Source Filmmaker

Source Filmmaker

raptornx01 Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:17am
So how big can SFM maps be?
A poster had been asking about some godzilla models and as part of helping him out I got the models and loaded them up. only to find they were damn huge. and most maps wouldn't hold the bigger ones. you'd have to leave the map to see them. I had to use i think the biggest map I have, which is the canterlot map. the center of which has a castle that is roughly 10 stories tall.

Got me wondering. what is the limit for maps in SFM? I've seen posts by the guy on sfmbox that converts maps for sfm saying that some maps are too big for sfm, but that doesn't say much.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 comments
Pte Jack Apr 29, 2013 @ 6:32pm 
Hmmm, does this help?

Standard skyboxes are simple 2D images, mapped onto a cube so they surround the level. 3D skyboxes are full 3D geometry, and properly parallax as the player moves through the level. Since they are rendered in real time, they scale with the video card resolution and also support real-time shader effects not possible in 2D skyboxes.

The main benefit of using a 3D skybox is that it allows the level designer to make the map look much larger than is possible with the standard world geometry. The largest map that can be made without a 3D skybox is 32768 units on each side. Using a 3D skybox, the map can be extended to 16 times that amount.

Maps of this size are possible because 3D skyboxes are created in the Hammer editor at 1/16 the scale of standard maps. At run time, the engine scales them back up to match the scale of the rest of the map. Not only does this save space in the editor views, it also is much less expensive to compile and render.

Due to their scale, 3D skyboxes have much lower lightmap and texture resolution. This makes 3D skybox geometry less expensive performance-wise than standard world geometry.

3D skyboxes can be used to overcome draw distance limitations, if a low-detail skybox identical to the main map is created. A mod team wanting to do this would have to develop code to ease the transition between map versions.

Found at
raptornx01 May 3, 2013 @ 12:48pm 
My only concern with that is the comments by the sfmbox user was based on existing gmod maps. so does that mean that SFM's ability to handle maps is much lower then the max possible in other source games, or is gmod capable of handling maps larger then the max stated in Valve's own wiki?

also I found this interesting.

Since 16 units are one foot, the max size listed above is actually 2048 feet.

another interesting fact. Standard eye level is 64 units off the ground. So, apparently Gordon Freeman is only about 4 feet tall. @_@
R234 May 3, 2013 @ 1:20pm 
I've read somewhere the maximum distance you can "build" from the 0,0,0 coordinates is 16384 units, which would make the maximum map size 32768 x 32768 x 32768 units, or a whopping 35184372088832 square cubic units. You'd have to really overdo it for a map to be too big for the compiler. I'd be surprised if SFM had another arbitrary limit imposed on top of that.

Besides the size in units, there's also a maximum amount of brushes, lights, entities, models, etc. that the engine can handle, maybe that's what the SFMBox guy was referring to?
Last edited by R234; May 3, 2013 @ 5:28pm
Pte Jack May 3, 2013 @ 4:25pm 
Ummm, wouldn't that be Cubic units???
R234 May 3, 2013 @ 5:21pm 
Originally posted by Pte Jack:
Ummm, wouldn't that be Cubic units???
Yes. My bad. I always sucked at maths.
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Date Posted: Apr 29, 2013 @ 9:17am
Posts: 5