Ren Oct 2, 2012 @ 3:36pm
Creating original environments
Hello community. Long-time Autodesk user here. Searched the discussion threads and the wiki with all combinations of "original", "assets", and "map". Turned up nada. It seems that dropping a obj into the viewport for my characters to scamper about in isn't an option like it is in max; rather it's tied to a game engine and I need a "level" from the game itself.

Now I'm no modder, but I think It's something I wouldn't mind learning if it means i can get the consistent results of the SFM, and won't have to deal with mental ray's shennanigans for simple stuff.

So If there is a crash course in custom map design anyone can refer me to, I would greatly appreciate the courtesy.
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Spiraloid Oct 2, 2012 @ 4:12pm 
you can use the large empty stage maps and place models inside.

but if you want to make playable levels with skyboxes physics etc. . here's where you should start.

https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Your_First_Map

PalmliX Oct 2, 2012 @ 4:14pm 
The keyword you're missing in your searches is 'Hammer'. That's the name of the level editor used to make maps for the Source Engine. Basically any model that works in the source engine will work in SFM (generally, unless the game is very very new like L4D2 although it's still an option).

Making maps for Source Engine is generally pretty easy, where it gets tricky is porting models over, again, you want to search for Source Engine tutorials, I found that using SFM in my searches didn't yield as many pertinent results.

One thing to mention, all these binaries that you use to run Hammer, compile models etc... can all be found (for the most part, there are some 3rd party solutions too) in the bin folder in the source filmmaker folder e.g: Steam\steamapps\common\SourceFilmmaker\game\bin\

You didn't mention which autodesk program you use, Maya is generally the easiest as that's what Valve tends to use but there are some good plugins for Max too courtesy of wonderboy: http://www.wunderboy.org/
Another great resource is the Facepunch forums, I tend to find the majority of my info/resources on there: http://www.facepunch.com/forum.php

Anyway good luck, it's a bit tricky to navigate these waters but I just started from scratch myself a few months ago and I've already managed to create my own map.

One piece of advice I can offer to start, decompile one of the TF2 maps, load it up in Hammer, modify it and re-compile it and load it into SFM. It's a good place to start, you definitely don't want to build an entire map from scratch only to find out that you forgot something stupid.

Good luck!
Ren Oct 2, 2012 @ 4:56pm 
Thank you. Spiraloid. And big thanks to PalmliX too. Now this may sound silly, but where are these empty stage maps? Are they in source's directory somewhere?

My root concern behind all of these qustions is that I don't want to use any of Valve's assets in my animations.

Based on your last paragraph, would importing a completed TF2 map into hammer, and replacing the level geometry with models I've made myself be enough to count as "original assets"?
PalmliX Oct 2, 2012 @ 5:51pm 
The stage maps are in the tf_movies subfolder, when you go to search for maps just select tf_movies as opposed to tf or usermod. Those are still Valve assets although a room with 4 walls and a ceiling probably won't get the lawyers after you.

In terms of how far you could go with modifying an existing map again there's probably some grey area, part of the problem is that even the textures are Valve assets so there's not much left after you get rid of those. Now luckily the Source Modding community is massive so in terms of finding original maps you have nothing to worry about, there's literally tons and tons of original maps, of course each will have their own terms and conditions for use.

This is a great place to start, it's the SFM resources megathread on facepunch: http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1196077

There's tons of really handy stuff in there, including original maps. One map that you should definitely get is the White Box - Black Lightmap map. Essentially it's just a room but with a black lightmap and no lights, i.e. superb for shadows and showcasing models with your own lighting setups.

Another potential source of free maps and models is the free source game Black Mesa which was just released. If I'm not mistaken the entire game was released under a creative commons license, it's also incredibly easy to use in SFM: http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1212050

Some rigs for Black Mesa Models: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/OpenSourceFilmmaker/discussions/2/864945865098828824/

By the way, that last link I provided was to a steam group called Open Source Filmmaker, their members are responsible for a lot of the current user made SFM innovations so I would definitely become a member and check them daily.

One last thing, if you're used to big 3D programs you might also be wondering about Linear workflows or at the very least 32bpc output. It's possible in Source Filmmaker, here's a tutorial I wrote on the subject: http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1207569

Good luck!
Ren Oct 2, 2012 @ 6:15pm 
Thanks again sir; will definitely peruse the threads on these sites. Getting maps isn't that big a concern for me though; I've got an entire city block modeled and textured just sitting on my hard drive. I just need a way "get it into" source.
PalmliX Oct 2, 2012 @ 6:56pm 
One last thing I forgot to mention, garrysmod.org is a teriffic resource for Source Engine assets although you'll have to buy garrys mod ($10) if you want to download most stuff.
Ren Oct 2, 2012 @ 7:05pm 
Well that's a damn sight better than the professional license I'd need to buy to use Maya for freelance work.

Now about that city block...
Boss Noodles Oct 4, 2012 @ 6:57pm 
Ren,
If you are know how to make maps now, could you possibly make a map for me, or just make a static prop for me. I know I might sound helpless, but the truth is that I have tried making my own static props, but I can't seem to get it right. Please contact me via steam if your willing to help.
Thanks.
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Date Posted: Oct 2, 2012 @ 3:36pm
Posts: 8