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Szuran

An easy way to make wall decorations reusable on any texture

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I don't know if it's a thing, maybe you've known it already (probably so), but I haven't seen it anywhere and I'm surprised how easy this is and how much this makes the levels more varied. I wanted to share this idea.

 

Basically, I tried to make texture-on-top-of-texture things but without having to dabble with the texture I want to decorate. Let's say I want a torch on a wall. If I have 3 types of walls and I want to place it on them, I'd have to take each of the 3 textures and add the torch on them. That's how it's done in Freedoom, which I'm modding. If the makers wanted a gargoyle face on the wall, they had to make wall textures with the face on them.

 

WALL58_1.png.bd57111ba24e99d632bd8a00af7a5d23.png

 

The effect is super cool, but I though this had to take so much time. If I wanted this head on a brown brick wall, there had to be a separate version with the brick wall. That also increases the size of the wad.

 

So I reckoned I'd just make the face, torch or whatever (in my case: graffiti) on a transparent background.

 

GRAF4.png.1243ac3b89a664ebe3f306f5c7d9848b.png

 

Then I created a pixel-wide sector near the wall I wanted to place it on, and selected it as the middle sidedef texture.


It works great, you can't tell this isn't a wall texture. You can even add layers upon layers and until you reach like 5 pixels, it all looks fine! I highly recommend this if you want to save time and disc space and add some variety to your levels!

 

obraz.png.344e4f45c514828e82214e6316a3032d.png

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It's a really cool and simple idea to create an high amount of "new" textures starting only with 3 or 4 add-ons. 

But if you want to have even more layers (which maybe could be your case having that in some places you will want to have more than 5 graffiti on the same large wall) you can simply make a sector o.x map unit wide. The grid allows you to scale it down to 0.125 map units.

 

Edit: this is a method that works quite well even with 3d floors, that had to have their sides all textured in the same way. You make another 0.5 mapunit-wide 3d sector near it,with a different side texture, and you have a side with a different texture

Edited by Simomarchi

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Posted (edited)

Since I'm working with vanilla D2 map format / DoomBuilder 2, I'm not sure if I can make that small sectors, but I'll certainly try.

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Gzdoom builder surely has the small grid, but even in DB2 you can make smaller sectors if you turn off the auto align. The format doesn't influence the grid dimension as far as i know.

 

Howerver it's always better to switch to more modern editing softwares in order to make the mapping process simpler. The most famous are GZDoom builder bugfix and Doom Builder x. But the choice is up to you of course.

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This is as old as Action Doom 2, so it's a very old discovery (11 years ago!)

 

Still neat, so thanks for posting it over here.

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How is that any different than using patches on existing textures? That method is already built-in into Doom since the beginning, and the overhead is really minimal (just a description of which patches to apply to make a full texture is saved in the WAD, not the full composite textures). The engine then cleverly draws the composite textures in memory, so if there are any gains to be had those would be in terms of runtime RAM, not so much disk space.

 

And the proposed method also increases mapping complexity and probably stretches some vanilla limits regarding how many masked/2-sided textures can be visible at once. This method may have its uses, but not as a drop-in replacement for traditional Doom texturing.

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It's actually kinda amusing to see this method mentioned here as an actual viable method. I have been using this method in my current megawad unintentionally. I tried to load new textures (UDMF) but I messed up the patch table and got all the "wall decorations" as separate textures.

 

Now that I have been using it for over 10 maps, I think I figured out some advantage it has (not sure how easily these can be replicated via patches):

 

The biggest advantage I see is being able to apply these textures literally anywhere at any time and at any alignment. This makes it easy to create hanging banners and torch-like decorations on the ground. These can be placed on top of raised sectors to create new decorations. (Like making a 4px wide metal pole and placing a transparent torch on top of it to create a solid torch) Again, since the only reason I even used this method was because I messed up the patch table by accident, I don't really know if what I said just now can also be done with patches. Regardless, I find this method quite useful.

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It's funny, Ive played a few maps where people used this method but were too lazy and put the texture 8 units away from the wall, making it very obvious. Whereas at 1-unit depth it's imperceptible. Like come on, it's not hard to select 1-unit grid precision and zoom in!

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It's basically a poor man's version of decals, as seen in the Build engine.

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If it works, it ain't stupid, and I think it works well.

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I guess it might be more convenient than conventional texturing if you only really need to use a particular patch combination once on a particular wall, and your editor easily alliows you to work with 1-px wide details, without getting in the way.

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But that's the thing: you can use ANY combination of transparent png and wall. You can use it to hang paintings on walls, to create graffiti, to create TV screens at any height, one above another. It allows you to cheat a lot in vanilla Doom 2 format.

 

obraz.png.66b02216a867505914b909f619568a60.png

 

Imagine how hard it would be to create this corridor without it.

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Assuming the graffiti were each one big masked texture, at most I would need to define two separate solid textures, each with the same base, and the graffiti as patches. It all comes down to whether you prefer working on the map or the texture tool, really.

 

Now, if those graffiti are really 200 tiny bullet holes/decals....ok, I get it, but I'd still rather draw them in Paint or something as a single image)patch, rather than painstakingly arranging them in a map editor one by one.

 

Now, if it comes to composite masked textures (having at least one transparent pixel), that's a whole other ballgame, as vanilla Doom is notorious for being unable to handle those and turning them into a mess of tutti-frutti.

 

There, this trick might indeed come in handy.

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I mean Doom 2 format, when run in GZDoom this works totally fine, not a single problem, however ZDoom does have issues with displaying these textures sometimes.

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