Tutorial: Nuclear Cooling Towers

How to create nuclear cooling towers with Displacements

Posted Dec 21, 2021
Last Updated Dec 21, 2021

A common conundrum for Source Engine level designers is building complex geometry with Brushes and Displacements. Using Wall Worm, the possibilities are endless. Once you understand the tools, you will find that making complex things is simple.

A thread on MapCore's Discord server asked about making a shape similar to nuclear power plant towers. This tutorial explains a very easy method to accomplish this. This tutorial assumes you have Wall Worm 5.0.108 installed.

  1. In the Command Panel creat tab, choose Shapes.
  2. Press the Circle button.
  3. In the viewport, click and drag to create a circle to a radius of 1024.
  4. In the Wall Worm Toolbars, click the Create CorVex Wall from Selection button.
  5. In the modify tab, set the Height spinner to 1024.
  6. Open the VMT Browser and select the Tools folder.
  7. Double-click the toolsnodraw.vmt in the list to apply the material to the CorVex object.
  8. Select the Concrete folder in the VMT Browser.
  9. Select a concrete material in that folder.
  10. Click the Worm Face button to send the selected material to Worm Face.
  11. When Worm Face launches, click the start button.
  12. In succession, click on the outside, inside and top of your CorVex object. This will apply materials to those sections.
  13. To make the internal (non-visible faces) use the NoDraw material, Change Side 1 in the Material IDs rollout to 1. (This is because the first material we assigned was the NoDraw, and we need to explicitly assign it for the hidden faces in this step.)
  14. Scroll up to the Parameters rollout and set the number of floors to 3.
  15. Launch the Displacement Floater.
  16. In the Create Displacement group of the Displacement Floater, make sure that the Skip Tools checkbox is on and the Selected Only option is off. If you did not assign a blend material as the concrete, also make sure that Only Blends is off.
  17. With the CorVex object selected, click the Create Displacements from Selection button.
  18. Once the displacements are created, click the Create Sculpt Mesh Button.
  19. Once the sculpt mesh is created, add a Taper Modifier in the modifiy tab.
  20. In the taper modifier, set the amount to -0.37 and the Curve to -0.93.
  21. With the sculpt mesh selected, click the Commit Sculpt Mesh button in the Displacement Floater. This will update the underlying displacements to match the sculpt mesh.
  22. Open the VMF Exporter by clicking Wall Worm > Wall Worm Exporters > Export Scene as Game Level.
  23. In the VMF Exporter floater, click the Export Scene as Game Level button at the bottom.
  24. Save the file onto your system.

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