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 Back to Tutorials Page   Other Tutorials by PilPax 

Using the LIGHTS.RAD file for Texture Lighting
By PilPax  Last changed Aug 02 2001

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Why have I feeling that most of mappers dont realy know what is "Texture Lighting"?
Couse, as much as I have playtested maps, and chated with mappers, most of mappers dont know how to use texture lights.
... I think pointbased light is only good where dynamic lights are needed(fade, flickering, candle effect etc.) Otherwise texture lighting owns enity lights.
So I made a little tutorial, how to use texture light and how to play with them..

1. You must have, or you may make a file named "lights.rad" You can edit or make it simply with "notepad"

1.2 If you dont know how to make a *.rad file with notepad, then just open "notepad" write something(not imortant what) and select "File > Save As" and from "Save as type" select "All files (*.*)". To the file name type "lights.rad" (without quotes)

2. If you have a "lights.rad" file, then place it to the folder where are your compile tools.

3. Now open the "lights.rad" (with notepad), if you made it just now, then it should be clear. But if ya find it from somewhere(it should be in Hammer dir) then there are list of texture names, it should look somethink like that:

(click to enlarge)

The first line is texture name, texture what you want to glow light in game. Then comes "color code" (Red - Green -Blue) and last # is light volume(Brightnes), eg how much light it will glow. Offcource it depends how big your light gonna be.

and finding out color codes is realy simple and can be done even with MS-paint, double click on some color on color pallete, and then you should see this

(click to enlarge)

You can also use World Craft color selection for light entities for finding RGB values, so you dont even have to use another program.

You can add and delete textures if you want. And you don have to keep with bsp file if you gonna release your map, all this will be saved to your bsp file.

If you are playing with your .rad file settings you DO NOT have to recompile your whole map IF you didnt change any brush work and only changed lighting info. Simply re-running HLrad will be enuff

Hmm a one more thing, in WC3.3 folder, there are 2 files, one is "lights.rad" and another is "valve.rad". "valve.rad" file consists most of textures that should make light in halflife.wad, so if you are texturing with halflife.wad then I reccomend you to use it.


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Get Hammer level editor, the most commonly used editor for CS and HL levels.
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Get Zoner's Half-Life Compile Tools, the premier compiling tools for CS maps.
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Get the "experts" Hammer configuration for CS mappers to utilize advanced custom CS entities.
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An improved CS:S entity definition file, to allow CS:S mappers to use all entities and options.
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