Will there ever be a decent 3D model pack?

I saw a comparison video on YT showcasing what I believe are the only two completed model packs, both of which look...kind of terrible. The effort is certainly there, but consistency and skill, not so much. Why is this? Is it because community efforts are less cohesive than say, a small group of artists working in the same office building? Is it because the id fellas were simply more talented, considering the 3D models from Quake still look decent?

 

It has also been discussed on here how sprites don't always translate well to 3D. Doom's sprites are composites of both pixel art and photographed models, in stark contrast to the more overtly cartoonish, less detailed sprites from other games. This makes for an awkward translation to polygons, whereas Mario, Link, Sonic, and even Street Fighter characters, given their unambiguously cartoon rendering, look appropriate.

 

Is it possible that at some point, a more professional community effort will finally emerge? Should there be another attempt at a 1:1 voxel project? If a legitimate market develops for modding, might that encourage a more streamlined result?

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On GZDoom, at least, the lack of even the most basic lighting restricts how well you can make models look on it without simply baking in the lighting which still won't look perfect when the model's animating.

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And that really bugs me. Even Quake has (albeit superficial) Gouraud shading. However, many early 3D games use a strict ambient lighting model, with no actual shading, and it makes even the slickest models look flat. We're either going to have to allow for basic dynamic lighting on models, or just restrict them to props.

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25 minutes ago, GoatLord said:

And that really bugs me. Even Quake has (albeit superficial) Gouraud shading. However, many early 3D games use a strict ambient lighting model, with no actual shading, and it makes even the slickest models look flat. We're either going to have to allow for basic dynamic lighting on models, or just restrict them to props.

GZDoom has per-pixel model lighting on models already, but it's only for dynamic lights, and so since the vanilla maps contain precisely none of those, it still won't fix any issues with the lighting anyway. I personally feel that the reason 3D model packs just don't work is because Doom's sector based lighting just looks bad with models, it creates a contrast between the lack of detail in the lighting and the detail in the 3d models.

Edited by Gutawer
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I always had a soft spot for those old Doomsday models and hi-res textures. I guess there’s issues with them but as a kid it blew my mind and I really enjoyed them. I’m not sure what alternatives exist now but this was back in like 2005 or whenever.

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28 minutes ago, Gutawer said:

3D model packs just don't work...because Doom's sector based lighting just looks bad with models, it creates a contrast between the lack of detail in the lighting and the detail in the 3d models.

This is true. Sector based lighting is ambient only, with no implication of a fixed light source. The only way around this would be to implement Gouraud shading that is generic enough to look okay under "normal" sector lighting conditions; a fixed top-down or front facing light source that follows the model's movement would probably be necessary. This might look pretty good in practice.

27 minutes ago, insertwackynamehere said:

I always had a soft spot for those old Doomsday models and hi-res textures. I guess there’s issues with them but as a kid it blew my mind and I really enjoyed them. I’m not sure what alternatives exist now but this was back in like 2005 or whenever.

I'll admit that back then, I too was quite impressed. However, there's too many instances where the original textures were simply upscaled and adorned with a crummy overlay to make them appear hi-res, probably because (and this has been mentioned here) the effort required to completely redraw hundreds of textures in HD is simply too demanding for most community teams. As for the models...Doom Ascension is the only attempt I've seen that looks truly professional, as the proportions of the character models and their overall anatomical structure is realistic, while maintaining a familiar aesthetic to their 2D counterparts. Of course, like most ambitious community projects, it's been long since abandoned, which is a damn shame.

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Ambient sector shading is the big limiter to 3D models looking good.  This isn't even anything unique to Doom: ambient lighting on any engine will make models without built-in shading look awful.  Doom 2016's classic maps was a great example of that:

 

1466359515227

 

GZDoom's dynamic lighting certainly helps, but that's still a niche area, and obviously won't benefit the IWAD maps.

 

It's worth remembering though that the limitations of ambient light affects sprites too.  The difference is id baked a load of shadows directly into the original monsters.  Take the AV:

 

de12.gif

 

There is a lot of shadows baked in: his head casts a shadow on his upper chest, his lower torso and stomach are in shadow, his upper arms and lower legs too.  Also, the only reason his ribs are visible is shading.  The opposite is true too: protruding parts like the collar bones, top of his head and (in this frame) the raised right thigh have the specular highlight basically baked in.  

 

The question is whether it'd be possible to generate shading and light within a model editor, and then bake it to the texture.  And then see whether it looks any good in game.  It would work in theory, but in practice is obviously a-whole-nother kettle of fish.

 

Edit:

 

One game that I thought did low-res models excellently recently was Devil Daggers.  Their models look like they had a decent amount of shading baked into them too:

 

350?cb=20160708170215

Edited by Bauul
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Somewhat off-topic, but I really hope someone makes 3D models based on Classic Doom (for Workshop or something) one day. I would do it if I had talent.

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6 hours ago, Gutawer said:

GZDoom has per-pixel model lighting on models already, but it's only for dynamic lights

They do? Guess I'm out of the loop on that, I remember models just being universally lit by dynamic lights just as sprites are.

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1 hour ago, MetroidJunkie said:

They do? Guess I'm out of the loop on that, I remember models just being universally lit by dynamic lights just as sprites are.

I added support for it a few months back. If you have a computer so old that it needs to use the legacy render paths you still get universally lit models though.

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Which model pack is that? Cybie doesn't look bad.

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It would be nice if there was a 3d model pack that worked with GzDoom 3.0.0.

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Problem is, no model pack specifically for monsters or weapons only will look good unless you change the entire conjunction of the game, a.k.a everything that is meant to look solid and they also need to emit proper lighting as well the maps needing to have proper light emission from sources accordingly without relying too much on sector lighting, since recently GZDoom got proper shading (i know people talked about this on here but just showing as example):

 

wfoUSVn.jpg

 

This is the first map i am creating with Attenuated Dynamic Lights in GZDoom to models become properly lit as regular dynamic lights still brightens them as a whole which is what kinda makes them look out of place.

Another thing that makes model packs looks bad, all of them just applies the models to the original actors as visual feature, locking them entirely in all that 3 or 4 frames the sprites have, honestly 4 frames for a model to execute an entire animation set is too low and since this is not Quake 1 which managed to show them in a nice way by having no frame interpolation, all source ports with 3D model support just have this enabled by default to NOT help them look any good in all that 4 frames, also the animations by themselves doesn't look all that interesting, i noticed we have many modelling artists here but no animator? That's strange.

The last thing i notice from all those model packs is that many of them just tries to make the models looks detailed by using a 1024x1024 texture in a model which have less than 500 verts, what's the point? The texture complements the detailing of the model at a certain point and making it in super definition will not compensate the lack of polygonal detailing the model have, definetely what i see specially in the gore decorations of those model packs is an eye torture when it should be an eye candy.

Imo this is why all model packs i have ever seen through Youtube for Risen3D, Doomsday or GZDoom looks weird, the people who works on those actually wants to make them look HD whereas they would look better if they follows the example of Quake 1/Quake 2, low poly model? low res texture as well, this is why Gene-Tech: Before The Storm from Enjay looks a lot more nice than those packs entirely.

Edited by Zanieon

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1 hour ago, Zanieon said:

This is the first map i am creating with Attenuated Dynamic Lights in GZDoom to models become properly lit as regular dynamic lights still brightens them as a whole which is what kinda makes them look out of place.

Unfortunately we had to create a new set of light types as old maps relied on the uniformly lit property of the original dynamic lights. I could make the models ignore that and still take the light source direction into account, but this would reveal the location of the light. Those old maps used the lights to lit entire areas by creating gigantic lights and seeing where that light is actually placed is visually devastating.

 

Quote

The last thing i notice from all those model packs is that many of them just tries to make the models looks detailed by using a 1024x1024 texture in a model which have less than 500 verts, what's the point? The texture complements the detailing of the model at a certain point and making it in super definition will not compensate the lack of polygonal detailing the model have, definetely what i see specially in the gore decorations of those model packs is an eye torture when it should be an eye candy.

Essentially the same problem as those hi-def texture packs have. The higher the resolution of the texture, the more you can see just how simple Doom sector geometry is. Even if you make the model itself more detailed, you'd still end up with the problem you now placed it in a low poly world. To really fix this there needs to be found a way to increase the polygonal complexity of the level itself. Maybe by linking a texture with some 3D mesh, so that a wall can be a repeated 3D mesh rather than a flat surface or something.

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6 hours ago, Zanieon said:

Another thing that makes model packs looks bad, all of them just applies the models to the original actors as visual feature, locking them entirely in all that 3 or 4 frames the sprites have, honestly 4 frames for a model to execute an entire animation set is too low and since this is not Quake 1 which managed to show them in a nice way by having no frame interpolation, all source ports with 3D model support just have this enabled by default to NOT help them look any good in all that 4 frames, also the animations by themselves doesn't look all that interesting, i noticed we have many modelling artists here but no animator? That's strange.

Wrong

 

Quote

The last thing i notice from all those model packs is that many of them just tries to make the models looks detailed by using a 1024x1024 texture in a model which have less than 500 verts, what's the point? The texture complements the detailing of the model at a certain point and making it in super definition will not compensate the lack of polygonal detailing the model have, definetely what i see specially in the gore decorations of those model packs is an eye torture when it should be an eye candy.

Wrong

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Goatlord - what model packs are you looking at? 

 

This is a sampler from the one KuriKai and myself are working on...

 

a2063rF.jpg

LV8K3wM.jpg

 

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I just wish it would be easier to do Voxel monsters. I'd do it myself, but I don't have any idea how, and my PC has bad hardware anyways so I probably couldn't.

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6 hours ago, dpJudas said:

Essentially the same problem as those hi-def texture packs have. The higher the resolution of the texture, the more you can see just how simple Doom sector geometry is. Even if you make the model itself more detailed, you'd still end up with the problem you now placed it in a low poly world. To really fix this there needs to be found a way to increase the polygonal complexity of the level itself. Maybe by linking a texture with some 3D mesh, so that a wall can be a repeated 3D mesh rather than a flat surface or something.

To go slightly off topic, that's why I considered Doom 3 Classic to be the best remake of Episode 1 I've seen in terms of graphical upgrades. It didn't just slap better textures on the same geometry, it upped everything so it looks like it would belong in the Doom 3 world but not so much that you can't still see the original design of the levels within it.

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It is worth mentioning that the mods Tea Monster and KuriKai are working on are an excellent example of 3D Doom mods done right.

 

On 1/2/2018 at 1:35 PM, GoatLord said:

Doom Ascension is the only attempt I've seen that looks truly professional, as the proportions of the character models and their overall anatomical structure is realistic, while maintaining a familiar aesthetic to their 2D counterparts. Of course, like most ambitious community projects, it's been long since abandoned, which is a damn shame.

 

I was quite flattered to see this and I wasn't going to respond to it but later this week the Doom Ascension project will be moving it's domain to a new host and I thought i'd start injecting little bits of info here and there about the current progress of the project rather than do a "we never died" type of post.

 

The project came to a point where my vision was lassoed to certain unreleased features of the Doomsday engine (namely, Doomsday Engine 2.0 as a whole) and we kept having to hold off on certain substantial milestones. As the implementation of those Doomsday Engine features started to go into the realm of uncertainty and the visibility of the engines development progress fell off, I had decided to put the Ascension project into stealth mode as well, and eventually into hibernation. It was no coincidence that I was also dealing with a controlled collapse of my own business at that same time.

 

Doom Ascension is alive and with the release of Doomsday Engine 2 it has had a bit of a re-generation phase. It is quite exciting on this side of the veil. That is all i have to say about it right now. :)

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So I just saw this demonstration of TeaMonster's Pinky on YouTube and it certainly looks impressive. It also becomes apparent to me that flaws that would not be apparent on low-resolution sprites are more noticeable on detailed 3D models, namely that the Pinky would fall on its face if it existed in real life.

 

 

This is not just about the Pinkys though. The low-polygon environments go really well with the low-res textures of the original Doom so just slapping high-res textures onto low-polygon environments won't cut it I think. The monsters look out of place too amidst the antique architecture. It would be as if you put high-quality mocap animations on a Quake 1 model. I think the original levels would have to be visually upgraded. For that end, I think the Quake engine would be far more suited. I mean, these kinds of models would look very very good in an Arcane Dimensions-quality Doom level.

 

 

I remember when Reinchard posted an amazing rendition of the TEKWAL4 texture and then how weird it looked as a flat surface in-game.

 

Consistency is key. That is why I think that so far, Smooth Doom is so far the best graphical enhancement for the game. 

 

 

10 hours ago, NiuHaka said:

It is worth mentioning that the mods Tea Monster and KuriKai are working on are an excellent example of 3D Doom mods done right.

 

 

I was quite flattered to see this and I wasn't going to respond to it but later this week the Doom Ascension project will be moving it's domain to a new host and I thought i'd start injecting little bits of info here and there about the current progress of the project rather than do a "we never died" type of post.

 

The project came to a point where my vision was lassoed to certain unreleased features of the Doomsday engine (namely, Doomsday Engine 2.0 as a whole) and we kept having to hold off on certain substantial milestones. As the implementation of those Doomsday Engine features started to go into the realm of uncertainty and the visibility of the engines development progress fell off, I had decided to put the Ascension project into stealth mode as well, and eventually into hibernation. It was no coincidence that I was also dealing with a controlled collapse of my own business at that same time.

 

Doom Ascension is alive and with the release of Doomsday Engine 2 it has had a bit of a re-generation phase. It is quite exciting on this side of the veil. That is all i have to say about it right now. :)

 

Good to know that you are still alive! I've been wondering what has been going on with you guys. I can't wait to see some screenshots.

 

 

Edited by DooM_RO

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17 hours ago, NiuHaka said:

It is worth mentioning that the mods Tea Monster and KuriKai are working on are an excellent example of 3D Doom mods done right.

 

 

I was quite flattered to see this and I wasn't going to respond to it but later this week the Doom Ascension project will be moving it's domain to a new host and I thought i'd start injecting little bits of info here and there about the current progress of the project rather than do a "we never died" type of post.

 

The project came to a point where my vision was lassoed to certain unreleased features of the Doomsday engine (namely, Doomsday Engine 2.0 as a whole) and we kept having to hold off on certain substantial milestones. As the implementation of those Doomsday Engine features started to go into the realm of uncertainty and the visibility of the engines development progress fell off, I had decided to put the Ascension project into stealth mode as well, and eventually into hibernation. It was no coincidence that I was also dealing with a controlled collapse of my own business at that same time.

 

Doom Ascension is alive and with the release of Doomsday Engine 2 it has had a bit of a re-generation phase. It is quite exciting on this side of the veil. That is all i have to say about it right now. :)

 

On 1/3/2018 at 2:21 PM, Tea Monster said:

Goatlord - what model packs are you looking at? 

 

This is a sampler from the one KuriKai and myself are working on...

 

a2063rF.jpg

LV8K3wM.jpg

 

Those are quite charming, I hadn't seen this!

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We need a voxel monsters pack. Chunky and blocky like the sprites, only in 3D.

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