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SteveRock

achieving the rocky-nature look

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Posted (edited)

i'm a n00b mapper, and i've learned a lot in the past months. i wanted to share my learnings to help other n00bs, but also to start a discussion and get the input of more experienced mappers.

 

the most important thing i've learned is that choosing a main texture matters a LOT. as an experiment, i simplified a part of Valiant and replaced the texture. original, with sprites removed:

600929822_ScreenShot2022-08-14at1_04_13AM.png.24b0e9e337398b2c4dea5244c47c4b54.png

now here is the same thing, just replacing the rock texture with DOOM1's SROCK1:

1685196050_ScreenShot2022-08-14at1_04_07AM.png.e3d89f7b8f308b679cfc7322a75ccd43.png

 

now it looks like garbage :D

 

the most obvious difference between the two textures is, the first one has a lot of horizontal layering, like a stack of pancakes. this suits DOOM a lot, since you don't have slopes, so layers of terraces is one of the few natural-looks you can easily achieve. the layers/horizontal lines also have differences in brightness/value, which help prevent the edges from blending in with the layer behind. so, vertical variation is pretty important in a rock texture.

 

another way to help avoid the "edge blending" effect is to add a trim along the top of the texture. i did this (poorly) for SROCK1 in my map, and it helps a lot:

728061183_Screenshot_Doom_20220726_091735copy.png.c0922b0dc9f9f3eee31d4e90077003a8.png

texture here:

sp_rk_tm.png.7ff9f242bfc89f0b4dbfd0b2f7d3a6e9.png

 

i think if i make more rocky nature maps, i will just use one of the popular rock textures. either the grey one in valiant, or this old gem that i see a LOT:

346904344_ScreenShot2022-08-18at9_36_42AM.png.e30d218fb3464f58b6707d4af229db42.png 

(this shot from ruinbros.wad, but it's used in so many wads)

 

the texture has horizontal lines and vertical value variation.

 

that's all for now..i have other thoughts about best practices for mixing rock textures, patterns of sector shapes, etc. but those aren't fully baked yet.

 

what are your thoughts on achieving this great look?

 

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I mean SP_ROCK is kind of a garbage texture to begin with, it looks like the cubes are going to fall off any moment now. But as someone who enjoys turning garbage into art (?) I don't mind using this bizarre texture. MFLR8_3 is the proper flat to use with it if you want a matching color.

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I actually never thought about this, partly because I've done very little mapping with much outside of the stock Doom textures, but you make a good point.  The way drawn sectors lend themselves to a layered look makes a lot more sense, geologically, with a similarly layered striated rock face.  SP_ROCK1 is jumbly and would therefore make more sense with jumbly boulders or hillsides--which, of courses, are a lot harder to make in Doom.

 

Usually my (crude) attempt at achieving this jumbliness is to break rock faces up into polygons (usually jagged, though sometimes smoother ones work better depending on the texture), randomize the height offsets and play with their heights until I get the desired effect.  Usually this kind of randomization works okay for what I'm trying to do.

 

I like SP_ROCK a lot but I also like the CEMENT textures and fanboy hard for FIREBLU so make of that what you will

 

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I'm no expert, but something I've realised is that you can get away with using contrasting textures next to/ overlapping eachother in caves, at varying heights. It still looks convincingly natural and adds detail and variety to the visuals without needing to be visually separated by borders the way interior or other man-made style environments do. Here's an example from Sunlust to illustrate:

 

sunlust-at-2022-08-19-11-16-57-869-R3971

 

And a somewhat more crude example from me:

 

DARKZONE-at-2022-08-19-11-17-43-328-R397

 

Hanging vines never hurts either. I guess the next step beyond this is the sort of insane curvature and micro-detailing that's a bit beyond me at the moment.

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21 hours ago, magicsofa said:

I mean SP_ROCK is kind of a garbage texture to begin with, it looks like the cubes are going to fall off any moment now. But as someone who enjoys turning garbage into art (?) I don't mind using this bizarre texture. MFLR8_3 is the proper flat to use with it if you want a matching color.

yeah haha, that's the main reason i'm not just switching textures for my map. i wanna force myself to use it for a bit, try and do something good to stretch my skills, but also understand when/why it sucks. i chose to use FLAT5_7 instead cuz i do like the contrast it brings.

 

 

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1 hour ago, VisionThing said:

I'm no expert, but something I've realised is that you can get away with using contrasting textures next to/ overlapping eachother in caves, at varying heights. It still looks convincingly natural and adds detail and variety to the visuals without needing to be visually separated by borders the way interior or other man-made style environments do. Here's an example from Sunlust to illustrate:

 

sunlust-at-2022-08-19-11-16-57-869-R3971

 

And a somewhat more crude example from me:

 

DARKZONE-at-2022-08-19-11-17-43-328-R397

 

Hanging vines never hurts either. I guess the next step beyond this is the sort of insane curvature and micro-detailing that's a bit beyond me at the moment.

 

yeah using multiple textures can be tricky! one thing i would suggest in your example is to have more height variety and overlapping. you wanna avoid uninterrupted vertical lines. notice how in the sunlust example, there are very few full vertical lines, because they're usually interrupted by a shorter pillar. whereas in your example, the pillars all start at the top half of the screen and fully reach the bottom half uninterrupted. i tried to do this a lot in my map:

Screenshot_Doom_20220819_080524.png.8502ae84b59a5ed50d3538b406a58e0a.png

 

it's fairly time consuming and it can feel like whack a mole sometimes, hunting down those lines. i'm trying to formulate a "system" for it...probably just, draw a bubble pattern with overall decreasing height for each layer of bubbles...and randomly assign textures :D

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ASHWALL textures do wonders such as achieving rocky nature-esk terrain if you use them correctly.

 

source: dude trust me

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4 hours ago, SteveRock said:

 

Screenshot_Doom_20220819_080524.png.8502ae84b59a5ed50d3538b406a58e0a.png


More variation on the top would help too... the easiest way being to raise the overall ceiling level and then add more sectors outside the play area, so that the ceiling line is less obvious. Or you can get tricky and use missing upper textures to "lower" the sky in spots.

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2 hours ago, magicsofa said:


More variation on the top would help too... the easiest way being to raise the overall ceiling level and then add more sectors outside the play area, so that the ceiling line is less obvious. Or you can get tricky and use missing upper textures to "lower" the sky in spots.

 

yeah, totally. that is on my todo list. i think i'll surround my map with floor=ceiling sky sectors.

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4 hours ago, thiccyosh said:

ASHWALL textures do wonders such as achieving rocky nature-esk terrain if you use them correctly.

 

source: dude trust me

haha not sure if joking, but happy to check out some good examples!

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