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Poly reduction - Null & Bevel
- A Tutorial for Counter-Strike 1.6
This tutorial adresses what Null and Bevel textures are, and how they can greatly improve the performance of your map.
In this series of tutorials I will teach you how to optimize your map to have a smallest polygon count possible, in other words to have the best performance possible in-game. In this tutorial in particular, I will tell you what Null and Bevel textures are, teach you where to find them and finally teach you how to use them.
What separates a good mapper from a bad one is how great of a map he can create - it's true, but a great mapper must also know how to make his map have the best performance possible, to allow everyone playing it to have a great lag-free experience.
That's why I'm creating this tutorial, In this tutorial you will learn about Null and Bevel textures, a great way to reduce the Poly count in your map (In other words make your map run smoother and give players less lag).
### _What are these Null and Bevel textures?_
They are both very special textures in hammer editor, both with a special code to them. As I implied, they are simply called "Null" and "Bevel" in hammer editor. Just like the AAATrigger and CLIP textures, they have a special function to them and cannot be seen in-game, that's why you might have not heard about them, but they are secretly there in most good maps.
Now you may be wondering, what do they do? Or what are they used for? Let me tell you.
The Null texture when applied to a face, will completely remove this face from the compilation process, meaning when you launch your map, if you created a box and made one of it's faces have the Null texture, then in it's place there will be nothing, you will see right through it. Now what this does, is not only make the Compiling process faster, but it also removes the Polygons of that face from the compiled map. However the solidity of that face is still there, you cannot walk through it even when a Null texture is applied to it.
The Bevel texture is the same as the Null texture, but more advanced. It was created later on in Hammers history, and It does the same thing as Null, except it also removes all Solidity from the face as well. This is good at most times, however if used improperly it can lead to errors where the player can slightly walk inside the solid wall or even walk right through it.
So let me explain what's really good about these two textures:
They can be applied to any solid object in hammer as a texture, and they remove the Polygons from that face as well as the visible texture (and solidity for bevel only). Polygons are what determines whether your map will lag or not. If your map has 200 polygons in all areas, the player will not lag. But if it is incredibly detailed and has 2000 polygons or more in one area, it will lag. That's why these two textures are so great, they can be applied to any solid face in your map, and remove the polygons from that faces completely, reducing the polygon count and in other words making your map run smoother, and compile faster.
### _How do I use these textures?_
It's quite simple really, all you do is apply them to solid faces that will not be seen in counter-strike, like the outer faces of the walls that surround the map or the bottom faces of all the solids that wont be seen, you name it, anything that won't be required in the game or won't be seen, put a Null or Bevel texture on it, It will greatly increase the performance of your map.
Just always remember, These textures are see through, if you apply them in the wrong places, like a face that can be seen in your map and without anything behind it, rather than seeing straight through it, they will create the "hall of mirrors" bug, and more, so do not apply these textures to faces that the player will actually see in the map.
Also remember that Bevel faces won't have solidity anymore, they are better than Null because of this, they take less time to compile, but they can cause bugs that let the player slightly walk through them, half-way into a wall sometimes, and sometimes even through it. Less experiences mappers should use Null at first.
### _Where can I find these textures?_
These two textures with many other special function textures will always be located in the ZHLT.wad, this .wad will most likely be in your hammer folder already, and if it isn't check your cstrike folder or download this .wad from the internet. If worst goes to worst you can always make the texture yourself, for it is the name of the texture that matters, not what the texture looks like (NULL and BEVEL are specially coded sentences that will make any texture with the names have this special effect).
This is what the two textures should originally look like in hammer, although their appearances may change slightly from .wad to .wad:
NULL and BEVEL Credits to: Skals for tutorial creation and Timmycakes for help.
> **Posted by amman**
> well i know this maybe a silly question but im a newbie so please tell me that do i have to add the -wadinclude zhlt.wad parameter before compiling?
The textures are coded into the game engine, you don't need to include them into your map as they already are in the game and everyone has them by default. :)
No. This has to be done during the map making process, not after.
> **Posted by simppe**
> - So can you do this on any existing textures like on de_nuke? Like this guy has.http://www.gamebanana.com/cs/textures/3093
> **Posted by athid**
> and where can I find the polycount of a map ?
You go into console, and type "r_speeds 1"
Then you type "developer 1" to show the console content on top left of your screen. You will see w_poly and e_poly counts there, as well as fps.
that's a good point.
> **Posted by timmycakes**
> good tut, one thing to add is if u do not have these u can just make them urself, the name of the texture is whats important, not the image. so as long as u name it "null" or "bevel" u have these textures (same with clip, sky, origin, aaatrigger, skip, hint, and uhh any other tool textures im missing)
good tut, one thing to add is if u do not have these u can just make them urself, the name of the texture is whats important, not the image. so as long as u name it "null" or "bevel" u have these textures (same with clip, sky, origin, aaatrigger, skip, hint, and uhh any other tool textures im missing)