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Nazgul9

Advice on textures?

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So i've decided to take my long time DooM addiction to the next level and dl'd Doom Builder... working on some maps i think are worth sharing and intend to go for a full 32 here. Using Slade 3 for additional editing, but am still just learning the basics so i won't be bothering anyone with dumb questions about it for a while.

My question is, when you use textures from external sets, how do you go about it? I have my maps saved as individual wads, which later get "saved into" a larger megawad file. Do you save any new textures into each map and then save into the larger file? or is it best just to keep a list of all the resources used and do one big edit at the end? So far i have been sticking to the stock textures but would really like to be able to expand my possibilities.

Also, i have noticed that texture packs usually contain all the standard textures from Doom 2. What is the reason for that? Is it customary to just include whatever textures are used in the lump list, or rather to substitute the whole list altogether?

Just trying to do things right, any advice is appreciated!

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Nazgul9 said:

Also, i have noticed that texture packs usually contain all the standard textures from Doom 2. What is the reason for that?

The original engine and most source ports (as far as I know, only the ZDoom family is an exception) does not allow cumulative loading of textures, so if you don't redefine the original they will not be available.

The general case is that Doom only reads the last lump with a given name. Textures are defined in the lumps PNAMES, TEXTURE1 and TEXTURE2: PNAMES to define the patches, then TEXTUREx to composite the patches into textures. (IMO, this is a bad design, they should have gone without PNAMES and used patch names directly in texture definitions instead of associating them to a number with PNAMES and then using this number in TEXTURES. But whatever, what's done is done and this is how it works.)

This is also a reason why using several texture pack together can be complicated: only the last one will be loaded. So you need to use an editor like SLADE 3 to merge together all the texture packs you want to use. This can be done by simply copy/pasting all the texture definitions from one pack into another, in SLADE's texture editor interface.

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Gez said:

The original engine and most source ports (as far as I know, only the ZDoom family is an exception) does not allow cumulative loading of textures, so if you don't redefine the original they will not be available.

FYI: Doomsday also interprets TEXTUREN lumps cumulatively.

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Nazgul9 said:

Also, i have noticed that texture packs usually contain all the standard textures from Doom 2. What is the reason for that? Is it customary to just include whatever textures are used in the lump list, or rather to substitute the whole list altogether?

As Gez explained, it's necessary if you want your wad to be vanilla or Boom compatible. Only the last TEXTURE1 lump is loaded and the previous ones are forgotten, including the IWAD one. Inside any vanilla/Boom compatible TEXTURE1, sky textures and switches must always be present, because their names are hardcoded and the engine expects to find them. Other stock textures (normal + animated ones) can be missing, as long as you don't use them in the maps.

Nazgul9 said:

My question is, when you use textures from external sets, how do you go about it? Do you save any new textures into each map and then save into the larger file? or is it best just to keep a list of all the resources used and do one big edit at the end?

Both ways are possible, and both have their advantages in different situations:

1. You want just a few particular custom textures for the particular map, and not an entire texture pack. Then your best option is to put these new textures into the map. Then another set of texture into another map. In the end, put them all together.

2. You have picked a particular texture pack that you want to take textures from. Add this pack as a resource for every particular map you make. When starting the map in Doom Builder, you always select the IWAD as the resource, you know? So select another resource (the texture pack) after the IWAD. You either tell people to run your maps with this texture pack, or - when your mapset is complete - merge all your maps and the entire texture pack into one wad, and run a procedure in SLADE3 to remove unused textures (to save some space).

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Inserting a new texutre is fairly easy in XWE and I assume it's the same for other editors as well. All you really need to do is import a bitmap into your WAD file, covert it to Doom image format, then right click the lump, click "add to PNAMES", right click it again and "add to Texture". This saves the image as a patch the engine can recognize, and then applies the patch as a texture for you to use in your map.

It might be even easier with newer tools, but this is how I've been doing it for years. Worth noting, textures can only be 128 pixels tall in Vanilla Doom, and I believe the width has to be divisible by 8 for it to repeat properly.

Side note - If you wish to add an animating texture, there are multiple ways of doing it. If you are aiming for ZDoom compatibility, it is very simple through the use of the ANIMDEFS lump. You can specify many frames of animation and the tic duration, meaning the animation can play as slow or as fast as you'd like. If you want vanilla compatibility, you will have to replace an existing texture set (DBRAIN* is my go-to replacement for this purpose) and overall it's a little more finnicky. If you need assistance with this I'll be happy to help.

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With SLADE you can right-click->add to textures directly, it'll do the PNAMES step for you when needed.

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Thanks for the tip, Gez. Maybe it IS time to move on to Slade.. I doubt it will be as hard as the transition from WadAuthor to Doom Builder was way back when, but I'm sure it'd be just as rewarding, from what I've heard.

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SLADE is nice. It gets points for being easier on my one remaining weak eye than DB too.

Gez, are you the go-to guy for reporting SLADE bugs these days?

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Thanks for the valuable info, a lot of things are making sense now!

One more, about a specific case: I used the texture WFALL1 from Nick Baker's Doom2 Recolored tex pack on a map, and when i load the game on my port (GZ Doom) outside of DB, the texture actually shows in the game, while for most other ones you get that checkerboard pattern that means the engine(?) doesn't know what the hell you're talking about. Just really curious about this, as in theory it shouldn't be possible without adding the lump first, according to my limited knowledge...

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Aliotroph? said:

Gez, are you the go-to guy for reporting SLADE bugs these days?

Well the best would be to use the bugtracker. Neither sirjuddington nor me have had much time to work on SLADE the last few weeks so a report made directly might get forgotten during these hiatus.

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Nazgul9 said:

One more, about a specific case: I used the texture WFALL1 from Nick Baker's Doom2 Recolored tex pack on a map, and when i load the game on my port (GZ Doom) outside of DB, the texture actually shows in the game, while for most other ones you get that checkerboard pattern that means the engine(?) doesn't know what the hell you're talking about. Just really curious about this, as in theory it shouldn't be possible without adding the lump first, according to my limited knowledge...

When you add a texture pack as a resource in Doom Builder, it will NOT add the textures to the wad. The info will only be saved in .dbs file, which is nothing more than Doom Builder's own config file for a given map, used to save your time when editing the map, telling the editor which resources to load and from where, etc. If you just run your wad in a source port (not from DB), textures from the texture pack will be missing, because the port has no idea where to take the resources from. The checkerboard = unknown texture. Vanilla and some ports actually crash when they encounter unknown textures.

Maybe GZDoom knows waterfalls natively, or it looks for missing textures into .dbs file, or something. I actually don't know. Don't bet on it.

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Seems the case is, the WFALL textures were added to PNAMES, but not the TEXTURE lump. IIRC, GZDoom can display non-texture patches as if they were textures, a feature most ports lack. It should be as simple as selecting the 4 WFALL frames in Slade/XWE and clicking "add to texture". Hope this helps!

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I am aware that Doom Builder doesn't add textures to the wad and that this must be done in Slade or similar, that much is clear. What is puzzling me right now is the fact that GZ Doom is actually reading that particular texture, even though in theory it was never put in the wad and i can't figure out how it got there. Not that it's causing any kind of problem (the opposite, actually lol), i'm just curious! And i'm absolutely putting the texture lump in the wad when i get to that point, no question about that...

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Nazgul9 said:

What is puzzling me right now is the fact that GZ Doom is actually reading that particular texture, even though in theory it was never put in the wad and i can't figure out how it got there. Not that it's causing any kind of problem (the opposite, actually lol), i'm just curious!

If you run GZDoom with Plutonia as the IWAD, then it's clear - Plutonia contains its own waterfalls. Even if you didn't, maybe GZDoom is smart enough to take waterfalls from Plutonia IWAD if it cannot find them in your wad. After all, WFALL1-4 is a hardcoded animated texture name.

Nazgul9 said:

And i'm absolutely putting the texture lump in the wad when i get to that point, no question about that...

Just to make this clear for you, adding the texture lump itself is not enough, you need to include all patches between PP_START/PP_END markers too, as well as PNAMES.

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scifista42 said:

If you run GZDoom with Plutonia as the IWAD, then it's clear - Plutonia contains its own waterfalls. Even if you didn't, maybe GZDoom is smart enough to take waterfalls from Plutonia IWAD if it cannot find them in your wad. After all, WFALL1-4 is a hardcoded animated texture name.


Ok, that kinda makes sense. Even though the iwad i'm using is Doom2, my GZ Doom folder does contain Plutonia. There's a pretty good chance that's where it gets the texture from...

scifista42 said:
Just to make this clear for you, adding the texture lump itself is not enough, you need to include all patches between PP_START/PP_END markers too, as well as PNAMES.


Roger that. I'm still far from that point, you'll probably hear some questions from me on that when the moment comes. Thanks!

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Hope you've found your answer for wad inclusive custom textures, but let me give you some tips about texture alignment I wish I had of been told about:

(Gz Doom builder at least)

Num-Pad keys to orient textures/flats , Shift+Numpad shifts the texture in larger increments.

U + L keys while pointing at a texture will unpeg lower/upper respectively, and is a very fast way to align.

When selecting faces to add a texture to, highlight Walls together and upper/lowers together, but never all at the same time. ( A wall - Upper/Middle/Lower - Wall etc.) or you'll be clicking Front/Back trying to find the right place to put your texture.

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