Doom High Res Sprites - Kickstarter?

Doom High-res Sprites   37 members have voted

  1. 1. Tea Monster, the guy who makes the game-ready, next-gen Doom models, is interested in how much response there would be to creating a kickstarter to make some new Doom sprites from 3D models. They would be accurate to the sprite and of high quality. I would ask for kickstarter backing to help with software costs and I would be taking time away from commercial projects to make these.

    • Yes, I'd contribute to a kickstarter to make some high-quality, accurate Doom sprites
      3
    • No, Doom should be free. I'll wait for someone else to do it.
      13
    • While it sounds nice, this commercial venture would be shut down by Bethesda instantly.
      22

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@Tea Monster Just my two cents, but I believe it's the case that when people say they prefer Sprites to Models, it's not specifically the format people like, it's the artistic result.  The original Doom sprites are somewhere between a painting and pixel art crossed with stop motion animation.  They're a very unique look, and combined with the idiosyncratic way Doom monsters move, somehow whenever anyone tries to make improved versions of them, it just seems to be the case that they don't look as good.

So our reticence here is absolutely no reflection on your talent as a modeler (people like models for different reasons) it's purely down to our learned experience that in the entire history of Doom modding no-one has ever managed to make any higher-res versions of the sprites that were universally considered to improve on the originals.

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Actually, why not just make a Doom model pack for like props? Ex: Trees, barrels, real life objects, cars, etc. Things we need for Doom maps

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12 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Assuming you were using hardware mode and had a reasonable gaming pc would any of this even matter? I am having a hard time picturing modern pc's getting chocked by a Doom game just because the sprites are high res.

 

 

The math doesn't lie: a 2x increase in resolution (which would be modest, compared to what the OP aspires to do)  results in a 4x increase not only in sprite storage, but also in the bandwidth required to perform a draw, everything else being equal (number of monsters, number of rotations per sprite etc.). And since we're talking true color sprites with alpha, that's another 4x increase in memory (8-bits vs 32-bits per pixel). Even on a GPU, that will eat up bandwidth pretty quickly if you go NUTS.WAD-levels of monsters. The sprites the OP posted are more like 4x resolution in each dimension, so 16x....add the 4x of the true colour... that's 64x bandwidth. Hard to imagine that even a modern GPU will NOT be affected, especially when you consider that HW accelerated ports do NOT give that sort of speed advantage over software. Don't believe it? Run e.g. a timedemo of NUTS.WAD in prboom+ vs glboom+. Who do you think will win? By how much margin? The results might even surprise you...

 

12 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

As for why not just use 3D models? It's because Doom doesn't allow for any that are of good quality.

 

Bingo :-) And do you believe that a forced reduction (in terms of viewable angles) of a hi-res model is a good alternative? A model of the type showed in the first post would look jarring if it only had the standard viewable angles and the usual handful of animations.  It would look like a 3D model, but it would not be one (painfully obviously so). I dunno, but I personally would rather wait for a port with "good quality model support" than resort to this sort of compromise.

 

As I said before, there's a reason why 2D sprites were eventually abandoned from gaming: 3D models could be rotated smoothly, animated more linearly and scaled to any arbitrary resolution: straight lines remained straight lines, no staircasing of contours, and independent hardware filtering of just their own textures.

 

The ideal for Doom, IMO, would be a middle ground between models and sprites. Personally, I'd vote for a Doom 64-esque approach: a mixture of models and hand-drawn sprites at maybe 1.5x-2x resolution, maybe with 16 view angles. That'd give you the best of both worlds.

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I don't think this is a good idea for at least few reasons. First and the most important - some time ago I did a test with hires Imp (4 x increase in resolution). When I finished rendering all standard frames and put this to the game the lack of smoothnes in moving of this sprite was terrible. So I've doubled the dount of frames - effect was still very poor. So I doubled frames again and this was the moment when I achieved an effect similar to what it sould be. But the pack with all imp frames was something about 80mb! Of course I know that imp looks terrible and very amatorish - today I work in gamedev, working on some big fps with very tallented character artists and that old imp is definitely not what I want to share with big puplic.

I think 3d models are the best way to achieve what you want. Community don't like 3d models but in my opinion, this is caused by poor quality of that old models from Doomsday site (poor geo, poor flat textures without baked ao and cavitys on them and at least but most important - terrible animation). I saw some of your latest work and this is finally the quality that community may accept - very nice models with good animation. But fact that your models looks good is not a sufficient reason to make money from them. Don't get me wrong - your models looks good, but not THAT good. There still some work to do that they may be called pro. IMO the most close to pro level are s13n1 models but even them need some polishing, and they are just painted sculpts. Anyway, here's demo of that old imp (more for warning what not to do): 

 

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You know, the animation and the looks aren't even that terrible. My main concern would be one of scalability, like I mentioned before. One or two imps might be OK...what about 10 or 20? 100? What about an entire bestiary of 100+ MB monsters loaded in memory? And on a HW accelerated port, would the frames really reside entirely in the GPU, or they would have to be read from main RAM all the time?

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Agree. Even if I don't test it with a 100+ imps I can imagine that. So IMO only logical way is using of lowpoly good animated models with 256-512 textures. But for God sake don't try to make money from this...

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2 hours ago, Reinchard said:

 Anyway, here's demo of that old imp (more for warning what not to do): 

 

 

lmao this looks like claymation.

 

EDIT: A part of the problem is that it isn't enough to just remake the monsters. They would just look out of place among all the other assets. If the graphics are to be remade in HD, then you would have to remake the entire game in order for the visual style to be consistent.

Edited by hardcore_gamer
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You have hires textures, skyboxes, items. Monsters is the only missing element, so at this point I understand a necessity of making them in some way.

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@Reinchard That doesn't look as bad as you made out. But it is a perfect example of what people have mentioned already in this thread.

 

1) It looks like a model, so it might as well be a model. Not least because then you have proper angles, animation and a far, far smaller file size.

 

2) The originals Imp sprites still look better. Even though they're tiny in comparison, somehow they imply so much more detail. 

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2 hours ago, Bauul said:

1) It looks like a model, so it might as well be a model.

 

The problem with this argument though is that because of mediocre model support there are massive limits on how good those models can look. This is why there are no good looking 3D models for Doom. Sprites can have unlimited detail assuming the person making them can take advantage of the fact.

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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7 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

Sprites can have unlimited detail assuming the person making them can take advantage of the fact.

There's your killer right there. Even assuming just a 2x scaling, the pixel work involved is so massive that most attempts will simply wash out after a few frames, or decide to cheapen out and go with 3D models or scaling filters.

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Sounds like to me Doom needs to get better model support.

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4 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

The problem with this argument though is that because of mediocre model support there are massive limits on how good those models can look. This is why there are no good looking 3D models for Doom. Sprites can have unlimited detail assuming the person making them can take advantage of the fact.

I wasn't trying to say we should always use models, only that a sprite based purely on a model will always look like a model.  And Reinchard's sprite very much did look like a model (because that's exactly what it was based on).

 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but does Doomsday 2.0 support normal and specular maps for 3d models? So it's not that bad. Quake 1 and 2 doesn't support this but models from that games looks pretty ok to me. 

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6 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

The problem with this argument though is that because of mediocre model support there are massive limits on how good those models can look. This is why there are no good looking 3D models for Doom. Sprites can have unlimited detail assuming the person making them can take advantage of the fact.

Doomsday 2.0 has a support for FBX, normal and spec maps along with pretty sophisticated shaders.

 

Here are a few in-game shots from Doomsday 2.0 with some of the models we've made.

Bn97pxt.png

b8MvRix.png

eIDCA94.png

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11 minutes ago, Tea Monster said:

Doomsday 2.0 has a support for FBX, normal and spec maps along with pretty sophisticated shaders.

 

Here are a few in-game shots from Doomsday 2.0 with some of the models we've made.

 

Problem with the examples you used is that they are all cases of hard surface modeling (well except maybe the tree). Hard surface models won't look as bad because they don't require that many details or complex design, but something like a character looks terrible because of the limitations. Just look at any of the 3D model versions of Doom monsters that people have made over the years. They look extremely bad. And the animations are also very stiff and robotic.

 

Actually, the horrible animations are arguably an even bigger problem than the 3D models themselves. Bad animations can completely ruin the presentation value of a game. Without convincing movement your 3D model will look like shit in-game.

 

EDIT: I would also like to add that another problem with the 3D models is that without great texturing they will also look like arse. That tree in your screenshot for example, doesn't really look like a real tree. It looks like it's modeled out of clay. Without realistic texturing 3D models look horrid.

 

EDIT 2: Speaking of the Doomsday engine, how is it fairing these days? Is it even still being worked on? What is the advantage of using the Doomsday engine now instead of something like say, Gzdoom or Qzdoom?

Edited by hardcore_gamer

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@Reinchard

Actually, I think it looks excellent! Performance-wise, I'm not as concerned about the larger hi-res sprites. Luckily, sprite memory is read sequentially, which means that the memory access pattern is optimal for proper cache usage. Yes, the larger, hi-res hicolor sprites will work the memory subsystems like crazy, but in a manner consistent with how caching works. Now, the Doom heap had better be ready to handle sprites of that size. But, modern computers have come a long way in how they handle memory throughput. It just means that your target computer is more high-end than with other mods. But, it is definitely not a showstopper.

 

I know you said you were not happy with it, but I really do like your imp. In fact, I've really liked everything you've released. But, you're right: Models probably are the way to go, visually, and performance-wise. But, I would definitely use your sprite replacement wad, if you were to make it! 80mb * 17 Doom II monsters = 1.36Gb. It could work in 32-bit Doom...

 

I think your imp's movements are very fluid and realistic. I especially liked the pain state in the video - it really looked like that imp was hurting! I selfishly await any of your new releases. Nice job!

 

 

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6 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

That tree in your screenshot for example, doesn't really look like a real tree. It looks like it's modeled out of clay. Without realistic texturing 3D models look horrid.

 

Oh, so the rest of Doom scene looks realistic to you? This tree don't look realistic, because (I guess) isn't supposed to be. I don;t think somebody is crazy enough to try making "realistic" models on non next-gen engine. Look at Quake 3 graphic for example - isn't looking good with all that lowpoly meshes? 

 

6 hours ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Actually, the horrible animations are arguably an even bigger problem than the 3D models themselves. Bad animations can completely ruin the presentation value of a game. Without convincing movement your 3D model will look like shit in-game.

 

Does it look like "horrible animation" to you? ;) I think it's pretty nice.

5 hours ago, kb1 said:

@Reinchard

Actually, I think it looks excellent!

 

Well, thanks for that kind of word, but trust me - I'm not a character artist :) I'll try to check for that pack, maybe I have them somewhere. If I'll find them I can do quick test with 100+ imps.

 

Edited by Reinchard
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3 hours ago, Reinchard said:

I'll try to check for that pack, maybe I have them somewhere. If I'll find them I can do quick test with 100+ imps.

 

Another potentially deal-breaking factor with sprites vs models, is that unless some way to avoid overdraw is introduced, models may end up being more efficient, even at high monster counts. Don't forget that Doom's sprite drawing code and occlusion testing is pretty basic -there's literally no occlusion testing between sprites, only relative drawing prority.

 

With low-res sprites, overdraw is simply shrugged as minor compared to the complexity of doing any sort of meaningful occlusion testing, but when the memory bandwidth grows exponentially, yup, not so cool anymore.

 

With a hardware renderer, if monsters are drawn on a single quad surface, in theory there could be at least some basic occlusion testing -but the drawing order would need to be changed, there would be a lot of "popping" and handling "holes" in sprites would be a bitch.

 

@kb1: despite advancements in CPUs, memory bandwidth and cache sizes are still at a premium, and they have scaled nowhere near the rate that CPU power has. Even on the best hi-end PC nowdays, you may have a double-digit number of cores but only (if you're lucky) 3 or 4 memory channels. Besides, when a single hi-res sprite can choke the cache memory of even the best modern desktop CPU (in the order of a few MBs), you understand why this isn't really such a hot proposition.

 

 

Edited by Maes

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3 hours ago, Reinchard said:

Does it look like "horrible animation" to you? ;) I think it's pretty nice.

Probably the best Classic Doom 3D Model I've seen in motion so far, one thing I really hated about most 3D Models mods that exist is they look too low-poly or they just no longer fit with the style and graphics of the game, or their animations are just awful and not "Realistic" enough but this one right there looks really good.

Edited by dmg_64
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11 hours ago, Reinchard said:

Oh, so the rest of Doom scene looks realistic to you? This tree don't look realistic, because (I guess) isn't supposed to be.

 

That is not what I meant. When I said that it doesn't look like a tree what I meant is that it doesn't even look like it's made out of wood. This is why I said it looked like it was modeled out of clay. The fact that it's not suppose to look like a realistic HD model doesn't have anything to do with it. It just isn't a very good looking tree model.  

 

Does it look like "horrible animation" to you? ;)

 

Yes, it looks stiff and robotic as fuck. I do like the actual model however.

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I personally like the HD sprite.  It is quite faithful to the old sprite.  My concern is if @Tea Monster turns this into a commercial venture it would be noticed by Bethesda and harsh legal action would be taken.  I do not want to see @Tea Monster to get in that kind of legal hot water.

 

Maybe if @Tea Monster got written permission from Bethesda to use Kickstarter or Patreon to help fund him in making these fine models/sprites, I'd be happy to chip a bit in if I knew for a fact I wasn't contributing to @Tea Monster getting C&D or worse yet sued.

I'd also like to see these models replacing the woeful ones used in Risen3D as well as rendered to HD sprites for GZDoom

Edited by hoover1979
Adding further information.

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Just now, hoover1979 said:

 

Maybe if @Tea Monster got written permission from Bethesda to use Kickstarter or Patreon to help fund him in making these fine models, I'd be happy to chip a bit in if I knew for a fact I wasn't contributing to @Tea Monster getting C&D or worse yet sued.

 

Even worse, if this happens to him then perhaps Bethesda would starting taking notice of the Doom community's mods in general. Remember that this is the company that decided to sue Notch merely because one of his games had the word "scrolls" in the title. For all we know, we only need one high profile lawsuit for Bethesda to conclude that perhaps they would be best of just pulling the plug on the Doom community. And don't give me that tired old bullshit logic of "oh they would never do something like that" crap that everybody seems to say whenever somebody points out the dangers that corporations pose to our hobbies. Just 10 years ago the idea that it would possible for somebody to claim ownership of the internet would be laughed at but now look at what is happening. These people don't give a single fuck.

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11 minutes ago, hardcore_gamer said:

 

Even worse, if this happens to him then perhaps Bethesda would starting taking notice of the Doom community's mods in general. Remember that this is the company that decided to sue Notch merely because one of his games had the word "scrolls" in the title. For all we know, we only need one high profile lawsuit for Bethesda to conclude that perhaps they would be best of just pulling the plug on the Doom community. And don't give me that tired old bullshit logic of "oh they would never do something like that" crap that everybody seems to say whenever somebody points out the dangers that corporations pose to our hobbies. Just 10 years ago the idea that it would possible for somebody to claim ownership of the internet would be laughed at but now look at what is happening. These people don't give a single fuck.

Now that would be horrible! 

All us modders would not only have our projects halted, but we could face extremely costly legal action.  I certainly couldn't afford a legal defense if Bethesda sued me for my UltraHD Texture pack.  I hope that never happens.  This is why I am not setting up a Kickstarter or Patreon account.  I am too worried I will get shafted, and I really don't want a legal precedent set that would shut down modding for Doom as it would then spread for modding in general as other publishers would start suing modders for their efforts too.

If Bethesda shut down Doom's community modding, I am worried they would shove creators club into doom and people would have to pay for mods!  That would be my worst nightmare.  

Edited by hoover1979
fixing typos, adding further info.

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Do you really believe that me starting a kickstarter is going to bring down the entire Doom modding community? 

 

Really???

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On 12/7/2017 at 5:00 AM, Maes said:

Another potentially deal-breaking factor with sprites vs models, is that unless some way to avoid overdraw is introduced, models may end up being more efficient, even at high monster counts. Don't forget that Doom's sprite drawing code and occlusion testing is pretty basic -there's literally no occlusion testing between sprites, only relative drawing prority.

 

With low-res sprites, overdraw is simply shrugged as minor compared to the complexity of doing any sort of meaningful occlusion testing, but when the memory bandwidth grows exponentially, yup, not so cool anymore.

 

With a hardware renderer, if monsters are drawn on a single quad surface, in theory there could be at least some basic occlusion testing -but the drawing order would need to be changed, there would be a lot of "popping" and handling "holes" in sprites would be a bitch.

 

@kb1: despite advancements in CPUs, memory bandwidth and cache sizes are still at a premium, and they have scaled nowhere near the rate that CPU power has. Even on the best hi-end PC nowdays, you may have a double-digit number of cores but only (if you're lucky) 3 or 4 memory channels. Besides, when a single hi-res sprite can choke the cache memory of even the best modern desktop CPU (in the order of a few MBs), you understand why this isn't really such a hot proposition.

 

 

The overdraw is exactly the same for hires models as it is for low res, if you think about it. Both sprite sources create the same-sized output. Now, I would argue with anyone claiming that overdraw was not a big deal - it is. It wreaks havoc on the cache, like nothing else. But, again, the impact is the same, regardless of source sprite size.

 

Sprites are stored in the most-desirable order, when you are forced to paint them vertically. So, reading the sprite source memory takes full advantage of pipeline burst. Of course, you hit a lot more cache lines for a hires source - it's not free. There will absolutely be a performance hit. But there's no reason to believe that it will track linearly with source sprite size factor. (4x size increase does not mean 4x hit on performance, unless the source sprite gets *really* big). The fact that the sprite is being read forward, consecutively (more or less) makes all the difference.

 

Going truecolor will hurt. The biggest issue I see is when the sprite is far away, and is truecolor. Cache lines are typically 64 bytes. With truecolor, that gives you about 21 pixels per cache line. So, if the sprite is far away, you're dogging the cache excessively, without doing a lot of painting. Doing some mipmapping could solve this issue.

 

Re Kickstarter: Instead of pissing off Bethesda, it seems to me that having some nice models/sprites would help promote the sale of Doom, but what do I know?

I personally have no problem with someone making some money by spending their time making nice models. I would also suggest a vague description of the work.

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1 hour ago, Tea Monster said:

Do you really believe that me starting a kickstarter is going to bring down the entire Doom modding community? 

 

Really???

It's extra silly that people are theorizing this, because the most popular Doom mod recently had a brief issue and Bethesda was pretty cool about it.. All the gloomy speculation in this thread seems baseless to me

Edited by Doomkid

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2 hours ago, Doomkid said:

It's extra silly that people are theorizing this, because the most popular Doom mod recently had a brief issue and Bethesda was pretty cool about it.. All the gloomy speculation in this thread seems baseless to me

New screenshots of Doom with cool new models might entice some gamers to buy and check out classic Doom. It's not selling a product - it's a one-time task to create an addon. Ports will still need an IWAD. Yes, it's a non-issue. And, more importantly, I wanna see em'  :)

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Who gives a shit what Bethesda thinks? If you want to make an HD sprite pack, make an HD sprite pack. I wouldn't let a company stand in the way of a good mod. Honestly I think the bigger problem with a kickstarter is getting people to want to pay money for a Doom mod, not Bethesda.

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Getting a C&D from Bethsoft is a real possibility, but with careful wording and a few "Doom is property of Bethesda etc., we claim no ownership of the title (link to site to buy game)" then I think it's something that could have been worked around. 

 

The other reason that they were super cool with Sgt. Mark was that they borrowed a lot of ideas from his mod for the new Doom game.

 

If it all came to nothing and I got a C&D, then so be it. They send you the C&D, you withdraw what was infringing, maybe you can work something out with them, maybe not, but if you are a good boy, they leave you alone after that. No, they aren't going to send a wolf pack of Wall Street lawyers after the Doom modding community. Jeez.

 

The sprite project is dead. I'll probably put a polite patreon on the model project. "If you'd like to help us out, we'd appreciate it, but no pressure".

The reason I wanted to kickstart the sprite project is that it's something I'm not that into. I appreciate good spritework, but it's not my main interest. I'd want some compensation, mostly for time, to devote a large chunk of resources to doing it. The model project is something I'm doing as a hobby because I like making Doom models. So a Patreon will be nice for appreciation, as I was going to do it anyway. 

 

Here are some of the 'Duke Spookem' sprites, just to see what kind of thing I was talking about.

MzSt98y.png ns62h6x.jpg

 

Here is the new Cyberdemon model. It's not in-game, but in Painter. Note to one poster here: if you have to pay money for it, then it isn't free.

 

QfGpPTh.jpg

 

Again, sorry it didn't work out. Thanks for your input!

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