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All About Movers - Part One
Author: Lode Vandevenne
Last Updated: October 19, 2001 at 03:38:37 PM

NOTE FROM KAZI: This tutorial originally appeared on Lode's Tutorials. It's a great site, so head over there for updates.


I assume that you can work with basic elements of the editor and you can make a map. If you don't, please read a beginners tutorial first.

It's not difficult to make a basic mover, like a simple door or lift, but you can do so much more with movers. This tutorial will teach you everything about movers. Every property and every movertype is explained.

This tutorial is optimised for UEd2, but if you have UEd1, you can use it as well, because these two versions don't differ that much. And I've added remarks for UEd1 when there is a difference. You can of course apply the official UT 420 or higher patch to get UEd2. I recommend patch 436, because this one adds even more new features such as realtime preview of skyzones, editing the textures of a mover and a replace textures function.

There are 3 parts in this tutorial:

*Part I is for beginners and describes the basics of creating simple movers.
*Part II is for intermediate and advanced mappers, and contains a description about all mover proporties and classes.
*Part III will use everything you learned in the previous two parts to create some cool stuff. A door with a button, a train with triggers in it, a boat that wiggles and sails at the same time and an elevator with inner and outer doors, that can go and stop at 4 different floors.

Part I
What is a mover?

A mover is a moving brush. It can move to different locations and/or rotate around an axis. Most movers have several keys. Key0 is the begin position, the mover will wait there until it is triggered. The other keys are the locations the mover will move to when activated. It will move through all the other keys until it reaches the last one.

You can recognize movers in the editor because they are purple. In the 3D view, you can see the movers through the walls.

Movers can be used for doors, lifts, trains, boats, buttons, rotating rocks in the sky, or anything else that moves.

In this tutorial, when I say the mover is "open" then I mean it is at its last key, and when it is "closed" it is at its first key, Key0. A "closing" mover is one that is moving from the last to the first key, and an "opening" mover is one that is going from the first key to the last one. So even if the mover is not a door, I will still use "open" and "close" for these situations.

A Lift in 6 Steps
1. Make a template of your mover with normal brushes.

2. Intersect your template with the red brush. Make sure it's transformed permanently!

3. Place the red brush at the down position of the lift and press the Add Mover button.

4. Right click on the purple mover brush, expand Movers and press Key1.

5. Move the purple brush to the up position of your lift.

6. Right click on it again, expand Movers and press Key0. Done.

Creating a basic lift (more detailed explanation)

The most standard mover in the Unreal engine is a mover that starts moving to a new position when you touch it, then waits for a few seconds, and then returns to its original position.

We are now going to make a lift that starts rising when you step on it. Please make a large room now.

To add a mover at the location where your red brush is, press this button:
It's located in the toolbar on the left, under the add, subtract, intersect and deintersect buttons:

In UnrealEd1, you have to press the button that looks like this:

When you pressed the button, you see a purple brush appear at the red brush. That's a mover! However, this mover will not do anything yet when you touch it. Also, this mover probably doesn't have the textures and shape you want. In version 436 of the editor, you can view and edit the textures of the mover by right clicking on it, expanding Movers and then clicking Show Polys, but then still the shape isn't correct. Your mover must be one single brush, so if you want it to have more complex forms than a cube, a sphere or whatever, you can't create it this way.

That's why most people first make a template of the lift with normal brushes, then intersect the whole thing, and then use the red brush to add the mover.

Delete that mover you just made, because now you will make a good one. First make a template of the lift. You can make it at any location, the best place to make it is in a large room outside your map, or if your map is a large outdoor map you can make it somewhere in the sky. Use normal brushes for this template, I mean the blue and the yellow ones. Give it the textures you want, align it, apply the texture properties you want, vertex edit it if necessary. When the lift is finished, rebuild geometry and then move the red brush around the lift. Make sure the lift is completely inside the red brush, and there is nothing else inside the red brush. Also make sure the red brush is not scaled or rotated, so if it is right click on it and use Reset Scaling and Reset Rotation, or use Transform Permanently. Otherwise the mover will have a weird collision.

Position the red brush around the lift before intersecting.

Now intersect by pressing the Intersect button . The red brush now has the same shape as the lift.

The red brush after intersecting.

It is safe to delete the template now, you won't need it anymore, except if you want to intersect the same lift again later.

Move the red brush to the begin position of the lift, this means the position the lift will have when down. Now press the Add Mover button. The lift looks like purple lines in the editor, if you start the map now in the game it will look like the template you created earlier.

The "down" position of the lift.

However it will not yet move. To make it working you first have to give the lift a second key. Do this by right clicking on the purple mover brush, then in the menu that appears expand "Movers" and there select Key1.

Selecting Key1.

After you did this, place the purple mover brush to the position you want the lift to have when up.

The "up" position of the lift.

The mover brush now has two different positions: Key0 (base) is the "down" position, and Key1 is the "up" position. If you right click on the mover again and choose Key0 (base), you will be able to see the original position again (down). Now your lift is ready and works! Rebuild your map, save it (don't forget to place a PlayerStart in the map), and play it. When you step on the lift, it will rise, and after a few seconds descend again automatically.

Creating a basic door
To make a sliding door, do exact the same as you did with the lift, only now make a mover that looks like a door and place the second key now on the left or the right of the door, or above the door to make one that opens into the ceiling.

Creating a rotating door
Most people have rotating doors in their houses, and not these futuristic sliding doors. To make a rotating door, again make a mover that looks like a door. But now you don't have to move the second key. Rotate the second key the same way as you would rotate a normal brush with the rotation tool, as you can see on these pictures:

Key0 of the rotating door.

Key1 of the rotating door.

You now learned how to make lifts, doors and rotating doors. You can make any other moving object the same way. The Unreal engine doesn't see any difference between lifts, doors, trains, or whatever. It just sees movers as things that move between different Keys.

Movers with multiple keys
The lift and doors you just created use only 2 keys: Key0 (base) and Key1. You can also make movers with more than 2 keys, with a maximum of 8 keys. If you make such a mover with for example 4 keys, it will, when activated, move from Key0 to Key1, then to Key2 and then to Key3. There it will wait for a few seconds, and then it will return to Key2, then to Key1 and then back to Key0 where it will wait until it is activated again. To give a mover multiple keys, do the same as you did with Key1 in the lift example, but this time do it for Key2, Key3, etc... as well. But that's not all, you also have to tell the mover how many keys you want it to use. Right click on the mover and choose "Mover Properties". In the window that appears, expand "Mover" and there set NumKeys to the number of keys you are using. So if you use Key0, Key1, Key2 and Key3, set NumKeys to 4.

The mover properties.

The KeyNum propertie does the same as what you have done before to select a key of the mover. When you right click on the mover, expand Movers and there choose Key1, that is the same as setting KeyNum to 1 in the Mover Properties.

Most of the times you set KeyNum to 0 before saving and playing the map, but if you leave the KeyNum for example to 1, this gives another effect on the mover: if Key1 is the up position of a lift, and Key0 its down position, and you leave it to Key1 before saving, the lift will be up when you start the map. It will stay up until you activate it by touching it. Then in will wait for a few seconds, and then go down. Now it will stay down forever until you touch it again, but now it will not stay up forever, but go back down after a few seconds. So once you touched it, it acts like as if you set KeyNum to 0 before saving the map.

Moving the mover around in the editor
You can move almost anything in the editor (brushes, actors, ...), even movers. As you know by now, movers have more than one location, each Key has its own location. To move a certain Key of the mover, you first have to select that key and then move the mover around in the editor. If you move Key1, Key2, Key3, ... , or Key7, only that key will move. However, if you move Key0, all other keys will move as well. So if you made a lift that can rise etc..., and you want to place it somewhere else in the map, you only have to move Key0. Key1 will follow then.

You can move the mover, but you also can rotate it. If you rotate Key0, the other keys will rotate as well, but the will not move.

This means if you have a door like this (the bright door represents Key0, the dark one Key1):

and you rotate Key0 90, it will look like this:

and not like this as you might have hoped:

This means, if you have made a sliding door and want to use the same door again, but rotated 90, and duplicated the first door and then rotated it, you have to reposition the second key before the door works the way you want it.

Basic Mover Properties
Every mover has a lot of properties, for example to change the speed, the sounds, etc... of the mover.

To open the Mover Properties of a mover, right click on it and select "Mover Properties". In there, expand "Mover".

The Mover Properties.

The most important Mover Properties are:

-bTriggerOnceOnly: If this is true, the mover will work only once, and after that never anymore.
-BumpType: Determinates what will make the mover start (if it is not a triggermover).
BT_PlayerBump: the mover will be activated when touched by a player
BT_PawnBump: the mover will be activated by a pawn, like rockets, crates, Nali, etc...
BT_AnyBump: the mover will be activated by players and by pawns
-KeyNum: the mover key you are editing, also the key the mover will have when you start the map.
-MoverEncroachType: this determinates what the mover does when a player blocks it.
ME_StopWhenEncroach: the mover will stop when it hits you. It will almost never move again, not even if you touch it. However, if you have another mover that is set to ReturnWhenEncroach, and this mover has to return because it has hit a player, all the stopped StopWhenEncroach movers with the same tag will move again. This has to do with ReturnGroups, as you will see later.
ME_ReturnWhenEncroach: it will return to where it came from, wait a while and then try again.
ME_CrushWhenEncroach: it will kill you when it hits you
ME_IgnoreWhenEncroach: it will go through you and continue its way as if nothing has happened
MV_MoveByTime: the mover will move without acceleration (constant speed)
MV_GlideByTime: the mover will use an acceleration when it starts (positive acceleration) or stops (negative acceleration) moving.
-MoveTime: the number of seconds the mover uses when moving from one key to another. This means that if your mover uses 5 keys and MoveTime is 1, the mover will need 4 seconds to open or close, because it has to go 4 times from one key to another. If you set MoveTime to 0, the mover will "flash" to the new location, however you will not be able to use this as a teleporter, except if there are no walls or objects to obstruct the player on its path.
-NumKeys: the number of keys your mover uses.
-StayOpenTime: how long the mover will wait before returning to its begin position.

In the MoverSounds expansion of the Mover Properties, you can determinate all the different sounds the mover can use. There are 5 different fields, each of them for another situation of the mover:

ClosedSound: the sound the mover will make when it has finished closing
ClosingSound: the sound it will make when it starts closing
MoveAmbientSound: the sound it will make while moving; this is a looping sound
OpenedSound: the sound the mover will make when finished opening
OpeningSound: the sound it will make when it starts opening

To select a sound, first open the Sound Browser by opening the View menu and selecting "Sound Browser...", or press the speaker button in the toolbar. Then, open the File menu of the Sound Browser and choose "Open...". Make sure you are in the Sounds folder of your Unreal Tournament. There are two packages that have good door and elevator sounds: DoorsAnc.uax and DoorsMod.uax. The DoorAnc.uax has ancient door sounds, like wooden doors etc..., and the DoorsMod.uax has modern sounds. Select the sound you want, then go to the Mover Properties and press the Use button of the fields to activate the sound.

Now, to choose sounds for your mover, keep this in mind:
-Use sounds with "start" or "S" in their name for the ClosingSound and OpeningSound. Use sounds with "end" or "E" in the name for ClosedSound and OpenedSound. Use sounds with "loop" or "L" in the name for the MoveAmbientSound. This way you get the best effect, because these sounds are made for this.
-Use sounds that belong together for the same mover. For example, use md6start, md6loop and md6end together. It is possible to use md4start, md5loop and md6end for 1 lift, but that sounds really weird.
-Never use looping sounds for the Closed-, Closing-, Opened- or OpeningSound, otherwise they will keep playing forever!

Choosing the sounds for a mover.

If you ever have problems with the looping sounds, and there really is no explanation for it, try selecting another looping sound and after that back the original one, or if that doens't help, make the mover again. Sometimes this helps against mysterious problems.

NOTE: You are now ready to move on to PART TWO. You can find it in the INTERMEDIATE SECTION of this site. Or you may choose to download the entire tutorial from Lode's site.

[ Click here for printable version ]


Current Comments on this article:

October 18th, 2001

you are realy great
THX Lode

October 18th, 2001

I agree! Lode has written an incredible tutorial!

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