DarkRadiant is a level editor for Doom 3 and The Dark Mod, developed by The Dark Mod team. It may also be used for editing levels for similar id Software games such as Quake 4.

This User Guide describes the features and functionality of DarkRadiant, however it is not intended as a guide to mapping techniques. Level design is a complex topic, and is covered by various other learning resources, some of which are listed below.

The Dark Mod Wiki

The starting point for most Dark Mod documentation and tutorials, including gameplay, configuration and editing.


Online wiki covering editing topics for vanilla Doom 3 and similar engines.

The Dark Mod forums

Online community for discussion of the Dark Mod, including various ad-hoc mapping tutorial threads posted by individual users.

Editing workflow


The level editing process starts off with basic assets: models, textures, sounds, entity definitions, skins, animations and so on. Many of these assets will be packaged with a particular game installation, but a level designer may also choose to create custom assets for a specific mission. These assets are installed into a directory tree which is accessible both by DarkRadiant (for editing) and the game engine itself (for playing the mission).

Once assets have been arranged in DarkRadiant according to the wishes of the level designer, a .map file is saved to disk. This is a text file in a format understood by the game engine, and includes both level geometry and references to the assets used in the map. Since the .map file is simply text, and does not actually embed the binary asset data, it tends to be fairly small.

The game engine includes functionality to compile the .map file into a .proc file containing low-level vertex geometry derived from the brushes and patches within the .map file. The game engine can then render the mission in realtime, making use of the same assets that were accessed by DarkRadiant during editing.

DarkRadiant also maintains its own separate file containing various editing information, such as object layers used within a map. This .darkradiant file is never used by the game engine, and is non-critical — a .map file with no accompanying .darkradiant file can still be edited with DarkRadiant, although certain DarkRadiant-specific state may be lost.

What’s in a MAP?

There are three main types of object contained within a .map file: entities, brushes and patches.

Entities are the top-level objects in a map — essentially, a map file is just a list of entities. Every entity has an entity class which determines the type of entity it is: static mesh, AI, sound emitter, particle emitter, light etc. Entities also store a list of string key/value pairs, known as spawnargs or properties. Some entities also contain brushes and patches as children.

Brushes are convex solids used to define basic map geometry: walls, floors, ceilings, steps and other medium to large items. Brushes are often rectangular in shape, although a brush can actually have any number of faces provided that it is convex (it is impossible to have a brush in an L or a U shape, for example). Brushes are not smooth-shaded by the game engine, which generally makes them unsuitable for representing curved surfaces.

Patches are smooth one-sided surfaces used to represent curved objects such as vaulted ceilings, pillars or cave interiors. A patch is defined by a number of Bezier control points, and offers control over the level of detail used when subdividing the patch into triangles for rendering: more triangles will produce a smoother surface but may lower rendering performance.

Brushes and patches together are also referred to as primitives (since they define the basic geometry of the map), and are typically described as such in situations where the distinction between brush and patch is not important.

The entities, brushes and patches in a map are arranged in a hierarchy: not every entity has children, but every primitive must have an entity as a parent. Each map therefore starts with a single default entity called the worldspawn, which acts as the parent for new brushes and patches created in DarkRadiant.

Initial configuration

Choosing a game type

When running DarkRadiant for the first time, the Game Setup dialog will be shown. This is where you configure the path to the game installation from which DarkRadiant will load assets, such as textures, models and entity definitions.


The Game Setup dialog contains the following options:

Game Type

DarkRadiant ships with support for several different game engines, each of which is contained within a .game file. For editing Dark Mod missions, the default choice of The Dark Mod 2.0 (Standalone) is the one to use, but it is also possible to edit stock Doom 3 or Quake 4 missions.

DarkMod Path / Engine Path

This is the path to the game installation on the system. The label text will change depending on whether the selected game is The Dark Mod or another engine.


Optional path to a subdirectory containing assets specific to a particular mission which is being worked on. For game types other than The Dark Mod, this will be displayed as Mod (fs_game), and should be set to the path of a subdirectory containing a particular game mod, if one is being used.

Mod Base (fs_game_base)

This field only appears for non-DarkMod game types. It allows a two-level mod structure, where the Mod Base can point to a major game mod, possibly downloaded from elsewhere, while Mod can be set to point to an entirely local "sub-mod" which contains local changes and overrides. Before the release of Dark Mod standalone, this field would have been set to darkmod while the Mod field would have been set to the local mission, however this is no longer necessary when The Dark Mod 2.0 (Standalone) is being used.

Once the game paths are set up, click the Save button to proceed to the main DarkRadiant interface.

Note It is possible to Cancel the Game Setup dialog and proceed to the main window without configuring a game installation, in which case DarkRadiant will show a warning and ask if you wish to proceed. If you do, DarkRadiant will run but there will be no available textures, models, entities or other game assets.

Interface layout

DarkRadiant ships with a number of different user interface layouts, which control the position, visibility and window type of the major interface elements. The current layout can be changed from the View → Window Layout menu, and will require DarkRadiant to be restarted.

All of the provided layouts allow window sizes and splitter positions to be changed, and the changes will persist through multiple editing sessions. It is also possible to create a new floating 2D view using the View → New XY view command at any time, regardless of which layout is chosen.


Editing tab widget and 3D camera view are placed in dockable subwindows which can be floated and positioned freely, or docked to the window edges. The 2D view takes up the remaining space in the main window. This is the most flexible layout.


A large 2D window is shown on the right, while the left-hand side is divided vertically into the 3D camera window and a tab widget containing the main editing panels. There are no floating subwindows in this layout.


A legacy GtkRadiant layout which places the 2D window on the left, the 3D camera view on the top right, and a 2D scrolling textures panel on the bottom right. Other tabs in the editing panel are shown in a floating window.


The same as Regular except the full-height 2D window is on the right and the 3D window and texture panels are on the left.


Three separate 2D windows, showing each of the major axes, are shown alongside the 3D camera view in a 2x2 layout similar to traditional 3D modelling applications. The editing tab widget is in a floating window.

Colour schemes

DarkRadiant defaults to a black-on-white colour scheme in the 2D windows, but ships with four other colour schemes, which can be chosen with the View → Colours…​ dialog. If you prefer a dark theme, the Black & Green scheme might be suitable, whereas the Maya/Max/Lightwave Emulation and Super Mal themes provide a more neutral, low-contrast look.

DarkRadiant Default

Black and Green

QE3Radiant Original

Super Mal

Maya/Max/Lightwave Emulation

Each of the colour schemes can be edited using the colour selector buttons in the Colours dialog, and it is also possible to copy one of the default schemes into a custom scheme with a new name.

Note The game installation may specify the colour of certain entity types, in which case it will not be possible to change the colour of these entities via the Colours dialog.

Basic editing

Navigating the 2D view

The game world is a three-dimensional vector space with a central origin, rendered in the 2D editing window as a grid. The unit of measurement is an arbitrary game unit which does not directly correspond to any real-world measurement system — in The Dark Mod, a typical human stands around 80 - 90 game units high, making a game unit about 2 cm.

Each 2D window shows which axes it is representing with an icon in the top-left corner, as well as an identical icon at the <0,0,0> origin position, if visible within the view.

Figure 1. Components of the 2D view

The 2D view also shows the current position of the camera (used for rendering the separate 3D camera view window), and its view direction.

The following commands are available within the 2D view:

Right drag

Scroll the view horizontally or vertically

Mouse wheel

Zoom the view

Shift + Right drag

Zoom the view (alternative binding)

Ctrl + Middle click

Move the camera directly to the clicked position

Middle click

Rotate the camera to look directly at the clicked point

Ctrl + TAB

Change view axis (XY, XZ, YZ)

Ctrl + Shift + TAB

Center 2D view on current camera position

Adjusting the grid

The grid shown in the 2D view is used to snap the position and size of brushes and patches, as well as the centerpoints of entities. The size of the grid can be configured, in powers of 2, from 0.125 up to 256, using the 1-9 keys on the main keyboard (not the numeric keypad), or the equivalent options in the Grid menu.

The 0 key on the main keyboard can be used to toggle the display of the grid. Note that objects will still be snapped to the grid even if the grid is not visible; this is purely a visual toggle.

Important Level geometry built from brushes and patches should always be snapped to the grid to avoid problems such as rendering glitches and map leaks. Static meshes and animated AI can be positioned more freely, however grid snapping is a useful tool for ensuring that models are appropriately aligned with the level geometry.

Using the 3D camera view

The 3D camera view provides an approximate rendering of the map in three dimensions, in several different render modes: wireframe, flat shaded, textured, and fully lit by in-game light sources. While the 2D view is the main interface for creating and aligning level geometry, the 3D view is a vital tool for tasks such as texturing, or configuring light parameters.

Important The fully lit rendering mode in DarkRadiant is not identical to what the game engine will ultimately render. Certain advanced rendering features such as reflections and fog lights are not currently supported.

The 3D camera view provides its own toolbar which can be used to configure various display settings.

Render modes


Render in wireframe mode

Render objects as wire meshes.


Render in flat-shaded mode

Render objects as coloured solids, without textures or lighting.


Render in fullbright textured mode

Render objects as preview textures, with no lighting or material effects such as transparency.


Render in lighting preview mode

Render all available lighting and texture effects.

Animation rendering


Start render time

Begin rendering animated effects.


Stop render time

Stop rendering animated effects.

Far clip options


Toggle far clip

Enable or disable the far clip plane.

The far clip plane is a performance optimisation which avoids rendering geometry more than a certain distance away from the camera.


Clip plane in

Move the far clip plane closer to the camera.


Clip plane out

Move the far clip plane further away from the camera.

The 3D view always renders the scene from a particular camera position, which is shown in the 2D view as a blue diamond. This camera position can be set directly from the 2D view with Ctrl + Middle click, and the camera view direction can be set with Middle click. There are also various options within the 3D view itself to adjust the camera position.

Right click

Enter or leave free camera mode. In this mode, moving the mouse around updates the camera view direction in real-time, and moving the mouse around while holding Ctrl causes the camera to move up/down/left/right according to the camera motion.

Default mode (not free camera)

Left/Right arrow

Pan the camera left or right

Up/Down arrow

Move the camera forwards or backwards on the horizontal plane, without changing its height on the Z axis.

Free camera mode

Left/Right arrow

Move ("truck") camera left or right, leaving view direction the same.

Up/Down arrow

Move ("dolly") the camera forwards or backwards along its view axis

Manipulating objects

Every object in a map can be selected and moved within the 2D view. Some objects — including brushes, patches and lights — can also be resized.

For more advanced ways to select objects, see brush-based selection.

Shift + Left click

Select or deselect the object at the clicked position. Any existing selected objects will remain selected. If the clicked position overlaps more than one object, the closest one (according to the current 2D view axis) will be affected.

Alt + Shift + Left click

Select the object at the clicked position, and deselect any existing selected objects. If the clicked position overlaps more than one object, each click will cycle through the overlapping objects.

Shift + Left drag

Draw a selection rectangle, which will select any objects contained (fully or partially) within it.


Deselect all objects

Left drag (inside object)

Move the selected object(s)

Left drag (outside object)

Resize the selected object(s) (if available)


Duplicate the selected object(s)


Delete the selected object(s)

Tip Like other editors in the Radiant family, DarkRadiant offers a rather unusual system for resizing objects. Rather than clicking exactly on the edge, or on a dedicated resizing handle, you can click and drag anywhere outside an edge to move that edge inwards or outwards. Dragging outside a corner allows you to move two edges at once.

Flipping and rotating

DarkRadiant provides six buttons to quickly flip or rotate objects (in 90 degree increments) around each of the three world axes. These are available on the left-hand vertical toolbar.

brush flipx

Flip along the X axis

brush rotatex

Rotate around the X axis

brush flipy

Flip along the Y axis

brush rotatey

Rotate around the Y axis

brush flipz

Flip along the Z axis

brush rotatez

Rotate around the Z axis

Manipulator modes

For more precise control over object motion, there are three manipulator modes which can be selected with buttons on the left-hand vertical toolbar.

select mousetranslate

Translate mode

A manipulator widget with axis-aligned arrows will be displayed at the selected object’s center. Click and drag one of the arrows to move the object along that axis, or drag inside the manipulator box to move the object in two dimensions. This mode may be useful for moving brushes around without accidentally resizing them.

select mouserotate

Rotate mode

A widget with three axis-aligned rings will be displayed at the selected object’s center. Drag a ring to rotate the object by any arbitrary amount around that ring’s axis.

select mouseresize

Resize mode

This is the default Radiant drag mode (hence the "QE" icon referring to the original QERadiant) which allows you to move objects by dragging inside them and resize by dragging outside the boundary edges.

Working with brushes

Brushes are the basic building blocks of all maps. Typically they are used for coarse-grained level geometry such as walls, ceiling and floors. Brushes also have a vital role in sealing a map from the void: even a map built entirely from patches and static meshes must still be surrounded by brushes in order to avoid leaking.

Additive versus subtractive geometry

If you are used to mapping for the legacy Thief games using Dromed or T3Edit, the system used by DarkRadiant may seem somewhat back-to-front. In previous games, the world starts out as an infinite solid, in which you "carve out" rooms using subtractive brushes. In DarkRadiant, the world starts out as an infinite void, and all brushes are solid. The space in which the mission happens must be fully enclosed by solid brushes, otherwise the map will "leak" and fail to compile.

The need to deal with map leaks may at first seem like a burden, however the exclusive use of solid brushes frees the engine from needing to worry about "brush ordering", and allows an important performance optimisation: by "flood filling" the map interior, the map compiler can efficiently discard geometry that never needs to be rendered.

Creating a brush

To create a simple rectangular brush, ensure that nothing is selected (ESC), then Left drag in the 2D view. A new brush will be created and sized according to the dragged area, with its dimensions snapped to the current grid level. To adjust the third dimension of the brush (perpendicular to the view direction), used Ctrl + TAB to switch the 2D view axis, and Left drag outside the brush boundary to adjust the size.

Tip Whenever you drag to create a new brush, the third dimension will match the size of the most recently selected brush. This makes it easy to draw a series of brushes with the same height, such as when you need to create a series of floors or walls in succession. To match the height of an existing brush, simply select (Shift + Left click) and deselect it (ESC) before drawing the new brush.

More complex brush shapes

Although each brush starts out as a six-sided cuboid, it doesn’t have to stay that way. DarkRadiant offers several options for creating multi-sided brushes in more complex shapes. To create one of these shapes, first define a regular cuboid brush covering the volume you want the new shape to occupy, then choose the appropriate option from the Brush menu:



An n-sided approximation of a cylinder, with the axis of the cylinder aligned with the current 2D view.



A tapered n-sided cone, which always points upwards regardless of the 2D view axis.



A rotationally symmetric n-sided approximation of a sphere, with the axis of rotation pointing upwards.

While these shapes can be useful for certain architectural modelling, remember that brushes are always flat-shaded and are not generally a good substitute for spheres or cones created with patches or static meshes.

Creating a room

Although it is not too difficult to create a hollow room by creating floor, ceiling and wall brushes manually, this is a common enough operation that DarkRadiant provides a couple of shortcuts. These options can be found on the vertical toolbar at the far left of the main window.


CreateRoom Create Room

Create a room whose interior size matches the size of the currently-selected brush. The wall thickness will be equal to the current grid size.


Hollow Hollow

Hollow out the selected brush, leaving the exterior dimensions the same. The wall thickness will be equal to the current grid size, but the wall brushes will overlap at the corners, rather than just touching each other as with Create Room.

This is legacy tool from GtkRadiant, and generally inferior to Create Room. The overlapping wall brushes make it more difficult to precisely align interior textures, since part of the inner face is obscured (and therefore removed during map compilation). However, there may be occasional situations in which Hollow is useful, so it is retained in DarkRadiant.

The room creation tools do not require the initial brush to be rectangular — you can quite happily Create Room with a triangular or trapezoidal brush, or a brush with sloping sides. However, with a more complex brush shape, the complexity of the resulting wall geometry increases considerably, so attempting to hollow out a 7-sided sphere is probably ill-advised.

Splitting brushes

Sometimes it is necessary to divide a brush into two or more pieces, perhaps to create a doorway or other opening. The Clipper tool, accessed with the X key, is used for this purpose.

Figure 2. Splitting a brush into two parts
  1. Select the brush to be split (the Clipper can be activated with nothing selected, but it will not do anything useful).

  2. Press X to activate the Clipper, or click on the respective icon on the left-hand editing toolbar.

  3. Click in the 2D window at two different positions, to define the plane along which the brush will be split. The proposed split plane will be highlighted in blue; feel free to change 2D view axis with Ctrl + TAB or use the 3D camera view to better visualise the split plane.

  4. Once the split plane is defined, press Shift + Enter to execute the split and keep both halves of the brush; press Enter to execute the split and keep only one half. The part of the brush that is kept with Enter depends on the order in which you define the clip points: the points (marked 0 and 1) will appear clockwise on the brush edge according to the current 2D view. If in doubt, just use Shift + Enter to keep both parts, and delete the unwanted one afterwards.

  5. Repeat the process to perform additional splits on the selected brush, or disable the Clipper with the X key. The Clipper is a toggled tool and will remain active until disabled.

Note It is possible to create three split points before executing the split, which will define a split plane in three dimensions. Defining a three-point split plane which is actually useful, however, may be challenging.

Reshaping brush edges

All brush edges can be moved independently, which gives you the ability to quickly create shapes like triangles or trapeziums. This functionality is accessed via the Select Edges tool on the upper toolbar, or with the E key.

Figure 3. Creating a trapezium using edge editing
  1. Select a brush.

  2. Activate Select Edges with the toolbar button or E key. DarkRadiant will place a green control point at the center of each brush edge.

  3. In either the 2D or the 3D view, click and drag on a control point to move its edge. The control point will turn blue and move along with the cursor. In the 2D view, dragging corners is generally easiest, since the resulting shape change can more easily be seen.

  4. To reduce the number of brush sides, such as changing a rectangle into a triangle, simply drag one corner directly on top of another. The two edges will be merged.

Brush-based selection

As well as using brushes to define map geometry, you can also use them to select objects. There are three commands on the top toolbar which convert the selected brush(es) into a temporary selection volume:


Select complete tall

Select all objects that are completely contained within the two-dimensional outline of the selected brush(es) in the current 2D view window, ignoring their position on the third axis (perpendicular to the screen).


Select inside

Select all objects that are completely contained within the selected brush volume(s) in all three dimensions.


Select touching

Select all objects that are touching the selected brushes. Unlike the previous two commands, this one does not remove the selected brushes, since it is designed to allow you to quickly select objects that are adjacent to real map geometry.

Working with patches

Patches are smooth-shaded Bezier surfaces that can be created and manipulated in the editor (unlike models), and used to represent a variety of curved shapes such as vaulted ceilings, arches or pillars. Patches are single-sided surfaces, not solid like brushes, and cannot be used to seal a map from the void — any patch work on the boundary of a map will need solid brushes behind it to prevent the map from leaking.

Creating a simple patch

A simple patch starts off as a flat rectangle, which can then be manipulated with vertex editing to produce a curved surface, if desired.

To create a simple patch:

  1. Set the 2D view axes (Ctrl + TAB) to define the orientation of the patch. The patch will be created facing directly towards the screen, so to create a horizontal (ceiling or floor) patch, the 2D view should be in XY (Top) orientation.

  2. Create a rectangular brush to define the width and height of the patch in the current 2D view (the third dimension is not important, since the patch will be infinitely thin once created).

  3. With the brush selected, choose Create Simple Patch Mesh from the Patch menu.

  4. In the dialog, choose the number of control points to define the shape of the patch along its width and height. A patch can have between 3 and 15 control points in each dimension; there will always be a control point at the extreme edge, and one in the middle. More control points allow more complex shapes but also require more manual adjustment — creating a simple arch is much easier with just three control points.

  5. Click OK to create the patch.

Figure 4. Simple patches with 3, 7 and 15 control points in both dimensions

Manipulating control points

With a patch selected, press V to enter (or leave) vertex editing mode. This will display all of the control vertices, and allow you to select and move them.

  • Left click and drag a vertex to move just that one vertex.

  • Shift + Left click to add a vertex to the current selection set. When several vertices are selected, dragging any one of the selected vertices will move all of them together.

  • Shift + Left drag around several vertices to draw a selection rectangle that will toggle the selection state of all vertices inside it, selecting them if unselected and unselecting them if already selected.

Figure 5. Making an arch by raising the central row of vertices in a simple patch

Adding or removing control points

Control points can be added or removed from a patch using the appropriate sub-menus in the Patch menu.


Add rows or columns of control points without changing the dimensions of the patch — the control points will become more densely packed.


Add rows or columns of control points while extending the patch dimensions. The existing control points are left in the same position.


Remove rows or columns without changing the dimensions of the patch (the opposite of Insert). The control points will become less densely packed.

Figure 6. Inserting (top), Extending (middle) and Deleting (bottom) control points in a patch

Thickening a patch

When created, every patch has zero thickness and can only be viewed from one side; however, a patch can be made into an apparently solid object by creating additional patches automatically via the Thicken command in the Patch menu.

Figure 7. Thickening a patch (left) with side walls (center) and no side walls (right)

The Thicken dialog presents several options:

Extrude along Vertex Normals

Thicken the patch by extruding the patch surface in the direction it is facing.

Extrude along X/Y/Z Axis

Thicken the patch by extruding the surface along the specified axis, ignoring the face normal direction.

Thickness (units)

Distance in map units to extrude the patch by.

Create seams ("side walls")

If checked, the extruded patch will be made into a fully solid "object" with an interior volume completely enclosed by patches. If unchecked, only the initial patch and its extruded copy will be created, with the sides left open.

Tip Although a thickened patch appears as a solid object, it still consists of individual patches which can be selected and manipulated individually. If you wish it to continue to behave as a solid, you can group the patches together.

More complex patch shapes

Just like with brushes, DarkRadiant offers several default patch shapes beyond the flat simple patch. These can be created by choosing the corresponding option in the Patch menu. There is no need to have a brush selected first in order to create these shapes, however if a brush is selected, it will be removed and used to define the size of the patch shape.



An approximation of a sphere (the quadratic Bezier patch implementation in Doom 3 and DarkRadiant does not permit the creation of a perfect sphere).



A hollow cylinder aligned with the direction of the 2D view.



A tapered cone pointing along the 2D view axis.


End cap

An arch or half-cylinder covering a 180 degree angle, aligned with the 2D view axis. The peak of the arch will be at the top if created in front or side views, making this useful for curved ceilings and the like.



Portion of an arch covering a 90 degree angle. This may be placed along room edges to give a curved appearance.

Controlling patch subdivision

Although patches are defined by Bezier curves, they are subdivided into flat polygons for rendering. By default, the number of polygons to create is determined dynamically by the game engine, based on the shape of the patch. However, you can also use the Patch Inspector to explicitly set the level of subdivision required, which can be useful when optimising a map by reducing on-screen polygon counts.

Figure 8. Default (automatic) subdivision, 2x2 subdivision, 3x3 subdivision, 3x10 subdivision

To subdivide a patch:

  1. Select Patch Inspector in the View menu to make the inspector widget visible.

  2. With the patch selected, enable the Fixed Subdivisions checkbox.

  3. Use the Horizontal and Vertical numeric spinboxes to set the number of polygons to divide the patch into. The value can range from 1, making the patch completely flat regardless of control point positions, up to a maximum of 32. Each dimension can have a different subdivision level, if required.

Applying textures

When a brush or patch is created, it will be assigned a default texture. To apply a new texture, you must first select the brush, face or patch to be textured. There are two different selection commands:

Shift + Left click

Select an entire brush or patch. Any chosen texture will apply to all faces.

Ctrl + Shift + Left click

Select a single brush face for texturing. This command is only available in the 3D camera view

Once you have selected the objects or faces to texture, you can use either the Media or the Textures tab to perform the texturing operation.

The Media tab

The Media tab shows a tree view which contains all of the textures available in the game installation. Selecting a texture in the tree will show a small preview swatch, along with some metadata about the texture definition.


To apply a texture to the selected brush, simply Double-click on a texture name in the tree. The tree view also offers a context menu with several options:

Load in Textures view

Load all textures contained within the selected folder, making them available on the Textures tab. This option is not available when a single texture is highlighted.

Apply to selection

Apply the highlighted texture to the current object. This is identical to the Double-click operation, and is only available for single textures, not folders.

Show Shader Definition

Show a syntax-highlighted text window containing the definition of the selected texture.

Selected/deselect elements using this shader

Select or deselect objects in the map which the highlighted texture is applied to. This can be used for organisational purposes, or to identify whether a texture is used or not.

Add to/Remove from favourites

Add or remove the selected texture from the favourites list. The favourites list provides easy access to a user-chosen group of textures, and can be accessed by choosing the Show Favourites radio button at the top of the panel.

The Textures tab

The Textures tab provides a scrollable canvas containing preview swatches of all the textures which are currently loaded in the current map.


When DarkRadiant first starts up no textures are loaded and this panel is empty. New textures can only be loaded via the Media tab (described in the previous section), either by applying a texture directly to a brush, or by using the Load in Textures view command to explicitly load an entire folder of textures.

Once textures are loaded onto the Textures tab, you can apply them to a selected object by Left clicking on them. By Right clicking on a texture you can access a context menu with a single command Seek in Media browser, which will highlight the clicked texture in the Media tab.

Using the Surface Inspector

Once a texture is applied via the Media or Textures tabs, you will most likely wish to adjust the alignment and scale of the texture on the brush or patch face. DarkRadiant provides the Surface Inspector for this purpose, which can be toggled with the S key or by choosing the option in the View menu.


The Surface Inspector can be used to adjust textures on a single brush or patch face, or several selected faces/brushes/patches at once. If more than one face is selected and these faces have different values for text boxes in the dialog, the text box will be greyed out, however it is still possible to use the buttons to make changes which will be applied uniformly to all selected faces.


This shows the full name of the texture applied to the selected face(s). You can use the folder button to bring up a new dialog which allows you to choose a new texture.

Horiz/Vert Shift

These text boxes show the current texture shift (translation) on the horizontal and vertical axes. The associated arrow buttons will increase or decrease the texture shift by the current Step value.

Horiz/Vert Scale

These show the current texture scale in the horizontal and vertical directions. The arrow buttons will increase or decrease the scale by the current Step value.


Shows the current texture rotation, in degrees. The arrow buttons will rotate the texture clockwise or anticlockwise by the current Step value.

Fit Texture

These controls allow you to fit an exact number of copies of the texture across the face, so that the texture edges correspond to the face edges.

The numeric spin boxes control how many copies of the texture are tiled on each axis. You can enter a value manually (including fractional values above or below 1.0) or use the spin buttons to quickly increase or decrease the number of tiles. Using the spin buttons will apply the fit immediately, so you can quickly preview the results in the camera view.

Toggle the preserveAspect button to preserve aspect ratio when using the spin buttons to fit the texture on one axis. This automatically adjusts the other axis so that the aspect ratio of the texture image is preserved, ignoring the value in the other axis' spin box. This can be useful for textures like wooden planks, where you might want an exact number of plank widths on a certain brush face but the number of lengths is not important (since the texture is seamless); in this case, avoiding aspect ratio distortion is more useful than fitting an exact number of lengths.

Align Texture

These buttons shift the texture so that the Top/Bottom/Left/Right edge of the face are aligned with a texture boundary, but otherwise do not modify the scaling of the texture (unlike the Fit operation).

Flip Texture

Flips (mirrors) the texture along the horizontal or vertical axis.


This button resets the texture to a default alignment and scale, based the location and size of the face.

Texture Lock

If this is enabled, the alignment of the texture will be preserved relative to the face if the brush or patch is moved in 3D space. If disabled, the texture itself will remain fixed in 3D space as the brush or patch moves, resulting in the alignment changing.

Typically, if you have Fit a particular number of texture tiles across a face, you will want to preserve alignment with Texture Lock. Conversely, if the texture is applied to a much larger group of brushes with a common texture (that needs to align across all of the brushes, regardless of how they are moved or resized), you will want to disable Texture Lock.

Using the shader clipboard

While constructing a map it will frequently be necessary to apply the same texture to several different surfaces such that they appear seamless in game. In order to assist with this, DarkRadiant provides a shader clipboard which allows shaders to be copied and pasted between primitives, and is independent of the main clipboard used for copying and pasting other objects.

Copying a shader

There are two ways to copy a shader to the shader clipboard.

  1. Select a single face (not an entire brush) with Ctrl + Shift + Left click in the 3D view, then choose Edit → Copy shader.

  2. Directly Middle click the face in the 3D view (there is no need to select it first).

In both cases, the ShaderClipboard section of the bottom status bar will update to show the new value of the shader clipboard. If the Media or Textures tab is visible, their contents will also update to view the selected shader.

Note Selecting a texture explicitly in the Media or Textures tabs will also update the shader clipboard with the selected shader.
Pasting a shader

Once a shader is on the shader clipboard, it can be pasted onto another surface in a number of ways:

  1. Select the destination face with Ctrl + Shift + Left click, then choose Edit → Paste shader or Edit → Paste shader (natural).

  2. Directly Middle click the destination face while holding down either Ctrl (to paste the shader with projected coordinates) or Shift (to paste the shader with natural coordinates).

Natural or projected pasting

The difference between natural and projected coordinates is apparent when pasting a shader onto a curved patch.

With projected coordinates (Ctrl + Middle click) the texture on the patch will be aligned identically to the texture on the source face, which might result in a stretched texture depending on the angle between the patch and the source face.

With natural coordinates (Shift + Middle click) the texture will flow over the curved surface in a more natural manner.

When pasting a shader onto a flat brush face, there may be little or no difference between the two options.

Working with entities

If brushes are the bricks and mortar of a map (often literally), entities are its fixtures and fittings. Every object in a map which "does something" other than form part of the level geometry is an entity: lights, audio speakers, particle emitters, static meshes, animated creatures or machinery. There are also various functional entity types which provide vital metadata to the game engine, such as determining where the player should start, or how creatures should navigate between locations.

DarkRadiant provides certain common functionality to all entities, such as the ability to edit properties using the Entity tab. Particular entity types are sufficiently common, however, that they have their own dedicated creation and editing tools.


Every map requires at least one light source in order to render anything in game. A light occupies a rectangular volume, which can be created and resized much like a brush, and has properties to determine its colour, visible shape and falloff pattern in three dimensions. Lights can optionally cast shadows, and can even be animated to flicker or flash.

Model (func_static)

Model entities represent geometry that is not compiled as part of the map itself. The model geometry can either be derived from brushes and patches created inside DarkRadiant, or from an external model file in ASE or LWO format. Model files are the primary mechanism for including fine detail in a map which would be cumbersome to create with brushes and patches.


Essentially the audio equivalent of a light, a speaker entity represents the point from which an in-game sound source will emanate. It has properties to control its size and falloff, and optionally override certain properties of the sound shader itself, such as volume.

Player start (info_player_start)

This entity tells the game engine where to place the player when a map is first loaded. A map without such an entity will not be playable.

Creating lights

To create a light, Right click in the 2D view and choose Create light…. The position and size of the light volume depends on the current selection:

  • If nothing is selected, then a light volume will be created at the clicked position with a default size.

  • If a single brush is selected, the brush will be deleted and the light volume will match the size and position of the brush.

  • If several brushes are selected, then all selected brushes will be deleted and the light volume will be sized according to the bounding box of the brushes (i.e. the smallest box that would contain all of the brushes).

Unselected lights are shown in the 2D view as small boxes, while selected lights also show the boundaries of the light volume.

Figure 9. Light entity selected (left) and unselected (right)

A selected light entity can be moved by dragging inside the small center box, and it can be resized by dragging outside the edge of the light volume. Unlike brushes, light volumes will by default resize symmetrically, so that the center point does not move during the resize.

Note Although light volumes can be resized like brushes, their shape can never be changed; every light is an axis-aligned cuboid. This does not, however, mean that they need to look rectangular in game. See the next section for details on how to change the falloff texture using the light inspector.

There are a couple of options on the top toolbar which control the display and behaviour of light volumes:

view show lightradii

Show all light volumes

If enabled, light volume boundaries will be rendered in the 2D view for all light entities, not just selected entities. The default behaviour is to show only the center box for unselected light entities.

dragresize symm

Drag-resize entities symmetrically

If enabled (the default), light entities will be resized symmetrically, without moving the center point. If disabled, lights will be resized like brushes: dragging an edge will move only that edge, while the opposite edge remains fixed.

The light inspector

When initially created, a light is pure white in colour and has an unrealistic rectangular illumination pattern matching its shape. You can change these properties using the light inspector, which is accessed with the L key.

Tip The light inspector can change the properties of a single light, or multiple selected lights simultaneously.
Light volume (omni vs projected)

The majority of lights in a map will be the default, omnidirectional shape. An omni light is a simple cuboid which emits light in all directions from its center to its edges.

A projected light is pyramid-shaped, and emits light from the tip of the pyramid towards the base. Projected lights behave more like spotlights in real-life, and can be used to highlight particular areas or project images of windows onto the floor.


Use the colour selector button to display a standard colour selection dialog. As well as changing the hue, the light colour also governs the overall brightness of the light. You can use the slider below the colour button to adjust the brightness of the selected light(s) without changing the hue, with realtime feedback displayed in the 3D camera view if lighting preview mode is enabled.


The falloff texture controls the shape of the lit area when rendered in-game; the square texture chosen here will be mapped directly onto the rectangular shape of the light volume. Light textures can be simple, such as the generic circular gradient of biground1, or much more complex, including multiple colours or animation.


There are a few light-propagation options which are mostly used to tweak performance. In particular, disabling shadows for any light which does not actually need to cast shadows can give a significant boost to rendering speed.

Creating models

Static models can be used to provide fine details in a map which would be difficult or impossible to create in the editor with brushes or patches. Models are created with an external 3D application such as Blender, Lightwave or Maya, and saved into the game asset tree in LWO or ASE format.

To insert a model, ensure that nothing is selected, then Right click in the 2D view and choose Create model…. DarkRadiant will show the model selector dialog:


In the top-left of the model selector window is a tree of all available models in the game installation. Models may have different skins, which are variants of the same model with different textures applied. If a model has skins available, these will be listed as children of the model entry in the tree.

Choosing a model or one of its skins will show a preview render in the large widget on the right-hand side. Various metadata such as the polygon count and the applied textures are also shown in table at the lower left.

When you have chosen the desired model, click OK to insert it into the map. The model will be inserted at the position where you originally right-clicked to show the model chooser.

Creating a player start marker

The game requires a special entity (info_player_start) to mark the position at which the player should enter the map. Without such an entity the map will be unplayable.

To create this entity, ensure that nothing is selected then Right click in the 2D view and choose Create player start here. DarkRadiant will create the player start entity at the clicked position.

Since it makes no sense to have more than one player start location, DarkRadiant will not enable the Create player start here menu option if there is already an info_player_start in the map. Instead, you may choose Move player start here to move the existing entity to the clicked position.

Creating other entity types

Entity types without a dedicated item in the right-click menu are created using the generic Create entity… option, which displays a dialog very similar to the model selector:


Just like the model selector, the entity selector displays a tree of all available entity types in the game installation, and a large preview widget which shows an approximate rendering of the entity, if appropriate. Purely functional entity types such as info_location or info_player_start do not have any visible appearance and their render preview will be blank.

Some entity types have a short textual description giving information about their usage; if present, this is displayed in the text box underneath the entity class tree.

After selecting the desired entity type in the tree, click the Add button to insert an instance of the entity into the map at the right-clicked location. If the selected entity type requires a brush selection and no brush is selected, a warning will be shown at this point.

Editing entity properties

Every entity has a list of key/value pairs known as properties or spawnargs. These properties are displayed on the Entity tab of the editing panel.


The entity panel lists all of the properties of the currently-selected entity, showing each property’s name, its current value, and an icon representing its type (boolean, vector, text etc) if known. Selecting a property will populate the two text boxes in the center of the widget with the property name and value, allowing the value to be edited. If the selected property is of a known type, the panel at the bottom will show a custom widget appropriate for editing the particular property, e.g. three separate numeric spinboxes for a vector property, a colour selector widget for a colour property, and so on.

Changing a property value

To change the value of the selected property, simply enter the new value in the lower text box, then hit Enter or click the green tick button. If the property has a type-specific editing widget, you can also change its value using the controls in this widget.

Adding a new property

There are two different ways to add a new property:

  1. Enter a new property name in the upper text box (which shows the selected property name), and hit Enter. This does not rename the selected property, but adds a new property with the edited name and the current value.

  2. Right click in the list of properties and choose Add property from the context menu. This will display a new dialog listing all known properties along with their descriptive text (if available). Selecting a property in this dialog and choosing OK will add the property to the entity with a default value of "-", which can then be edited in the entity panel itself.

Deleting a property

To delete the selected property, Right click on the property in the list and choose Delete property.

The entity panel provides two options controlling its behaviour:

Show inherited properties

If checked, all properties that apply to the selected entity will be shown, including those which are inherited from the entity type declaration in the game installation. If unchecked, only those properties explicitly set on this particular entity (and stored in the map file) will be shown.

You can change the value of an inherited property by selecting it and entering a new value in the entity panel; this will create a new explicit property on the entity which overrides the inherited default.

Show help

Enables or disables the text widget at the bottom of the panel which shows a brief explanation of certain properties. If a property has help text available, the question mark icon will be shown in the ? column.

Reparenting primitives

Whenever a new brush or patch is created, it will automatically be made a child of the special worldspawn entity, which serves as the default entity containing all of the primitives which define the world geometry. However, worldspawn is not the only entity which can contain brushes and patches as children.

When you create a model using the model selector, DarkRadiant will insert a type of entity called a func_static into the map to represent the model geometry. A func_static can contain a model file loaded from disk in LWO or ASE format, but it can also be used as a parent for one or more primitives created within DarkRadiant. In either case, the behaviour of func_static is the same: it represents a static mesh which is rendered in game but is considered separate from the main world geometry, meaning that it does not participate in map compilation, will not seal the map from leaks, and will not cause intersecting brushes to be subdivided.

It is therefore often useful to make certain brushes and patches — typically those which represent "fine detail" rather than entire walls, floors and the like — into func_static entities to improve in-game performance and reduce the chances for map compilation problems caused by excessively complex world geometry.

The func_static entity class is not the only type of entity which can contain primitives: there are several other func_ entities which perform various functions, for example func_rotating which allows geometry to rotate continuously. DarkRadiant offers dedicated commands to convert to/from a func_static since this is a very common operation, however the ability to select, add and remove individual primitives behaves the same for all types of primitive-containing entity.

Converting primitives into func_static

To convert one or more existing primitives into a func_static entity, simply select all of the primitives, right-click in the 2D window, and choose Convert to func_static.

Manipulating individual child primitives

After converting a primitive, a number of changes are noticeable:

  1. The primitive may be drawn in a different colour.

  2. The primitive will no longer be resizeable by dragging its boundary with the mouse.

  3. When the primitive is selected, the Entity Inspector will no longer show the worldspawn entity, but a new entity with a different classname (e.g. func_static). You can set spawnargs on this entity like any other (including giving it a custom name).

  4. Selecting any contained primitive will cause a small X/Y/Z axis widget to be drawn at the entity’s origin position (which may be inside one of the primitives, or outside all of them, depending on their layout).

  5. If there are multiple primitives contained within a single entity, selecting any individual primitive will cause all of the entity’s primitives to be selected. This allows you to easily move the entire static object by simply dragging any one of its primitives.

However, it is still possible to perform operations on a single primitive, for example resizing a brush, by selecting it with the TAB key. Each press of TAB will cause DarkRadiant to select a different primitive contained within the entity, after which it will return to selecting the entire entity. With only a single primitive selected, all of the normal operations are possible on that primitive, for example deleting or resizing it.

The entity inspector widget makes it clear whether you have selected an entity or a primitive within that entity, using the text above the list of entity properties. If an entire entity is selected, the text will appear similar to Entity 1, whereas with a primitive selected it will read Entity 1, Primitive 1.

Adding or removing primitives

Once you have created a func_static or similar entity from a number of primitives, you can add or remove primitives without needing to create a new entity from scratch.

Adding a primitive

Select the entity, then expand the selection (i.e. using Shift + Left click) to include one or more existing primitives to add to this entity. Then choose Edit → Reparent primitives.

Removing a primitive

Use the TAB key to select the individual primitive to remove (you must do this even if there is only one primitive in the entity), then choose Edit → Reparent primitives to worldspawn. The removed primitive will still exist in the map but it will be a regular worldspawn brush or patch, not parented to any other entity.

Unparenting all primitives

With the entity selected, simply right-click in the 2D view and choose Revert to worldspawn to turn all of the primitives back into worldspawn.

Compiling a map

DarkRadiant does not include functionality for compiling a map into the form needed by the game engine; instead, you must use external tools or the map compiler built into the game itself.

For Doom 3 and the Dark Mod, the following commands are used within the in-game console (which can normally be accessed with the key immediately above TAB):

dmap <>

Compile the map called, which must be located within the maps directory of the mod installation. If there are any problems compiling the map (e.g. a leak), the error will be displayed in the console output.

map <>

Load the compiled map into the game engine and start playing it immediately.

Tip When compiling and testing maps, it may be helpful to set your game to play in windowed mode, with a reduced resolution. This will allow both the game and DarkRadiant to be visible on the screen as separate windows, which you can easily switch between during the compile and test cycle.

Preventing leaks

A map "leak" occurs when the play area is not fully enclosed with a complete shell of opaque brushes. If the map leaks, compilation will fail and the map will not be playable.

In order to minimise the likelihood of a map leak, ensure that your map has all of the following properties:

  • The map interior is completely sealed from the exterior void by brushes (not patches). It is much easier to achieve this by building up a map carefully, making good use of the grid snapping functionality, rather than haphazardly throwing brushes together and hoping to seal them later.

  • All of the sealing brushes have an opaque texture. Skybox textures are considered opaque and are OK, however semi-transparent or perforated mesh textures are not.

  • The origin point of every entity in the map lies within the sealed map interior. It is OK if a large model extends outside of the map, provided that its origin point is on the inside.

Warning Do not be tempted to avoid leaks by enclosing your entire map in a single huge box. This may seem to solve the problem (the map will indeed not leak), but it completely negates the important performance optimisations that the map compiler carries out when it "flood fills" the map interior.

Locating leaks with a pointfile

No matter how hard you try to avoid leaks, occasionally they will happen. In this case the pointfile functionality is helpful to identify the location of the leak.

After the map compilation has failed with a leak, return to DarkRadiant and choose Pointfile from the File menu. This will automatically load the point file associated with the current map, which contains a series of points identifying the path to the leak. This path will be rendered as a bright red line in both the 2D and 3D views:

Figure 10. A pointfile rendered in both 3D and 3D views

In this example we can clearly see that the map has leaked because the far wall brush does not join up with the ceiling.

Organising a map

Since a fully developed Dark Mod map is large and complex, DarkRadiant provides several tools to make organising a large map easier. Objects can be grouped, sorted into user-defined layers and filtered using various criteria, while the prefab system allows large chunks of map to be reused or shared with other mappers.

Grouping objects

DarkRadiant allows a number of objects to be grouped together, so that they can be selected and manipulated as a single unit.

To create a group:

  1. Select several objects.

  2. Right-click in the 2D window to show the context menu.

  3. Choose Group Selection.

Once the objects are in a group, selecting any object in the group will automatically select all other objects in the same group.

To remove a group, select the group then choose Ungroup Selection from the 2D view context menu.

Note Groups can be nested, by creating a group that includes one or more existing groups. When you ungroup such a nested group, the original component groups will be restored.

Working with prefabs

DarkRadiant allows a collection of objects to be saved to disk as a prefab, which can then be imported into other maps. You can use prefabs to store anything from a single small object to a vast section of map geometry complete with lights and AI.

Exporting to a prefab

  1. Select the objects in the map that you wish to include in the prefab.

  2. From the File menu, choose Save selected as prefab…​

  3. Use the file chooser dialog to choose a location and name for the prefab file.

Tip Unlike actual .map files which must be accessible by the game engine, prefabs are a DarkRadiant-only feature that have no significance to the engine. You are therefore free to store prefab files wherever you wish, either inside or outside the game installation directory.

Importing a prefab

Either right-click in the 2D window and choose Insert prefab…​, or open the File menu and choose Import prefab…​. This will show the prefab browser.


Like the model selector, the prefab selector shows a tree of available prefabs on the left, and a preview window on the right giving an idea of what the prefab looks like. Using the radio buttons at the top of the window, you can choose whether to browse prefabs contained within the game installation, or within a custom directory of your choice.

The preview window functions much like the 3D view in the main application: right click to enter or leave camera mode, which enables the following motion commands:

Mouse move

Change the camera view direction (pan or tilt)

Mouse wheel

Zoom the camera

Up/Down arrow

Move the camera forwards or backwards

Left/Right arrow

Move the camera left or right

When you have chosen the desired prefab, click OK to insert it into the map. Before inserting the prefab, you can use the Create Group out of Prefab parts checkbox to control whether the prefab is automatically grouped as a single object, or inserted as separate selectable objects.

Exporting models

DarkRadiant provides a limited ability to export scene geometry into a number of 3D model file formats: ASCII Scene Export (ASE), Lightwave (LWO) or Wavefront OBJ. This functionality is provided to help with organising frequently-used map elements — DarkRadiant is not intended to compete with full-featured 3D modelling applications such as Blender or 3DS Max.

Exporting to a model is similar to exporting to a prefab, except that models can only contain geometry (brushes or patches), not other map entities such as lights or speakers. However, unlike prefabs, models can be edited with other 3D software, and exporting map geometry as a model might provide a useful template for creating map-specific static meshes in a more powerful modelling tool.

To export a model:

  1. Select the geometry to be exported. Note that DarkRadiant currently does not complain if you select non-geometry such as lights, however these will not appear in the resulting model file.

  2. Open the File menu and choose Export selected as model…​

  3. In the Output Format dropdown, choose one of the supported model formats: ASCII Scene Export (.ase), Lightwave Object File (.lwo), or Wavefront OBJ (.obj).

  4. Choose the path for the exported model file in the File Path entry box.

  5. Click OK to export the model.

Using layers

When a map contains a large number of objects, it may become difficult to work with the 2D views as a result of the visual clutter. Organising the map into several layers can help solve this problem. The visibility of each layer can toggled independently, allowing you to focus on the objects you want to work with.

Layers do not impose any requirements on the physical layout of objects: it is possible to include objects spread all over a map into a single layer. For example, you can have a layer for all enemies, another layer for all lights, another layer for brushwork, and so on.

The Layers window

To show or hide the Layers window, choose Layers from the Edit menu. The window lists all of the layers which exist in the current project, and allows you to perform various operations on them.

Creating a layer

To create a new layer, click the New button at the bottom of the window. A popup will be shown asking for the name of the new layer. Once the layer is created, it will appear in the list.

Deleting a layer

Click the red 'X' button to the right of a layer to delete it. Deleting a layer does not delete the objects in the layer, only the layer itself. Any objects in that layer will be moved to the default layer.

Renaming a layer

Click the edit button to the right of a layer name to change the name. A popup will be shown asking for the new name.

Selecting objects on a layer

Click on the name of a layer itself to select all objects on that layer.

Toggling visibility

The button to the left of a layer name is used to toggle the visibility of objects on that layer. If objects are visible, a tick is shown in the button, otherwise it is empty.

Changing the active layer

The visibility toggle button shows a star for the layer which is currently set as the active layer. To change the active layer, Ctrl + Left click on the layer you wish to set as the new active layer.

Moving objects into layers

An object can be placed in any number of layers. To see which layers a selected object is in, look at the narrow coloured rectangle next to the layer name in the Layers window. The rectangle will turn from grey to pink for each layer that contains the selected object.

Figure 11. A light in two layers: "Default" and "Lights"

All newly-created objects will be placed in the Default layer. You can move or copy objects between layers using the options in the 2D view’s context menu.

Create layer…​

Bring up the name entry dialog and create a new layer, exactly as if the New button in the Layers window had been clicked.

Add to layer…​

Copy the selected object into the chosen layer, without removing it from its existing layer(s).

Move to layer…​

Move the selected object into the chosen layer, removing it from all other layers.

Remove from layer…​

Remove the selected object from the chosen layer.

Filtering map elements

While the Layers feature allows maps to be organised into manual groupings of objects, DarkRadiant also provides a mechanism for controlling the visibility of items based on their characteristics. This is controlled via the Filter menu.

Built-in filters

The Filter menu is populated with a number of built-in filter rules which are expected to be useful to mappers. Each filter may be activated independently, and each activated filter will be shown with a tick alongside its name. Filters operate in a "subtractive" sense: if a filter is active, objects matched by that filter will be hidden; the remaining visible objects will be those which are not matched by any active filters.

Tip Active filters are persisted into settings, and are therefore retained between DarkRadiant sessions.

The built-in filters include:

All entities

Hide all entities other than the worldspawn, leaving only brushes and patches visible.

World geometry

The inverse of All entities. Hides brushes and patches while leaving entities visible.


Hide only brushes, leaving patches and entities visible.


Hide only patches, leaving brushes and entities visible.


Hide any brush or patch which has the caulk texture applied to at least one surface.

Collision surfaces

Hide the additional collision meshes which are embedded in certain models, while leaving the models themselves visible. This filter is especially useful because collision meshes often obscure parts of the model itself.

Aside from the list of filters, the Filter menu contains three other options:

Activate all filters

Activate every filter in the list. Very unlikely to be useful, because it will probably result in every object in the map becoming invisible.

Deactivate all filters

Turn off all active filters. This one is useful, since you may have manually activated a number of filters and want to turn them all off at once.

Edit filters…​

Display a dialog allowing you to create, edit and manage the list of available filters.

Customising filters

In addition to the filters supplied with the mod distribution, DarkRadiant also allows you to add your own custom filters to the list by choosing the Edit Filters…​ menu option. This displays a dialog containing the list of all available filters, including built-in ones. Use the Add and Delete buttons to add or remove custom filters from the list, and the Edit button to enter a new dialog which allows you to edit the rules of the selected filter.

Built-in filters cannot be removed or edited, but you can choose the View button to open the filter editor in a read-only mode.

Figure 12. The filter editor dialog

Each filter consists of a number of rules, which are applied in the order shown in the list box. Filters may contain only a single rule ("hide all speaker entities"), or multiple rules ("hide all entities, then show only speaker entities"). You can freely add, remove or reorder rules using the buttons to the right of the rules list.

Each rule has the following components:


An integer representing the rule’s position in the list, numbered from zero.


This controls what the rule is "looking for" when it tries to match objects to hide or show. Currently there are four rule types: entityclass which matches the classname of entities (e.g. "speaker"), object which matches either "brush" or "patch" and is used for controlling the visibility of map geometry, texture which matches the name of an applied texture, and entitykeyvalue which matches the value of a specific property on the entity.

Entity Key

This column is only used for entitykeyvalue rules, in which case it contains the name of the property to match (while the value to match will be contained in the Match column).


This contains the actual value to be matched by the rule. Its interpretation and allowed values will depend on the rule type. For object type rules the value must be "brush" or "patch", whereas with all other rule types the value may be any arbitrary string.


Choose whether this rule will result in matched objects being shown, or hidden. The filter system starts with everything being visible by default, so a filter which does not contain at least one hide rule will have no effect.

The entity list

As a map becomes larger and more complex, keeping track of its contents may become more challenging. To assist with this, DarkRadiant provides an Entity List which functions as an "outline" view of the map, listing all entities and their child brushes and patches (if any).

The entity list can be accessed by choosing the Entity List option from the View menu.

Figure 13. The entity list, showing a number of entities in a small test map

The tree structure shown in the entity list corresponds to the structure of the map itself: a single "world" entity which acts as the parent of the brushes and patches in the map, alongside a number of other entities that have been placed by the mapper, some of which may contain their own child brushes or patches.

Clicking on an entity in the list will cause it to be selected in the map. If the Focus camera on selected entity checkbox is enabled, the camera will additionally be moved to view the clicked entity.

By enabling the List visible nodes only checkbox, you can limit the entity list to show only entities which are not currently hidden via filters.

Dark Mod features

The Dark Mod is a considerably more complex game than vanilla Doom 3, and its maps therefore include certain settings and features that would be cumbersome to configure manually by entering property values on entities. DarkRadiant therefore provides a number of Dark Mod specific dialogs which are described in this section.

Note Most Dark Mod features are compiled as separate plugins, and may not be built by default on certain platforms. If these features seem to be missing, contact the distributor of your DarkRadiant binary package for advice, or examine the build options if you are compiling DarkRadiant yourself from source code.

The Difficulty editor

Most Dark Mod maps can be played on one of three possible difficulty settings, typically named "Easy", "Medium" and "Difficult" (although these names can be overridden). The precise effects of each of these difficulty settings are fully under the control of the map author, and might include such effects as spawning or despawning particular enemies, changing enemy health or patrol routes, or modifying the details of objectives.

DarkRadiant provides a Difficulty editor dialog to facilitate one particular class of difficulty-dependent modification: making global changes to entity classes throughout the map. This could be used, for example, to change the health of every instance of a particular enemy, or (as shown in the diagram) removing a particular enemy type’s ability to relight torches.

Figure 14. The Difficulty editor, showing a modified property on a particular entity class

The Difficulty editor shows the names of the available difficulty levels in a dropdown widget, beneath which are the settings for the selected difficulty level. The difficulty names are customisable on a per-map basis — normally these will be the default values of "Easy", "Medium" and "Difficult", but if the current map has customised difficulty names DarkRadiant will adjust the tab names accordingly.

On the left is a tree view showing all of the property overrides for the current difficulty level. Each top-level item is a particular entity class, which contains all of the property changes that are made to this entity class in this difficulty level. In this example, the ai_builder_guard entity has its canLightTorches property set to 0 on the Easy difficulty setting, meaning that all enemies of this particular type will not be able to relight torches.

Adding a setting

To add a new property setting for the current difficulty level, click the Add button. The widgets on the right hand side will become available, allowing you to choose an entity class, a property ("Spawnarg") to change, and the change to make ("Argument"). You can choose a number of mathematical operations for the modification, including a simple value assignment, or an addition or multiplication. After specifying the values, make sure you click the Save button to commit the changes into the list view.

Removing a setting

Select an item in the list view and click the Delete button to remove a particular setting. You can only remove individual assignments from the list; to remove all of the assignments for a particular entity class, you must select and delete each one individually.

Editing the difficulty name

To edit the name of the current difficulty level, click the edit button to the right of the dropdown, and enter a new name in the text box. The modified name will be written into a property on the worldspawn entity and reflected both in game and in DarkRadiant.

Tip For details of more advanced difficulty-dependent changes, such as modifying the behaviour of a single entity (rather than an entire entity class), consult the Dark Mod Wiki.

Game Connection

The Dark Mod includes functionality to dynamically interact with a DarkRadiant session running on the same machine, allowing certain information (such as camera position) to be synchronised both to and from the game, and for certain entity property changes to be pushed to the running game without needing to restart.

These features are accessed in DarkRadiant through the Connection menu and buttons on the camera view toolbar.

Activating the connection

  1. In The Dark Mod, load the map which you are currently editing in DarkRadiant.

  2. Bring down the game console and enter the command

    com_automation 1

    This should result in a status message indicating that the game is listening for connections on a particular network port.

    Automation now listens on port 3879

The game process is now ready to exchange data with DarkRadiant.

Synchronising camera position

You can synchronise the DarkRadiant camera position and the game player position in both directions: editor to game and game to editor. This feature is most easily controlled with the buttons on the camera view toolbar, but it can also be activated from the Connection menu.


Game position follows DarkRadiant camera

Any motion of the DarkRadiant camera will be transmitted in realtime to the game, resulting in the player position moving (in noclip mode) to the same position and view direction.

This is a toggled option which remains active until switched off.


Move camera to current game position

Update the DarkRadiant camera to match the current player position and view direction in game.

This is a single-shot command; there is no mechanism to continuously move the DarkRadiant camera in response to player motion in game.

Command reference

File menu

New map

Prompt to save and close the current map (if necessary), then start working on a new empty map.

Open map…​

Prompt to save and close the current map (if necessary), then display a file browser to choose and load an existing map file from disk.

Import map…​

Display a file browser to choose and load an existing map file from disk, merging the contents with the existing map

Import prefab…​

Display the prefab browser to choose and import a prefab from disk.

Note Importing a map and importing a prefab are functionally identical operations; the only difference is the user interface used for choosing what to import. The prefab browser is designed to offer a user-friendly workflow for browsing, previewing and importing from a library of frequently-used map elements, while Import map may be more useful for merging two or more partially-complete maps.

Save the current map to disk under its existing file name.

Save as…​

Display a file browser to choose a new name for the current map, then save to this new file name in future.

Save copy as…​

Display a file browser to choose a new filename to save this map into, without changing the current map name for future Save operations.

Save selected as Map…​

Choose a file name and save the currently-selected items into a new map file without changing the current map name. Equivalent to Save copy as but it only saves the selected items, not the entire map.

Save selected as prefab…​

Equivalent to Save selected as Map but it saves the selected items into a prefab (*.pfb) file in the standard prefab location.

Save selected as Collision Model…​

Allows a selected map object (typically a brush) to be set as the collision model for a particular ASE or LWO model. After choosing this option, DarkRadiant will display the model chooser dialog, allowing you to choose the particular model that the selected object should be associated with. The selected brush is then saved, and associated with the model so that subsequent insertions of the same model will use the new collision geometry.

Reload Models/Selected Models/Skins/Scripts/Readable Guis/Materials/Defs/Particles

Forces DarkRadiant to re-read the selected category of items from disk, refreshing its internal data structures. This is necessary if you have edited or re-exported some asset which DarkRadiant is using in the current map and you want to see the latest changes.

Game/Project Setup…​

Show the Game Setup dialog for configuring game-specific settings.


Load and show the pointfile for the current map, if there is one. If more than pointfile is available, a dialog will be shown allowing you to choose which pointfile to load. An error dialog will be displayed if there is no current pointfile (which is usually the case if the current map has not leaked during compilation). Choose this option a second time to hide the rendered pointfile.


Exit DarkRadiant, prompting to save the current map if necessary.

Edit menu


Undo the most recent operation.


Redo the most recently undone operation.


Copy the selected item(s) to the clipboard.


Paste the item(s) on the clipboard to their original world location.

Note Objects copied to the clipboard are represented using the same text format which can be found in .map files. This makes it possible to save clipboard content into a file and load it later as an actual map fragment.
Paste to camera

Paste the item(s) on the clipboard to the current camera location, ignoring their original world location.


Make a copy of the currently selected item(s), slightly offset from their original position.


Remove the currently selected item(s).

Group selection

Combine the selected items into a group.

Ungroup selection

Split the selected group back into individual objects.

Reparent primitives

Make all selected worldspawn brushes or patches into children of the selected func_static (or similar entity). Requires exactly one entity to be selected, along with at least one primitive which is currently a child of the worldspawn.

Reparent primitives to worldspawn

Unparent the selected primitive from a func_static (or similar entity), making it a child of the worldspawn. Before using this command you must first select a single primitive with the TAB key (even if the entity only contains a single primitive), otherwise the whole entity will be selected and the command will silently fail.

Tip To unparent all of an entity’s primitives and convert them back into worldspawn, just right-click in the 2D view and choose Revert to worldspawn.
Merge selected entities

Convert two more more selected entities into a single entity which contains all of the contained brushes and patches. Only works for entities which can contain primitives (e.g. func_static).

Copy shader

Copy the shader from the selected face to the shader clipboard.

Paste shader

Paste the shader currently on the shader clipboard to all selected faces.

Clear selection

De-select all selected objects.

Invert selection

De-select all selected objects, and select all unselected objects.

Select complete tall

Convert the currently-selected brush into a selection volume, selecting all objects which are completely contained within its outline in the current 2D view (ignoring the third dimension). See brush-based selection.

Select inside

Convert the currently-selected brush into a selection volume, selecting all objects which are completely contained within it in all three dimensions. See brush-based selection.

Select fully inside

Like Select inside, except that contained brushes which touch the boundary of the selection brush will not be selected.

Select children

Select primitives which are children of the currently-selected entity. See reparenting primitives.

Select parent entities

Select the parent entity of the currently-selected primitive. See reparenting primitives.

Entity menu

Connect selected entities

Set a target spawnarg on the first selected entity pointing to the second selected entity.

Bind selected entities

Set a bind spawnarg on the first selected entity pointing to the *second selected entity.

Entity class tree…​

Show a tree of all available entity types in the current game, along with all of their properties. Unlike the tree shown in the Create Entity dialog, this entity class tree shows an inheritance-based hierarchy and does not include a 3D preview.

Brush menu


Create an angular prism (extruded polygon) from the selected brush. See brush shapes.


Create a cone or pyramid from the selected brush. See brush shapes.


Create an approximation of a sphere from the selected brush. See brush shapes.

CSG → Make Hollow

Create a hollow room from the selected brush. See creating a room.

CSG → Make Room

Create a hollow room from the selected brush, without any overlapping walls. See creating a room.

Clipper → Clip Selection

Split the selected brush along the defined clip plane, keeping one half. See splitting brushes.

Clipper → Split Selection

Split the selected brush along the defined clip plane, keeping both halves. See splitting brushes.

Clipper → Flip Clip Orientation

Change which half of the brush is retained after using the Clip Selection command. Difficult to use in practice; instead just Split Selection and delete the unwanted half manually. See splitting brushes.

Make Detail / Make Structural

These options only exist to support legacy games, and are not used in the Dark Mod.

Configuring DarkRadiant

DarkRadiant offers a large number of configurable options which can be used to tailor its behaviour to your desired workflow. Most of these options can be found either in the Preferences dialog or exposed directly as menu items.

The Preferences dialog

The Preferences dialog can be shown by choosing Preferences…​ from the Edit menu. The dialog contains a number of pages containing groups of logically related options.

Camera settings

The Camera page contains options relating to the movement and behaviour of the 3D camera.

Movement Speed

Use this slider to control how many game units the camera moves forwards or backwards when you use the scroll wheel in the 3D view. It does not affect the speed of rotation or lateral dragging (e.g. with Ctrl) in free look mode, nor does it affect motion with the arrow keys.

Rotation Speed

This controls the speed of angular rotation when dragging the mouse after entering free look mode with right-click. If you have a high DPI mouse and want to be able to direct the camera more precisely, reducing this setting may help.

Freelook mode can be toggled

Disabling this checkbox makes the free look functionality behave more like typical MMO games, where you hold down the right mouse button and drag to move the camera around. Uncheck this option if you hate modal interfaces or find the default toggle behaviour confusing.

Discrete movement (non-freelook mode)

If this is checked, moving the camera with the arrow keys in non-freelook mode will cause discrete jumps in position, rather than smooth motion.

Enable far clip plane

You can completely disable the far clip plane by unchecking this option. This will avoid the need to manage the position of the far clip plane, but may negatively impact rendering performance in large or complex maps.

Note Technically it is not actually possible to disable the far clip plane, since having a far clip plane is a requirement for 3D rendering to work correctly. This command in fact sets the far clip plane to a very high value, e.g. 32768. If your map is very large, it is conceivable that you will still see some far clipping behaviour.
Invert mouse vertical axis

Enable this option to flip the sense of the vertical camera motion when freelook mode is enabled, so that moving the mouse upwards tilts the camera downwards, and vice versa.

Solid selection boxes

This option controls whether selected brushes are drawn with a dashed outline (option disabled) or a solid line (option enabled). It affects both the 2D and the 3D views.

Show camera toolbar

Uncheck this to completely hide the toolbar at the top of the 3D camera window (which includes the render mode buttons and the far clip plane controls).

Orthoview settings

The Orthoview page contains options controlling the display and behaviour of the 2D views.

View chases mouse cursor during drags

If this is enabled, dragging an object off the edge of a 2D view will cause the 2D view to automatically scroll to keep the dragged object in view. If disabled, the dragged object will reach the edge and stop. You can control the speed of the scrolling with the Maximum Chase Mouse Speed slider.

Update views on camera movement

This option controls whether the camera position indicator in the 2D views is automatically kept in sync with camera movements in the 3D window. If this option is disabled, the 2D view camera indicator may not move until you explicitly click on or interact with a 2D view.

Show crosshairs

Enable this option to display full-window-sized crosshairs tracking the mouse cursor whenever it moves over a 2D window. This may assist with precise selection or object alignment.

Show grid

Control the visibility of grid lines in the 2D views. This does not affect the snapping behaviour, just the visual rendering of the grid.

Show size info

Control the visibility of the text overlays which show the dimensions of a selected object on the X, Y or Z axes. This option is also available in the View → Show menu.

Show entity angle arrow

Hide or show the small arrow which indicates the direction of an entity with an angle spawnarg, such as info_player_start. This affects both the 2D and 3D views.

Show entity names

Enable this to show permanently-visible text names next to each entity in the map. This option is also available as View → Show → Show names.

Show blocks

If enabled, the world space is divided into a horizontal grid of 1024x1024 unit blocks (of infinite height) which are outlined in blue in the 2D views. Each block is assigned a pair of numbers representing its position from the centermost block, which is assigned (0, 0). This might help with "blocking out" a map at the beginning of the design phase. This option is also available in the View → Show menu.

Show coordinates

Toggle the visibility of the coordinate rulers along the edges of the 2D window. Also available in the View → Show menu.

Show axes

Control the visibility of the axis widget displayed at the top-left of each 2D window and at the world origin. Also available in the View → Show menu.

Show window outline

Enable this to draw a rectangular outline around the edge of the 2D window. Depending on the platform and GUI theme this may be almost invisible, but might be useful to improve visibility in certain environments.

Show workzone

The 'workzone' is an imaginary axis-aligned cuboid which encloses the set of currently-selected items (this is what defines the volume of a new light, when a light is created from one or more existing brushes). Enabling this option causes the workzone to be outlined in red in the 2D views. Also available in the View → Show menu.

Translate manipulator always constrained to axis

This option affects the behaviour of the translate manipulator. When the option is disabled, dragging a selected object in translation mode will behave as if the manipulator’s central square is being dragged, and allow motion in two dimensions. If the option is enabled, dragging the selected object will behave as if the closest manipulator arrow is being dragged, and allow motion along only a single axis. Translation in two dimensions will always be possible by clicking on the manipulator’s central square directly, regardless of the state of this option.

Higher selection priority for entities

When using the mouse to click on and select an entity which is in front of, behind or inside a brush, this option controls whether DarkRadiant will prefer to select the entity (enabled) or the brush (disabled).

Multi Monitor settings

The Multi Monitor page contains a single setting, Start DarkRadiant on monitor, which allows you to choose which monitor DarkRadiant will start on if you have several available.

Autosave settings

Enable Autosave

Controls whether the autosave feature is active or disabled.

Autosave Interval

Use this slider to choose how often DarkRadiant will make an autosave. By default, autosaves are made every 5 minutes.

Save Snapshots

If this option is enabled, DarkRadiant will make each autosave into a separate copy of the map file, allowing you to potentially revert changes which were made several autosaves ago. If this option is disabled, there will only ever be a single autosave file, which will protect against DarkRadiant or system crashes but not against long-term erroneous changes.

Snapshot folder

This specifies the name of the folder used to store snapshot autosaves, if the Save Snapshots option is enabled.

Max Snapshot size per map

This allows you to control the amount of disk space used for storing snapshots, by specifying a maximum number of megabytes that will be used for storing the snapshots for a single map. If the disk usage grows above this limit, DarkRadiant will start to delete old snapshots.

Clipper settings

Clipper tool uses caulk texture

If this option is enabled, the clipper tool will texture the newly-created clip face with the texture specified in the Caulk shader name text field. If the option is disabled, the new face will be given the same texture as the rest of the brush.

Grid settings

This page contains a couple of options relating to the appearance and default behaviour of the grid.

Default grid size

Use this combo box to choose the default grid size used in new projects (to change the grid size in the current project, use the options in the Grid main menu).

Major grid style

Choose the rendering style for the major grid lines. Available options are Lines, Dotted Lines, More Dotted Lines, Crosses, Dots, Big Dots, and Squares.

Minor grid style

Choose the rendering style for the minor grid lines. Available options are the same as the Major grid style combo box.

Selection settings

Ignore light volume bounds when calculating default rotation pivot location

This option affects the behaviour of the rotation tool when multiple objects are selected. DarkRadiant will place the rotation widget at the approximate "center of gravity" of the set of selected objects. If this option is enabled, any selected lights will be treated as point entities, with no volume in 3D space regardless of their actual light volumes. If this option is disabled, the entire light volume will be taken into account as if the light were a rectangular brush.

Undo settings

Undo Queue Size

Use this spinbox to control the number of operations which are saved onto DarkRadiant’s internal undo stack. Larger values provide a longer history of undoable operations, at the expense of requiring more memory.

Primitives settings

This page contains two options controlling the default behaviour of applied textures. These values can be set on a per-object basis using the Surface Inspector.

Default texture scale

Set a default scale factor for newly applied textures.

Enable texture lock

Set the default value of the Texture Lock button. See the Surface Inspector section for more details on this feature.

Texture Browser settings

These options control the behaviour of the Textures tab.

Uniform texture thumbnail size

Choose the size in pixels that will be used for texture thumbnails.

Texture scrollbar

Hide or show the scrollbar in the textures tab. If the scrollbar is hidden, scrolling is only possible with the mouse wheel.

Mousewheel increment

This option determines how much the window is scrolled when the mouse wheel is rotated.

Max shadername length

Choose the maximum number of characters that may appear in each texture name. If a texture contains more characters than this, the texture name will be abbreviated with "…​" in the middle.

Map files settings

Number of most recently used files

Choose the number of map files to list in the recent map section at the bottom of the File menu.

Open last map on startup

Enable this option to make DarkRadiant automatically load the most recently-used map every time it starts, rather than starting with an empty map.

Features for game distributors

DarkRadiant is designed to work out of the box with a standard Doom 3 or Dark Mod game installation, however it also offers a few features aimed at developers of the game itself.

Controlling asset visibility

As the development of a game progresses, certain models or textures may become obsolete or deprecated, either because they are no longer needed or because they fall short of the quality standard that is expected of new assets. If these models and textures have already been distributed, removing them from the game installation may be problematic, as maps which depend on them will fail to load correctly.

DarkRadiant offers a mechanism to deal with this by allowing certain assets to be marked as "hidden". A hidden asset will no longer be presented for selection by the user (e.g. on the Media tab or in the Model selector), but will continue to function as normal when it appears in a loaded map.

Creating an assets.lst file

To change the visibility of assets, you need to create a file called assets.lst which resides in the top-level models or materials directories in the mod installation. This file may be inside a PK4 or in an extracted directory tree.

The contents of assets.lst are a simple list of key/value pairs, assigning a visibility value to each named asset. For example:


Asset paths listed on the left-hand side are interpreted relative to the directory containing assets.lst (which must be models or materials). The visibility value on the right-hand side must be either hidden or normal; a value of normal is equivalent to not listing the file at all, and results in no change to its visibility.

Note Only files may be listed in an assets.lst, not items in a virtual hierarchy such as the material shader tree. When an MTR file is listed as hidden in the materials directory, all shaders contained within it will be hidden in DarkRadiant. This means that in order to hide specific shaders, you must move these into one or more MTR files which are listed as hidden.