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The most notable change in this version is the change in name to Valve Hammer Editor. The following changes have also been made:
Splitter view layout is now preserved from session to session.
Dialog bars now pop to the top when the mouse cursor floats over them.
No longer renders the 3D views when the editor is not the active application. (This will fix most people's problems with running Hammer and Half-Life at the same time causing the editor to freeze)
Added Copy to Clipboard button to the process window.
Sped up time to bring up the Face Properties dialog when many brushes are selected.
Sped up 2D view scrolling.
Added timed selection of objects by depth in the 3D view when the left mouse button is held down.
Fixed a random spinlock when rendering sprites.
Fixed texture rendering problems with sprites, etc.
Fixed freeze when starting map with sprites visible.
Fixed a crash in the path tool.
Fixed problem with texture shifts being reset when importing old MAP files.
Fixed black brushes caused by clipping.
Fixed a lockup when scaling certain brushes.
Fixed infinite lines in 3D view in vertex mode.
Fixed clipping causing duplicate solids.
Fixed decal repositioning.
Fixed camera angle view bug.
Fixed problem with running compile tools from paths with spaces.
The editor has been given a facelift, with a completely rewritten OpenGL renderer for the 3D views. This enables the addition of engine rendering code for previews of such things as sprites and glow effects. Texturing, normally the most time-consuming aspect of mapmaking, has also been streamlined. And, a number of other productivity-enhancing features have taken the most common hitches out of mapmaking.
OpenGL 3D Renderer. The real-time renderer is much faster, more robust, and allows for animating visuals in the 3D view.
Texture Locking. Texture alignment is now preserved through rotation, scaling, and flipping, allowing for the hassle-free construction of odd-angled geometry.
Powerful Texture Application Features. Automatic texture continuity is guaranteed when lifting and applying from one face to another. Textures can be fit across one face or multiple faces, or aligned to the left, right, top, bottom, and center of faces with a single button click. Textures can be projected onto faces from an arbitrary viewpoint, useful for texturing cliff faces or other irregular geometry. In addition, texture axes are now displayed in the 3D view.
Sprite Preview. Sprites are now automatically previewed in the 3D view, along with animation. Frame rate and scale key values are correctly reflected in the preview, eliminating the need to compile and run the map in the game engine when placing sprites.
Aside from the above highlights, there have been a number of smaller changes as well.
Go To Brush Number. Brushes can now be found by entity / brush number for fast tracking down of compiler errors.
Iconic Entities. Any point entity can be set to render as a sprite icon in the 3D view through a specification in the FGD file, making it easy to distinguish between different entities in the 3D view.
3D Preview of Tools. The brush creation, clipper, cordon bounds, and selection tools all render in the 3D view in real time, taking the guesswork out of previously painstaking operations.
Colored Solid Entities. Solid entities can now be given a render color in the FGD file, for easier identification in the 2D or 3D views.
3D Grid. A new 3D grid allows for easy visualization of brush sizes in the 3D view.
Missing Texture Replacement. Added a Replace button to the texture bar, making it easy to replace textures when they are missing from the WAD file.
Texture Usage Report. Statistics on unique textures, total texture memory, and WADs used in are reported in the Map Information dialog
Enhanced Camera Controls. Real-time keyboard sampling gives smooth camera movement in the 3D view. Holding down both mouse buttons now enables dollying the camera forward and back. The mouse wheel now zooms both the 2D and 3D views.
Point and Click Entity Placement. Point entities can now be placed directly in the 3D view just by pointing and clicking.
Entity Key Browse Button. Added a browse button to the Entity Properties dialog for typo-free setting of sprite, sound, and model keys.
Clipper Measurements. Sizes of clipped brushes can be displayed in the 2D view while clipping. This is useful for clipping brushes to a particular size, or for matching with a specific texture.
This article was originally published on the Valve Editing Resource Collective (VERC). TWHL only archives articles from defunct websites. For more information on TWHL's archiving efforts, please visit the TWHL Archiving Project page.