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Level Overviews

So you want a little radar image to make your map even COOLER! Well, look no further! I’ll show you how to make the image and match it up with your level. Things you will need:

– I strongly recommend you get Paint.NET (this tutorial will be using it)
– Some basic knowledge of Paint.NET or any other ‘good’ image editor.
– Some basic knowledge of how to create custom textures
– Some scratch paper and pencil to write coordinates down

1. Load CS:S/DOD:S. Under Options > Video, make sure the video resolution for the game is 1280×1024 and Aspect Ratio is set to normal.


2. Under Keyboard > Advanced, make sure the Developer’s Console is enabled as well.


3. Load up your map either by creating a private server or pressing ‘~’ and typing in ‘map <mapname>’ in the console.


4. Join the spectator team (or, if you are using DOD:S, join the Allies team and get the handgun).


5. Type ‘sv_cheats 1’ in the console. You can activate the console by pressing ‘~’.


6. Bind a key to ‘screenshot.’ For example, type ‘bind p screenshot’ in the console. You can choose any key and put in place of ‘p.’


7. Remove some of the HUD stuff from the screen by typing these commands in: ‘hidepanel all’ and ‘crosshair 0’.


8. You can also remove anything else than can disrupt the map by typing ‘r_skybox 0’ (to get rid of the skybox), ‘r_drawstaticprops 0’ (to remove any static props that you placed in Hammer), and ‘fog_override 1’ and ‘fog_enable 0’ (to disable fog).

9. As a spectator, move to a place where you can see the entire level.


10. Move into the overview mode by entering ‘cl_leveloverview ‘ where x is the scale (the bigger the map the bigger the scale)


11. To make sure the entire level fits in a square picture, you can draw a red helper line by typing ‘cl_leveloverviewmarker 1024’. If you cannot see the red line, just try to keep your level out of the right 1/4 of the screen in the next step.


12. You can still move around while in overhead mode, so maneuver around the level until you get the level *just right*.

13. Press the key that you binded earlier to ‘screenshot’ (I used ‘p’). Don’t use ‘F5’ to take the picture, the quality will not be good enough. Don’t do anything else (like moving) after taking the picture! Go directly back to the console and write down the last values that are in the console. (You will see a bunch of different ‘Overview: scale <something>, pos_x <something>, pos_y <something>’ values in your console, write down the ones closest to the bottom of your screen)

14. Type in ‘crosshair 1’ to turn your cross-hair back on. You can now close the game. It’s time to perfect it and make the picture. Open up Paint.NET.

15. Open up your picture. It will be in your ‘counter-strike source/cstrike/screenshots’ folder (or ‘day of defeat source/dod/screenshots’ if you are mapping for DOD:S). All future folder references will be inside your ‘counter-strike source/cstrike’ or ‘day of defeat source/dod’ folders. Choose the last ‘tga’ file with your map name in it.


16. Crop the picture by selecting ‘Image > Canvas Size…’ Make sure that Maintain Aspect Ratio is not checked. Set the width to ‘1024’. Also make sure that it will crop off the right side (use the picture as a reference) and press ‘OK.’


17. On the ‘Color’ window, click ‘More >>’ and set the transparency to 0. Click on the paint bucket to the side and set it to overlay by pressing the blue/red squares at the top toolbar. Replace all of the green outside of your level with a transparent ‘color.’


18. Fix anything else you want in your level. If some of the walls didn’t come out or something, you can edit those in now.


19. Save your file as a PNG. At this point, it doesn’t really matter what name or where you save it. Just place it somewhere where you can find it easily.


20. After saving it, close Paint.NET and open up VTFEdit.

21. Click on ‘File > Import’ (not ‘Open’).


22. Find your file that you saved in Paint.NET and open it. Ignore the window that comes up after opening and click ‘OK.’ This might take a few minutes to load because it’s so big.

23. Over to your left, you will see a bunch of values under ‘Flags.’ Check ‘Clamp S’ and ‘Clamp T.’


24. Select ‘File > Save As’. Save it in your ‘materials/overviews’ folder. If you don’t have one, create one. Save it as your map name.


25. After saving it, select ‘Tools > Create VMT File.’ Ignore the window that comes up and select ‘Create.’



26. Save it in the same folder as step 24. Save this also as your map name (it will not replace it).


27. Close the window and select ‘File > Open.’ Open the VMT file you just created.


28. If you did it right, it will come up with a text file thing. Replace it with this code:

$translucent 1
$basetexture “overviews/<mapname>”
$vertexalpha 1
$no_fullbright 1
$ignorez 1


29. Replace ‘<mapname>’ with your maps name and save it. Be sure not to delete the quotation marks. Close VTFEdit.

30. Now, create a *.txt file in your ‘resource/overviews’ folder. Again, if you don’t have it, create the path.


31. Name it as your map’s name.


32. Paste this into the text document:

material     overviews/<mapname>
pos_x      <pos_x>
pos_y      <pos_y>
scale     <scale>
rotate      0
zoom      1.3


33. Replace the values in the text file. is your maps’ name. Replace the other three values with the values that you wrote down in step 13. The ‘rotate’ value is used if you rotated your map’s image in the image editor. The zoom is how big the map is displayed in-game. You probably want to experiment with and tweak this.


34. Save the text file and test it in-game!

ovr_28Finished product!

IMPORTANT: If you are mapping for CS:S, please continue on to part two.


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