISM TO YOUR ROADS:

Creating roads that appear more realistic inside Source, it is best to use Displacement (Terrain).

Most roads in real life have a slight elevation in the middle of the road and they taper off on the sides. This is used to prevent water from collecting on the road.

HOW TO CREATE ROADS WITH DISPLACEMENT:

Create a road using brushes, just like we did in the beginning.

Open up the Face Edit Sheet.

Select the top face of the road.

Click over to Displacement tab, and click Create

Set it to Power of 2.

Click on Paint Geometry

Begin painting up the middle of the road with low Distance and Radius settings.

You can also begin to paint in irregularities in the road, adding more realism.

CREATING SIMPLE ROADS AND INTERSECTIONS:

We'll use basic brushes to fake curves in the road by using curved textures. This is a simple way to fake 90 degree turns that look good.

L4D1/2 has a set of textures that allows us to fake curves on straight brushes. If you apply these textures to a straight brush, it will give us a 90 degree turn.

Using 2 sets of textures we are able to create a 3 way intersection with straight brushes, and give a more realistic look to 90 degree turns.

We also have an option of turning these brushes into a displacement.

Full 8-Part Roads Series with Hammer Source:

1. Road Basics, Intersections and Adding Realism

2. 3 & 4 Way Intersections

3. Wide and Tight 90 Degree Turns

4. 180 Degree Turns

5. How to Create Curved, Sloped Roads

6. Brushes and Props - Blocking Roads Off

7. Terrain - Blocking Roads Off

8. Curved Sloped Roads - Blocking Roads Off

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