General Mapping Hints

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This page is intended for general Source mapping guidance not specific to EX.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) lighting

When lighting your map with VRAD run it with the -both parameter to compile in HDR and LDR lighting. This will generate light maps for both LDR (old skool) and HDR (new style) in your BSP. Some versions of VRAD crash using -both, so you may have to run 2 separate passes, one with the -ldr parameter and one with the -hdr parameter.

Once you have lit your may in both HDR and LDR you have to build cube maps (in-game) for both LDR and HDR separately.

The console command "mat_hdr_level nl" where n is 0 tells Source to run in LDR mode, when n is 2 it's HDR mode.

You need to disconnect and reload the map when changing from LDR ato HDR. I also suggest forcing it to reload the cube maps using the "mat_reloadallmaterials" command.

WARNING: If you don't build cube maps for the HDR mode, normal mapped items like players will glow with a brilliant white light.

WARNING: If you rename the BSP file after building cube maps Source is unable to use the cube maps you built, even though they are stored in the BSP. You'll need to re-build the cube maps with the new name.