Call of Duty 5: Radiant Tips

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Some Tips & Tricks to better use of Radiant

To Do First Time

  • Open the preferences (/edit menu or 'P')
  • Change the model origin size and the prefab origin size to 1 (maybe 0 later if you like - they can clutter the map if you leave them at the default).
  • Under 'user ini path' click the ... and navigate to <root>\bin and select 'miked.ini' - this is a simple text file that will add some shortcuts I will talk about as well as allow you to customize colors (at the bottom of the ini) and some other things (currently the colors are in the registry so if you change them thru editor they can get reset). You can save your own ini if you really want to.
  • If it's not checked already you'll prolly want to check 'Manipulator handles'.

Not every function is available in the 3d window that is in the 2d if you right click menu things.

Simple Tips

  • Keep things on the grid as much as you can, and never ever turn off 'snap to grid' (i mean, you can, but don't - don't even do it for patches). you can go through the grid sizes with the 1-7 keys (smaller to bigger) and ~ will give you 1/2 and [ will give you 1/4 (good later on). Because of the quirks of radiant, i recommend blocking out and working in bigger grid to start (4+) and only going down to the small grid for polish.
  • When you select things, i recommend doing it in the 3d window because we don't really have a good way to 'drill down' (or if we do i don't use it).
  • Once you have a sky texture on your world box, you can make it so that you don't accidentally select it by toggling the S with the slash through it that's on the top list of icons.
  • H (hide) alt-H (hide else) and shift-H.
  • If you go to the layers tab (L) you can do a lot (add layers, add selected things to layers hide layers etc). If you like layers and get into this, there are some good shortcuts i can share.
  • If you prefer one 2d view (instead of 3) - we have designers who do both - ctrl-Tab is your second best friend (it toggles xy/yz/xz).
  • Since you have 'Manipulator handles' on, you will see some kindof crappy manipulator handles in 3d - you can use them to move the object on any plane, or rotate (these are the kindof crappy ones).
  • To rotate things that aren't brushes, hit R - the selected object should turn purple in the 2d view - and just left-click-drag.
  • Notes on rotating - the grid size determines the incriment - smaller grid = smoother rotation - setting the grid to '6' and then rotating one tick is a GREAT way to get a 45 degree rotation (one of the few generally safe rotations to do with a simple brush).
  • Notes on rotation 2 - you can change the center pivot while shift-middle-clicking while in rotate mode - this pivot will snap to grid.
  • At the top left of the icons are a bunch of x|x etc. icons - these mirror x/y/z or rotate around those axis in 90 degree increments (as the pictures indicate). these are safe to use with brushes and with patches and very very useful shortcuts (you can specify rotation values in the selection menu i think, but i rarely use that).
  • If you hold alt and left-click-drag on the screen not on a selected object you will simply move the object - i use this constantly to move brushes (the only other way is to actually have to mouse over the object when you go to drag it and this is just a pita at a distance).
  • You can marquee select groups of obects in the 2d window with alt-shift-left click drag. if you miss something then just shift-click that one thing to add it to the group.
  • The Surface inspector is kindof crap but also the best way to edit textures if you don't know all the shortcuts (see below for more on it).
  • When you start putting in models the plant tool (green arrow down and adjacent one toggles planting at an angle on slopes) is great - edit height of origin and bas scale/randomization in the editor, select a model and ctrl-alt-left click to plant it in the 3d window.


  • Do most of your brush sizing and movement in the 2d window.
  • Drag outside the brush to resize it.
  • E lets you Edge edit the brush - this is usually fine if you only edit the corners in the 2d view and watch what you're doing in 3d.
  • V lets you vert edit the brush and you should NEVER EVER EVER EVER do it EVER!
  • You can also drag one face of a brush as well as the rest of the brush with it by ctrl-left click-drag outside the brush on one face. Give it a try, it's fun (good for blocking out ramps or roofs or whatnot).
  • To use the cut tool, ctrl-right-click somewhere - this will put one point, then ctrl-right click elsewhere to put a second point. The line they create will be the cut line. you can even add a 3rd point and move them by dragging them to get fancy, but i don't think i've used that yet this project. The purple side remains after the cut - enter cuts it, ctrl-enter switchs sides to be cut and shift-enter splits it.

Texture (General & Brushes)

  • To find a texture you can click the 'F icon' (top right) and type in anything (i.e. wood will give you all the woods). You can also use the filters at the bottom of the /texture menu but now that we have 'F icon' we never do that.
  • Ctrl-A will load all textures.
  • U will show only the textures in use.
  • Middle click on a texture in the world (3d window) will set it as the active texture (yellow box around it in the texture window) - this is really useful for texturing new objects - if you make a new brush you can middle click on any texture in the 3d window and that texture will be set as the active texture and applied to that brush.
  • You can also select the brush and click on any texture in the 3d window to texture it.
  • If you move brushes, the texture will stay relative to the brush (you can set it to 'texture lock' i think but i never use this).
  • If you resize brushes the texture will not scale with the brush it will just fill in the new space.
  • To texture just one face ctrl-shift-left click on a face in the 3d window.
  • You can deselect a face in the same way - select the whole brush as normal then ctrl-shift-left click on just one face and it will be deselected but all the others will be selected - this is really good for caulking every face except the primary.
  • I recommend getting into the habbit of caulking non-visible faces - basically it's making the non-visible faces invisible but with collision and also blocking sight (different then clip) you should never use caulk or clip on patches - it doesn't work.
  • A great thing about brushes is that you can select a face, then alt-middle click on the adjacent face and it will wrap the texture around.

==> Also see Surface inspector below.


  • Make a brush and go to /patch/simple terrain patch
  • you can make them thicker or thinner with ctrl-* or ctrl-/ on the num pad, but you can loose information so you should only remove rows/cols this way early on
  • V to edit specific verts.
  • In vert edit mode, left click drag in 2d view to marquee select verts.
  • With verts selected you can alt-left-click drag to move them without actually having the pointer on the vert(s) you want to move.
  • When selecting verts, ctrl-left click drag to add more or deselect.
  • You can click a vert or ctrl-click to select it but it's a pain - marquee select is much much better.
  • You can shift-click a vert to select and entire row of verts, shift click again to select the column, hold ctrl into the mix to keep them all selected (if you have two co-planar patches - how we make a blend - this will only select the row/col in one and so it will cause problems - go back to marquee selecting when you're working with blends).
  • There is a paint tool you can use to add height, randomness etc. (hit 'Y' to toggle) but i don't really like it. one of the most powerful things about how our terrain works is that you can (unlike, say, unreal) add a curved road, model a ridge in high detail etc. and i feel like the paint tool takes away from that. It's sometimes good for getting some rough height variation, but i find i work just as well by simply vert editing). If you want to mess with it lemme know if you have questions - but just set 'paint height' and mess with it to see where it goes.

-if you use the 'mirror' on any patch (terrain or curve) you will need to invert the patch with 'ctrl-i' to get it back where you want it.

  • To switch the edge direction on a single square of terrain you can toggle the gray box with the red and green lines (about in the middle of the icons) and click on any diagonal. sometimes with really crazy terrain you just want them all optimized - you can do this with alt-F2 - try dragging a bunch of verts around randomly to different places then hit alt-F2 and see what happens.
  • You can simplify a patch by welding 2 verts in the patch together - select them both and hit W. The patch will still have both verts in editor (you can use the shift-left click trick to select a row then move the entire row to get the vert back).
  • When you need to weld two patches together (which is all the time), select the two verts you want welded and hit W.
  • Tolerant weld - if you toggle on the TW icon (right side) then the editor will only weld verts that are in the tolerant weld distance (set in the prefrences) - those verts are connected by a green line. this only works on top down - any vertical verts will be welded no matter their distance. It's really really good for welding all the verts in large patches that are next to each other.
  • There are rules for which very will move and which won't, they have to do with the order the patch was selected in, and if you want more detail lemme know.

Texturing Patches

  • Textures on a patch will stretch as you stretch the verts and the patch.
  • Ctrl-shift-p will re-cap the texture on the patch (good for terrain).
  • Ctrl-shift-n will cycle through all the axis that a texture could be capped (good for verticle patches, though LMAP in the surface inspector usually works better).
  • Regarding blends and multiple blends - to blend you need a base texture and then a second texture on top of it where the alpha is how you define the blend (you can use the paint tool Y but i tend to vert edit and use the G tool to set alpha on individual or groups of verts). For the duplicated 'blend' patch to work - it HAS to be a texture that is set up to be used as a blend (they have _blend at the end of the name - you and even look for textures with F that end in _blend). If there is not _blend it won't work. if you want to use more then one blend (you can technically do 9 though you should never actually do more then 3 as things get expensive to render) then you need to define an order - something that's done when the texture itself is made. you can also easily select one of two (or more) coplanar patches by right clicking in the 3d window on the patch and selecting the texture from the list at the top of that menu.
  • In general, getting used to all the quirks of texturing patches, especially if there are changes from horizontal to vertical, patches used for paths and to fit roads etc. can take a long long time to master. there's a lot of things that seem very frustrating at first and wierd, and a some things that you either can't do or can't do well.

Surface Inspector

  • The surface inspector lets you do a lot crap to the texture, but it kindof sucks.
  • It will apply you're selected texture even if it's different from the brush/face/patch you selected so you will need to middle click on the texture you want before you open the surface inspector.
  • Shift and stretch at top all make sense (though I tend to use these shortcuts).
    • Alt-right-click drag to move the texture on a selected object.
    • Ctrl-right click drag to rotate the texture on a selected object.
  • As 'patch texturing' implies these are all good for patches - cap will work well on horizontal and use the 'texturex/y' values to scale it, set will fit the texture to a patch using the 'texturex/y', natural will attempt to fit it in a natural way (good for curved roads) and LMAP will normalize it to whatever plane it's on.


  • You can group any world geometry (but not entities - so brushes and patches but not models or prefabs) together into one selectable object called a func_group. Select the pieces you want to group and in the 2d window right click menu to func/group.
  • When pieces are in a group, you can still select the individual pieces normally, or you can select the entire group by alt-shift-leftclick (sometimes a little wonky in the 2d window, always works in 3d)*
  • To remove a piece from a func group select the piece, right click in 2d and go to entity/remove selected brushes. You can also add pieces by selecting the func group and the new piece and going to the same menu and doing 'add selected brushes'
  • Worth noting - if you copy a func group or a brush from a func group it marks it as a new func_group, so you could have one brush that, even though it's not grouped with anything is still considered a 'func_group' - just select that brush and 'remove selected'.
  • Also worth noting, there's no way to directly combine brushes from two func_groups - you have to remove all the brushes from one (effectively 'ungrouping' it - that's in that menu too) and then add it to the other one, or remove all from func_groups and then create a new func_group.
  • Func groups are colored differently too and that color overrides the coloring based on 'non-colliding or weapon clip or structural' - sometimes a little confusing.
  • And finally, with prefabs we aren't using func_groups as much, but they're still pretty useful for things like terrain or even within prefabs to group pieces together.

Misc Tips

Ctrl + shift + M rotates the orientation on a patch that Fit works on.

Sources: Treyarch's Wiki