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Bending Pipes
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Creating bent pipes for your map
 Step 1

Determine the diameter of the pipe you want to bend and its overall size. For this tutorial, we'll be making a pipe 16 units in diameter, and we'll make it to fit nicely into a 64 x 64 grid unit area. Since bending the pipe will shorten it, we need to make it longer than 64 units. Increase the length by a factor of 1.5. Make a regular brush in the top view 16L x 16W x 96H. I used the deckplate texture from the ship for a neutral color and a nice metallic sound if walked on.

Step 2

With the new brush selected, go to the patch menu and select cylinder. Switch to a front view and hit the "v" key to see the vertices and rows on the new pipe. As it is now, there's not enough rows to make the pipe look good when we bend it, so we'll add some rows later on and increase its level of detail. Here's a pic of our new pipe:

Step 3

It's time to bend the pipe, so with the pipe selected, go up to the toolbar and click the "patch bend mode" button. If you don't know which one it is, move the mouse over the buttons till you get a pop-up hint indicating the proper button. The patch bend procedure consists of several successive steps and must be done carefully.

The first part is to select the bend axis. We want the pipe to bend in the middle, so use the "tab" key to cycle the pink dots to the middle of the pipe.

Once you have it there, hit the "enter" key to accept the bend axis and open the next step.

The second part is to select the rotation axis. Switch to the top view and use the tab key to move the blue dot to the right side of the pipe and in the pipes center. Hit the "enter" key to accept and open the next step.

The third part is to select which side to bend. Switch back to the front view and use the "tab" key to make a selection. You can select the top half or bottom half, it makes no difference since you'll probably be flipping the pipe to a different angle when you place it in your map to its final location. Hit the "enter" key to accept and open the next step.

The fourth part is actually bending the pipe. Follow the directions in the info box and click/drag the mouse to bend the pipe to 90 degrees. Set the grid to "1" unit and zoom in to see the gridlines for this part. Make sure you stay on the grid and bend it to exactly 90 degrees.

Hit the "enter" key to accept the bend.

Step 4

To improve the way the pipe looks, hold the "shift" key and hit the "]" key to add new rows to the pipe, increasing its detail. Be careful not to add too many. You just want to add enough to make the pipe look natural without increasing the face count to the point that it causes problems with framerate in your map. Hold "shift" and use the "[" key to subtract rows and decrease detail. Ok so now we have a good bend in the pipe and it's pretty much done.

Step 5

The last thing to do is to fix the texturing. Bending the pipe messed things up some and we'll fix that now. With the pipe selected, hit the "s" key to open the surface properties box and click on the "natural" button. This will normalize the texture as evenly as the editor is capable of along the pipe:

Ok so if you made it this far and did everything right, you have a nice little pipe for your map. Save it as a prefab to use later. You can also use the scale tool to make it bigger or smaller if you want, just make sure to increase / decrease the size evenly on x, y, and z or it may look really funky. The final pic is an ingame screenshot of the pipe. I just stuck it up against the wall and added a couple flanges for appearance. Also in the screenshot is a ventilation duct I made using a square cylinder with the same methods. Good luck and happy mapping!


Written by Archaic

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