Platinum Arts Sandbox Resources and Tutorials


Ok, now you have got the basics of moving in editmode and out of it. You know how to switch between editmode and "play" mode. Now let’s make a map. Before we begin, I must say that it is useful to make all your terrain (what we learn in this chapter) BEFORE you add entities like models (in the next chapter). Most of the time it wont matter, but sometimes it can complicate things as you will see later, and I want this tutorial as simple (but detailed) as possible!

The Selection 

First of all, go into edit mode, you'll notice when you move in editmode, whever your mouse is pointing, there will be a white square. This is your selector. There are two main ways of making selections, and you will get used to them pretty quickly. These are:

1. Click and drag - fairly easy. Just click somewhere, dont let go, and drag your mouse, and you will see a grid being formed. Let go, and this will be your (2D) selection. The advantages of this form of selection are that its quick. Disadvantages are that it is harder to create 3d selections (see right click method) and its harder to get accurate selections.

2. Right click methood - this is also quite easy. Right click a square. Now right click another square. You will see, as above, that a grid has been formed. This is again your (2D)selection. The advantages of this methood are:  you can be as precise as you want to be, and its easy to make 3d selections (we'll deal with this later. This selection type is my favourite.

Remember: space bar calcels any selection you have made.



Working with selections.

The main way you work with selections is by extruding them, or cutting into the selection (intruding?). Youll see what i mean now. Make a 2d selection as you read above. now if you have a mouse wheel, scroll it towards you.

(If you don't hit Esc, go to options and select pg up and pg down as universal data - from now on wherever I say scroll, use the pg up and pg down buttons)

You will see that your selection rises out of the ground. Now scroll the other way, and it'll go back in. If you scroll past the ground, it will cut into the ground. This is the basics of working with selections.    


Ok, cut a hole quite deep into the ground (about 10 blocks down), using the above techniques. Position yourself into this hole make a selection on the wall of the hole, and scroll your mouewheel again. You can either fill in a part of the hole, or create the beginnings if a tunnel system. Mess about for a minute, and bring yourself to the top again, (remember walls dont affect you in edit mode, so you can go directly to the top. Now hit "e" and test out what you have made.


MASTERCLASS: Extruding without a selection: To extrude without having to select a region is easy. Just point at a region on the ground, and scroll the wheel. Doing this can create quick but slightly insane shapes, if you point at random regions and scroll quickly. Furthermore, you can create a quick (but very rough)  line from any point at ground level to where you are, by pointing at an area (as far away as you like), and scrolling towards you, without moving your mouse. 

TIP: If you make a big mistake, that would take you a long time to fix, just use “z” button. This will undo the last action you have done.    


Working with 3d Selections.


Creating water, lava, glass, forcefields, and secret passageways:

To make all these things is a lot easier that you would think. To make them, all you really need to know is how to make a 3D selection. To do this, were going to use the right click methood. (There is a way to do it with the left click version, but REALLY dont bother :)) Make a new hole in the ground, away from your tunnel you made earlier. Once its made press spacebar to deselect any selections you may have made. Make the bottom of the hole your 2D selection. instead of scrollling, now right click a cube on the face of a wall, near the top See diagram). You have just made a 3D selection.


To make this into water, hit F3 and a menu will appear. Now go to the materials tab, and select water. Now the selection you have made, will have turned blue. This might not look much liike water now, but hit "e" and you will see what it looks like really. You will have noticed that, instead of choosing water, you could have chosen air, lava, clip, noclip, or glass. You can make these all in the same way as water. Ill explain what they do below.





Lava is obvious. It creates lava. Its an orangy colour in the editor, and looks like lava in "play" mod.e If you walk into  lava in play mode, you die. Try it out, make some lava, and walk into it.You will explode, and a box will appear saying all sorts of wierd things. To respawn, just hit space



Again a no-brainer. It just makes a glass like substance. You can see through it (with a slight blue distortion), but you cant walk through it





Clip is just like glass, except its totally invisible. Acts like a force field, and it will appear red in edit mode.



No-clip. This is an interesting one. To make a kind of secret passage way try this. Away from the rest of your creations, extrude a fairly large piece of ground, to quite a height. Now cresate a selection on one of the bloacks foace, big enough for you to enter. Now go to the opposite side of the cube , and the guidelines should show you where your selection was made on the other side of the cube. Right click within this selection on the side of the cube you are now at, and it will create another 3D selection. Now again hit F3 and set the material to Noclip, and Hit "e". You will see that you can now walk straight through the solid wall!




Air is pretty much what you think it is, i.e. the absence of a material. You can change any material back to nothing, by changing it to air.


Tired of seeing that green everywhere? Were going to change that now. If things are getting cluttered in the map your testing things out on, create a new one. Ok, textures, like anything else in sandbox, is incredibly easy. There are three ways to do it:

1. The Y and scroll mthood - oh boy this is easy. Make a 2d selection (this doesnt work with 3d selections) and hold down Y and scroll the mouse wheel. Your selection will, as you will see, change to the texture you select. The disadvantages of this methood are, it can take a long time to cycle through ALL the textures. Its advantages however are that your most recent texture changes go to the top of the list, so that you have very quick access to a texture you plan to use a lot in your map.


2. the F2 methood. Create your selection. Now hit F2. Find the texture you want here, and it'll apply itself to your selection. This is good for comparing new textures, and for making a texture that you dont want to use much.


3. The replace method. This is a methood for VERY quickly texturing an ENTIRE map. Change a texture on the floor, anywhere on your map. now hit the "`" button (located directly underneath Esc and directly above Tab) then type; replace ,and hit enter. You will noticet that as soon as you press the ` button,  `/ appears with a blicking cursor. This is when you know to type. This will cover the floor of your entire map with the texture you stated. This one its best to experiment with, and you will see that if you texture any wall, and use the replace methood, all walls on that side throughout the map will have their texture replaced.

TIP: Grass! Grass is actually under textures, have a look!

Hills, slopes and steps

You may be getting bored with only being able to create boxes out of the ground. There are a couple of ways to make slightly more intricate shapes.

1. Heightmap mode

2. Q and scroll method

3. F and scroll method

4. Corner selection? 



is a way of creating slightly smoother shapes by using heightmap mode. To enter this mode, press “h” after having made a selection. You will see that your cursor (or brush) will have turned green, if you point it within the selection. Now when you scroll, it will raise the ground. This allows for the easy creation of hills. Like the non-heightmap mode, you can scroll without having made a selection. Althoug this saves time, and is extremely useful, be careful – its easy to make mistakes, by scrolling too hard or moving the mouse too much. Do not fear though, the “z” shortcut is your ally and will undo the last action you have made, that is, if you do happen to make any mistakes.



TIP: Brush Change along with Selector Change is very very useful when using heightmap. (See below)

TIP2: Try to leave this to the end, when making a map, It means that texturing and making selections becomes harder than it should be,

MASTERCLASS: making spheres is a lot harder than it could be in PA Sandbox. Its actually normally easier to simply import a model of a sphere (you will learn how to in the next chapter) However if you want to make a sphere anyway, DO THIS…


Selector size.

It will often be necessary to change the size of your selector in PA Sandbox (your selector size is simply the size of the square you use to select things with) So that you can select smaller or larger surfaces,  and extrude them different amounts. To change the size of your selector, hit “g” and scroll. You will notice that your selector can get VERY large, so keep the size down. The size of your selector is also the size of its extrude.

Brush change.

Changing your brush when in heigtfield mode changes he way in which ground is sloped. For example a large selector size and noise brush selected, will yield in random mountains being created VERY quickly and easily.  


Corner selection.

To select the corners, middle mouse, to push or pull, g with scroll.






















Figure 1

This is a selection.


Notice the blue guidelines, these are useful for determining if something is in line with something else far away in the map. 













Figure 2

This is an extrusion, to make an intrusion scroll the other way.













Figure 3.  

The beginnings of the tunnel system. When you scroll with this selection, you can form another tunnel see Figure 4.

 (apologies if any of the pictures are difficult to read, if they are, right click them, select copy image url open a new tab, and paste into your address bar and hit enter)






 Figure 4.























Figure 5.

Step 1 - make the selection

Step 2 - intrude the selection

Step 3 - Position your selector as shown

Step 4 - Right click and Figure 6 is your result







Figure 6.

A 3D selection.












 Figure 7.

Water in play mode 










 Figure 8.

Water in edit mode 














Figure 9.

Lava in "play mode" 










Figure 10. 

 Lava in edit mode













Figure 11.

Glass in play mode













Figure 12.

Glass in edit mode













Figure 12.

Clip in edit mode

















Figure 13. 

No clip in edit mode 





















Figure 14.

A 2d selection has its texture changed.












Figure 15.

An array of textures, all from hitting F2