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Lesson 9 - Advanced Texture Manipulation

BSP includes some really useful texture manipulation features that make aligning/copying textures really easy, especially when you are trying to get your level to look 'just right'. This lesson will show you how to use these features.

To get started, we need something to texture. We aren't going to compile anything, so we don't need to make a complete room, but let's make a couple of brushes. Fire up BSP and select 'New' from the File menu (or click the 'New' toolbar button). Make two rectangular brushes side by side, a little ways apart. The textures you use don't matter, just make it something you can see really well. When you get your brushes drawn, switch to the 3-D window and turn on texture rendering.

Here's what my screen looks like in the 3-D texture view at this point:

BSP Screenshot

Right-click on the title bar of the 3D window and select 'Display Settings' from the context menu which appears. A help window for 3-D mouse settings appears. Look this list over. If you don't like the way these buttons are laid out, you can change them to be anything you want. I'll show you the default settings, but if you edit the file BSPMOU3D.INI (in your BSP\SETTINGS directory), you can changes these to work however you would like them to. I chose to leave mine at the default settings, so let's play around and see how this all works.

First, in case you're not familiar with the 4 left button options, I'll run through what they do. Left Click on a brush to select it. The face you click on becomes the currently selected face (outlined in yellow as opposed to red).

Shift-left click and hold while you move the mouse around. The texture drags around with the movement of the mouse. This is handy for aligning textures on odd-shaped brushes. Depending on which direction you are facing and which face of the brush you are aligning, sometimes the texture may move opposite of the direction you move the mouse. This is okay, you just need to be aware of it. It's nothing you're doing wrong. As you move the texture around, the S and T settings are displayed in the Status Bar so you can see how far you've moved the texture.

Ctrl-left clicking and dragging the mouse stretches the texture and updates the SX and SY values, thus stretching (a value greater than 1.0) or compressing (less than 1.0) a texture. This allows you to make a texture fit a brush that may not be quite as big as the texture you are applying. If you've ever wanted to flip a texture so that it is reversed, simply Stretch it to a -1.0 value.

Ctrl-Shift-left click and drag rotates the texture. The rotation value (R) is displayed in the status bar as you drag.

Note that so far, all these have changed is the currently selected face. What if you want to change the entire brush? Well, read on...

I played around with the texture on one of my brushes. I stretched it and rotated it a little so you could really see a difference. Now it looks like this:

BSP Screenshot

Let's say I want to make a face of the other brush look the same way. It's real easy. When you get the face aligned just the way you want it, right click on it. This lifts the texture from the face you click on and saves it in memory.

Ignoring the second brush for a moment, let's say we wanted to apply this texture to all the faces of the current brush. Shift-right click lifts the current texture and applies it to all faces of the current brush. Try it if you don't believe me. Now, sure, you could have gone over to the texture window and put these settings in manually and hit ALT-F, but isn't this a lot easier?

Here's a little different view after I applied this texture to all the faces of the first brush:

BSP Screenshot

Now to make our other brush look the same, simply Ctrl-Shift-right click on the face you want changed:

BSP Screenshot

Or Ctrl-right click (no shift) to apply this to all the faces on the second brush:

BSP Screenshot

Isn't that cool? With just a few clicks of the mouse, you're in full control of textures on any face or brush you want. Notice also that as you are applying the textures to the second brush, the first brush/current face remains selected, allowing you to continue manipulating it after you are done applying the texture to any other brushes you might want. (In fact the face you are manipulating doesn't even have to be selected!)

Practice this a little bit and pretty soon you'll be aligning textures like the pros. Now there won't be any more excuses for not having textures aligned on those odd-shaped brushes. :-)

Well, that wraps up this lesson. Hope you found it useful. Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the web.

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