Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Marscaleb

What's the difference between Quake's models and the user-made 3D models in Doom?

Recommended Posts

So I'm trying to plan out how to go about doing this mod I'm working on.
Specifically, I am trying to decide if I want to make the enemies as sprites or as 3D models.
Now, this mod is going to be a TC, I'm going to replace everything and build something new from the ground up, (except, obviously, the code.) So I will be creating new monsters.
The art style I am pursuing is largely keeping it old-school. Low-res textures and stuff. I am planning on putting in at least *some* 3D models, usually just as static decoration, so it won't be out of place to have my monsters be built as 3D models, as long as they still have low-res textures and low poly counts.
I would also consider making the animations have no interpolation so they have the jerk movements seen in Quake 1 and Hexen 2, but that's not set in stone.

But here's the thing. Whenever I look at the Doom Mods that use 3D models for the monsters, (or for that matter, the ones in Duke 3D and Shadow Warrior,) they look really bad. Now I don't mean so much about the artistry of the models themselves but they just seem to move and act all... quirky and weird. They don't seem to move or turn naturally, they usually have jerky animation frames, and there just seems to be something off about them in general.

There could be a number of reasons why; I mean, the game was built around having sprites for the monsters so maybe there is just some fundamental designs in how they move that won't look right no matter what. Or maybe it is something with the way the engine is trying to call animation frames that make sense for both sprites and 3D models, and a bit of behind-the-scenes tweaking could fix the problem. Or maybe it is just the 3D models I am looking at just have poorly-done animations, and re-working the new assets will avoid the problem.

I just sat down and watched how the monsters move in the Doom mods, and how the characters move around in Quake 1 and Quake 2. I can spot a number of differences, but... Well the real question is, are these differences that would HAVE to exist, even if I create new monsters?
If it was just that these models were poorly animated, I could tweak mine to look better. If it is just a problem with how they are trying to line up with the animation frames of the original, well maybe I could give my monsters simpler animation calls that run better with 3D models. Or maybe this is a fundamental issue with how the monsters move and animate in a game designed for sprites, and the only way I could fix it is to re-write the game's base logic.

That's what I'm really trying to figure out. What would need to be done to have 3D monsters in Doom look as proper as they do in Quake 1 or 2?

Can a Doom mod use 3D monsters and actually have them look good?
What are the Quake monsters doing that the Doom monsters are not?

Share this post


Link to post

Well for starters, Quake uses the MDL format. Doom ports use MD2 models, such as EDGE, ZDoom, Risen3D etc.

Unfortunately I forgot the difference between the two.

Share this post


Link to post

It's a combination of poorly made models and the fact that the stock enemies in Doom were created with sprites in mind.

My limited experience tells me that the way actors are animated in Quake isn't that different from Doom, although the former provides more freedom in places. In general, I'd say 3D models call for a slightly more complex and natural behavior than sprites if you want the actors to look good.

MDL and MD2 aren't that different.

Share this post


Link to post

The monster AI in Doom is quite simplistic and notably, monsters have a few behaviors that work okay with sprites as they are "hidden" by the limitations of using 2D sprites in a 3D environment, but which becomes blatant with 3D models.

For example, monsters turn instantly and can only adopt an angle that's a multiple of 45°. In Quake, when a monster turns, it has a limit to its angular speed, and it can face other angles than a multiple of 45°. It makes its movement look much more natural.

Share this post


Link to post

3D models rarely look good in Doom outside of static decoration and architectural details.

Share this post


Link to post
Da Werecat said:

It's a combination of poorly made models and the fact that the stock enemies in Doom were created with sprites in mind.

My limited experience tells me that the way actors are animated in Quake isn't that different from Doom, although the former provides more freedom in places. In general, I'd say 3D models call for a slightly more complex and natural behavior than sprites if you want the actors to look good.


So... You are suggesting that I could avoid the bulk of the problems if my enemies werebuilt as 3D models from the ground up.
I'm leaning toward using 3DGE, so I would have easy yet powerful control over the animation. I could easily bypass problems with trying to synch up the animation with sprite frames.

Gez said:

The monster AI in Doom is quite simplistic and notably, monsters have a few behaviors that work okay with sprites as they are "hidden" by the limitations of using 2D sprites in a 3D environment, but which becomes blatant with 3D models.

For example, monsters turn instantly and can only adopt an angle that's a multiple of 45°. In Quake, when a monster turns, it has a limit to its angular speed, and it can face other angles than a multiple of 45°. It makes its movement look much more natural.


Ah! See, that's the kind of thing I need to know!

Hmm, if I were to make the animation have no interpolation (ala Quake 1) then it likely wouldn't look too awkward to have them suddenly face new angles. Of course, they would still be sliding across the ground at a smooth rate unless there is an easy way to revise that.

...Are you sure the monsters are limited to 45 degree angles all the time, and not just how they are placed in the map? Because the player can face them at any angle and they have a tendency to face the player when they shoot you.

Share this post


Link to post

I have yet to see a good 3d model enemy in Doom. The game's inner workings don't allow it, sprite enemies look better.

Share this post


Link to post
Marscaleb said:

So... You are suggesting that I could avoid the bulk of the problems if my enemies werebuilt as 3D models from the ground up.

I'm not sure if that's what he meant. To me, it sounded like nothing more than simply pointing out that 3D models are hard to make to look good, in comparison with sprites.

Marscaleb said:

...Are you sure the monsters are limited to 45 degree angles all the time, and not just how they are placed in the map? Because the player can face them at any angle and they have a tendency to face the player when they shoot you.

Monster's angle is limited to the 8 cardinal directions while walking (upon calling A_Chase), but it can turn any direction when the monster stops in place to fire a projectile or use melee attack (upon calling A_FaceTarget), until it starts walking again.

Feel free to test it out yourself by starting a Doom game, opening the automap, typing IDDT twice, alerting some monsters, and observing their movement patterns on the automap.

Share this post


Link to post

Just off hand I can tell you:
-Quake models have a lot more animation frames than Doom sprites
-The textures are simple front/back views of the monster
-They have multiple death and pain animations
-In the death animation, have the monsters just fall down dead in dramatic ways. I noticed that a lot of model packs for Doom try to recreate the sprite's gory death animation, but it just doesn't translate well to 3D. It may be a lot less satisfying to have them just fall down, but it will look a lot better. If you -have- to make it look gorier, just have the death animations use a new texture that has bruises and gashes in it

Share this post


Link to post

There's also the fact that GZDoom doesn't support vertex lighting, so models end up flatly shaded instead of, y'know, having shadows based on the lighting.

Share this post


Link to post

I meant that using models from the start is gonna make for better visuals than the dreadful model packs for Doom show, provided enough care is put into the models.

OTOH, I'm yet to make my first 3D character, so my words may mean very little.

Share this post


Link to post
Arctangent said:

There's also the fact that GZDoom doesn't support vertex lighting, so models end up flatly shaded instead of, y'know, having shadows based on the lighting.

This, however, will eventually change.

Share this post


Link to post
Gez said:

This, however, will eventually change.



If it ever changes it'll support pixel lighting, not vertex lighting.

Share this post


Link to post
scifista42 said:

Monster's angle is limited to the 8 cardinal directions while walking (upon calling A_Chase), but it can turn any direction when the monster stops in place to fire a projectile or use melee attack (upon calling A_FaceTarget), until it starts walking again.

Ah! That sounds more believable.
Hmm, I could deal with that, especially if the animations don't interpolate. Maybe no interpolation but with more frames, like in Hexen II.

HorrorMovieGuy said:

Just off hand I can tell you:
-Quake models have a lot more animation frames than Doom sprites
-The textures are simple front/back views of the monster
-They have multiple death and pain animations

Yup, all of which can be done with modern Doom mods.

HorrorMovieGuy said:

-In the death animation, have the monsters just fall down dead in dramatic ways. I noticed that a lot of model packs for Doom try to recreate the sprite's gory death animation, but it just doesn't translate well to 3D. It may be a lot less satisfying to have them just fall down, but it will look a lot better. If you -have- to make it look gorier, just have the death animations use a new texture that has bruises and gashes in it

I was thinking more along the lines of having them explode into lots of pieces. Or maybe remove a chunk of the model (head, limb, etc) and have a lot of blood gush out of the opening while a flailing animation plays. Although that would require some extensive work to establish a point to gush from.
But yeah, thanks for the input. I dislike the sad attempts at gory deaths as well.

Arctangent said:

There's also the fact that GZDoom doesn't support vertex lighting, so models end up flatly shaded instead of, y'know, having shadows based on the lighting.


Ahhhh, that is one I hadn't thought about.
Hmmm, this may be a breaking point. I mean, I want it to look old school and low res, but... That might be too much.
I guess if the monsters are designed right they won't look too bad, but this is going to sway my decision a lot.

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah let's be honest, 3D models with no shading just looks bad. Hard to get around that in Doom...

Share this post


Link to post
GoatLord said:

Yeah let's be honest, 3D models with no shading just looks bad. Hard to get around that in Doom...


Well, they didn't have it in Quake 1, and it worked out there. It just forces my hand a bit. The more high-res a model looks, the more obvious it will be that something is wrong. And if I shift my designs to reflect the shading, It can work. But I just can't put in anything; I have to create models designed to work with this limitation.

Share this post


Link to post
Marscaleb said:

Well, they didn't have it in Quake 1, and it worked out there.

Quake has Gouraud shading for MDL models, but it's subtle, and the direction is static.

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, you can barely notice it, but it's definitely there. Just look at Quake 64 or Quake 2 64, they have only ambient shading that responds to shadows but only affects the whole model. Looks kinda crummy. The only examples I can think of where this works are games like Spyro, where the models are so colorful and well animated that the lack of shading doesn't hurt it.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×