Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

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Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby Enjay » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:38 am

I mentioned this in the "what the hell" thread and a few people have asked me about it, so here goes. I use Paint Shop Pro for this so it is written from that perspective but any decent image editor should allow it. Some of the attached pix are in 256 colours to make them smaller but the image processing should be done in true colour as some of the functions need it.

The problem: Doom 3 has a lot of textures that people want to use but the Doom3 engine (as with many modern games) can do stuff with textures that older games can't. As a result, most of the Doom3 textures are actually very dull and flat looking. The Doom 3 engine adds the 3D appearance of them at run time.

The solution: Use some of the resources that the engine has to add at least a little more depth to the textures.

Here are the resources that you will find for most textures. These are actually for a model skin but textures are the same.

There is the basic texture:
Image
Pretty flat and boring huh?

There is what I believe is called a normal map:
Image
Weird looking things aren't they?

And there is also another texture which I think has something to do with brightness.
Image
I don't always use that one, but it can come in handy.

The normal map needs to be darkened and grey scaled. Most should have an alpha layer with a mask in them so you might want to apply that first (PSP "Mask/Load from Alpha chanel...")
Image
However, because you are going to be making the image very dark anyway, sometimes this doesn't really matter.

Anyway, once you have decided on that, the normal map needs to be greyscaled (PSP "Colors/Greyscale) and darkened. I usually use the gamma control (PSP Shift G) set to about 0.25 but different methods - eg brightness and contrast (PSP Shift B) can get good results. It's a bit trial and error. Anyway, you will end up with something like this:
Image

Now you need to paste it over the main texture but do so with translucency. (In PSP, Ctrl-L pastes in a new layer then "Layers/Properties..." opens a dialogue that allows you to set opacity.) I find that around about 50% opacity works quite well a lot of the time but, again, a bit of trial and error is required.
Image

Sometimes it is worth throwing the "brightness" texture into the mix too. It doesn't always look good but sometimes it does. Again, fiddling with translucency and brightness values to get it looking like you want is required.

So, here are the different versions as comparisons. First the original flat picture, then one with the normal map applied then finally one with the normal map and the brightness map.

ImageImageImage

Obviously it does change the colour of the texture slightly but this may, or may not be a problem and it can even look better. I know that the description sounds quite long but once you get into the swing of it, you can get an individual texture done in a matter of seconds.

Image
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby Ryan Cordell » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:58 am

That..

Or Graf could have just implemented all those forms of mapping (normal, parallax.. :P) into GZDoom a good while ago, eh? ;)
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby CaptainToenail » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:01 am

Nice tutorial :thumb:

Now if only I could find out how to make images transparent using GIMP, I can add alpha channels, but I don't think that's quite the same
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby Cutmanmike » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:15 am

Nice little tutorial. Might also work for other games that use the same kinda method for rending textures.

So uh... when do we get NJD3MODELS.pk3? :)
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby dark-slayer-201 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:53 am

i done this method a completely different way (looks at 3d chaingun in ds-models.pk3)
i juat added all the layers in photoshop or gimp (can't remember what i used), and messed with the layer blending.
i wish i could remember what blend i used.
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby InsanityBringer » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:08 am

Enjay wrote:And there is also another texture which I think has something to do with brightness.

<img>

I don't always use that one, but it can come in handy.


I think that's the specularity map, which probably defines how much light a part of a texture will reflect

And usually the "Normal Map" you have there is called a Bump map (because it defines "bumps" on the texture which can then be highlighted or cast shadows.)
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby esselfortium » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:19 am

In Photoshop, some of the layer blending modes like "Overlay" or "Soft Light" might work out better than just applying the normal map on top of it normally (no pun intended), as you won't get the color loss that you mentioned.
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby Remmirath » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:12 pm

Something like this, maybe?

Image
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby Enjay » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:17 pm

There are a few different overlay methods in PSP that can be messed around with. Again it's all trial and error. Different textures work better or worse with different overlay methods. I found that a simple translucent overlay worked well most of the time but the others are worth trying until you find one that you like. Whichever method you use, the textures almost always come out looking better than the excessively flat rips that I have seen in a number of WADs.

@InsanityBringer

Yes, you're quite right. That is the specularity map. In fact, they have an S at the end of the file name indicating as much.

I thought that bump maps were something different? Something that existed pre Doom3 generation engines. No?
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby Zippy » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:20 pm

Enjay wrote:I thought that bump maps were something different? Something that existed pre Doom3 generation engines. No?
Normal mapping is a kind of bump mapping (where "normal" is the geometric idea of a vector going perpendicularly away from a surface). If you're really curious I bet Wikipedia has an article on it.
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby jute » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:57 pm

Blade Nightflame wrote:That..

Or Graf could have just implemented all those forms of mapping (normal, parallax.. :P) into GZDoom a good while ago, eh? ;)


I've always wondered why no Doom ports (to my knowledge) implement these things.
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby esselfortium » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:59 pm

jute wrote:
Blade Nightflame wrote:That..

Or Graf could have just implemented all those forms of mapping (normal, parallax.. :P) into GZDoom a good while ago, eh? ;)


I've always wondered why no Doom ports (to my knowledge) implement these things.

Probably at least in part due to the fact that sector lighting has no direction, it's just kind of....there. So there's no "correct" way to handle bumpmapping on surfaces for which you have no light direction.
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby XutaWoo » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:46 pm

esselfortium wrote:So there's no "correct" way to handle bumpmapping on surfaces for which you have no light direction.

No correct way, but it could just be added as runtime start shading as a lazy way of importing textures from new games. :P
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby jute » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:07 am

Maybe it could react to dynamic lights from torches, projectiles, etc.?
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Re: Making Doom3 textures look less flat in Doom

Postby Ceeb » Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:29 am

jute wrote:Maybe it could react to dynamic lights from torches, projectiles, etc.?


And your frame rate slams into the floor, reaching negative values.
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