Doom 2 Minor Sprite Fixing Project - v1.9 Beta 2 Release (updated 11/14/17)

axdoom1 said:

The lost soul has a vertical black line that can be seen in frames SKULA6A4, SKULB6B4, SKULC6C4 and SKULD6D4. It always looked more like a bug than a shadow to me.

Picture: http://i.imgur.com/iUdtXYg.png

I'm not thoroughly convinced this is an error. The line appears to delineate the inside of the Lost Soul's jaw, although the choice of a nearly pure black color makes it look like a very hard edge. That a slightly disconnected black line using the same color appears in roughly the same spot in SKULE6E4 indicates to me that this is deliberate rather than an oversight of some kind.

Holering said:

Those actually show more detail than the official sprites for some reason (maybe interpolation is playing tricks on me, but I can almost make out the teeth on shotgun guy)

That's just an artifact of a low resolution scan that was also converted to jpeg format. The rest of the monsters in the manual make it clear they're just the normal game sprites. It would be nice if someone with physical access to this original manual could provide a high resolution scan in lossless format of these particular lost rotation sprites, though.

Speaking of these lost rotation sprites, I did email Romero inquiring about them, but there's been no response after nearly a month of waiting. While actually getting the sprites was an extremely low possibility, I was at least hoping for an acknowledgement so I could put the matter to rest. Unfortunately, without any sort of reply, I can't say I've satisfactorily investigated the matter, but I don't know who else to contact and I don't wish to continually prod Romero if he can't/won't/is unable to respond.

Anyway, since there's been no development in finding the lost rotation sprites, I'll now get to work on implementing NightFright's fixes along with a handful of other tiny fixes I've been notified of. The next release should arrive very soon.

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I missed them when they were originally posted, but I have to say those shadows on the text/blood splat are overdone for Doom. The splat in particular seems like the original was already going for a shadow effect, maybe not the best looking, but the improved version just looks too cartoony for Doom. Just putting black drop shadows on things doesn't work for certain styles, and Doom's art is one of those styles.

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I won't be using the intermission screen graphics with the drop shadows. I think the shadows make the elements pop out too much on the intermission map, and they deviate from Doom's art style as you've said. However, I do believe cleaning up those inexplicable green pixels is appropriate. There were similar visual anomalies in the help screens that NightFright also fixed, and I can't come up with any reason why they would intentionally be there. Perhaps they're just leftovers from being poorly cut out of a different graphic?

I've also scrutinized the status bar face graphics, and I don't agree that the black pixels are errors. They appear to be exaggerated shading to highlight creases in Doom Guy's expressions that also accentuates the animation, namely his eye movement. However, the iris color in the Ouch! face is a good catch. It looks like the color was supposed to match the Evil and Kill faces, but it was left flesh-toned. I'll be sure to include that fix.

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I have access to some doom manuals. I tried to make a scan of one of the pictures, but due to the way it was printed, it came out like the following:

If there is something I could change when I do the scan to get a better result please tell me and I will re-do it, along with some of the other sprites.

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I can't seem to download NightFright's GFX fix WADs anymore. Could someone please re-upload them?

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baitercell said:

I have access to some doom manuals. I tried to make a scan of one of the pictures, but due to the way it was printed, it came out like the following:


Someone may have done it in the past, but I resized that and cleaned the edges:

It's still in truecolor and dimmer/ more washed out, so colors need to be remapped to the ranges in the existing player sprites. It won't be too much use without the other angles though.

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Revenant100 said:

There were similar visual anomalies in the help screens that NightFright also fixed, and I can't come up with any reason why they would intentionally be there.

A crude attempt at smoothing the edges?

You should be careful with fixing such things. You may accidentally produce something jarring, and you won't even notice.

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In SSWVN0 of the Wolfenstein SS sprite near the head, the Zombieman's green hair from its gib sprite is present in that frame, which doesn't look right since he has no green on him.

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Da Werecat said:

A crude attempt at smoothing the edges?

You should be careful with fixing such things. You may accidentally produce something jarring, and you won't even notice.

I assure you that no alteration is being made lightly. That would go against the purpose of these fixes. To get an idea of what this particular change entails, check out this side-by-side comparison:



I agree that the green pixels do provide a sort of contrasting shadow around the explosion and arrow graphics, but the same green pixels don't make any sense at all to me in the "YOU ARE HERE" text. These simply look like stray pixels unlike any other sort of stroke or drop shadow shading in Doom's art that muddle the readability of the letters.

For the sake of consistency, I'd only go with one choice or the other. However, I'm currently leaning towards using NightFright's cleaned up graphics as I can't see any reasoning as to why id's artists would have deliberately wanted these green pixels present. I don't have an answer as to how they got there in the first place, but as NightFright's HELP screen fixes show, these graphical anomalies can occur quite inexplicably.

P.S. Trooper said:

In SSWVN0 of the Wolfenstein SS sprite near the head, the Zombieman's green hair from its gib sprite is present in that frame, which doesn't look right since he has no green on him.

Good catch! I'm not sure if the green is supposed to be the Zombieman's hair or perhaps just an oddly colored piece of gore. After checking the Shotgun Guy's gibbing frames to compare, I see the Shotgun Guy is missing this gore chunk entirely. To be safe, I think I'll remove this green chunk from the SS's gibbing frame to match the Shotgun Guy's gibbing rather than recolor it.

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Thanks for the update Rev, looking forward to see 1.4 soon. ;)

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Revenant100 said:

I don't have an answer as to how they got there in the first place...

They look like quantization* artifacts to me. Perhaps the pixels were too dark for the red color ranges.

Check these out, I kept the volumes:







* Just to sound smart.

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Exciting news, everyone! I received a reply from Romero in response to my email asking him about the previously noted lost Doom sprite art:

John Romero said:
Yes. Unpublished DOOM sprites/art does exist.

And that's all he wrote.

Well, that wasn't quite exciting as I had hoped, but at least we can be absolutely certain that there's still more to Doom we've yet to see. I guess my email wasn't persuasive enough for him to delve into the matter deeper, though. Maybe on the 25th anniversary, or the 30th...

In any case, my curiosity on the issue has at least been sated since I was somewhat waiting on that response. Since the inquiry didn't elicit any new graphics, I'll finalize what I have and release 1.4 of my project soon, for serious this time.

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There must be a way to get the unreleased graphics.
Maybe rent a white van which sells Doom flavored candy and cruise where Romero lives. As soon as he falls for the trap it's question time... torture methods include lighting bolts, chainsaw face lifting and Plasma based hair styling....
...John may soon realize that the community means serious bidness!

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Revenant100 said:

Since the inquiry didn't elicit any new graphics, I'll finalize what I have and release 1.4 of my project soon, for serious this time.

Good to hear. These sprite fix WADs are always in my autoload queue.

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I'm happy to announce that 1.4 is now being released! This update isn't as big as past versions, the biggest changes being NightFright's fixes, but I think that's a sign that the project has finally neared its final goal. While I was unfortunately not able to obtain any of the lost and unpublished Doom sprite art from Romero, I am still very pleased with the progress made over time and hope these fixes will continue to prove valuable to those interested. I wish to thank NightFright for his contributions as well as everyone who has offered comments and critiques since the first release. This endeavor has always been for the community, and your assistance helped bring it this far.

(Outdated, see original post)

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So you made a decision to go with nibbled WISPLAT? I'd consider a fork of the project with minimal changes to graphics. I mean, really minimal. Amateur edits are dangerous and therefore should be kept as simple as possible.

Otherwise good job. I thoroughly approve sprite offset tweaking and other subtle changes.

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Da Werecat said:

So you made a decision to go with nibbled WISPLAT? I'd consider a fork of the project with minimal changes to graphics. I mean, really minimal. Amateur edits are dangerous and therefore should be kept as simple as possible.

Otherwise good job. I thoroughly approve sprite offset tweaking and other subtle changes.


x2

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Da Werecat said:

I'd consider a fork of the project with minimal changes to graphics. I mean, really minimal. Amateur edits are dangerous and therefore should be kept as simple as possible.

But then you're asking me to subjectively review all of the changes that were already specifically performed with the most objective approach I could reasonably manage.

I think you're overexaggerating the extent to which art changes were made. As demonstrated in the preview images, many of the edits are as minor as a single pixel. A vast majority are clear cut and explainable errors. These are fixes first and foremost, after all. However, there were some points where I just had to make a judgment call. I do indeed consider the intermission graphics fixes to be the toughest decision I had to make. It sounds silly to say that of a bunch of green pixels which are only visible for a few scant seconds between maps in Doom 1, but as I said before, no alteration was made lightly during the course of this project. I have thoroughly considered all of the points you put forth, and I'm grateful you were willing to offer this input, but in the end, I simply could not come up with a rational justification as to why these green pixels are inexplicably present. I can only assume there's more to the picture that no one outside of id's artists twenty years ago could answer.

Ultimately, though, I think the best solution here is to simply encourage the end users to customize the fixes to their own preferences. (Although, I don't think it's a good idea to really zero in on each individual change as you'll then start fixating on them every time you play. Believe me.) I do hope I've explained myself well enough so that people would be willing to trust my judgement, but these fixes are meant for any and everyone to do with as they wish. Simply load up SLADE or your WAD editor of choice and remove any sprites you feel are not necessary. For example, I use Perkristian's high-res sound effects pack and would highly recommend it, but I still have personally removed a few sounds from the WAD that I don't agree are sufficiently faithful to the originals.

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Revenant100 said:

But then you're asking me to subjectively review all of the changes that were already specifically performed with the most objective approach I could reasonably manage.

Well, I didn't ask anyone personally to make such a fork. I was just thinking aloud, really.

As demonstrated in the preview images, many of the edits are as minor as a single pixel. A vast majority are clear cut and explainable errors.

I have no problems with such fixes.

The miserable truth about Doom's art assets is that there's a certain degree of sloppiness. I was a little bit concerned about the project getting dangerously close to the line between "minor fixing" and "obsessive fixing".

I have thoroughly considered all of the points you put forth, and I'm grateful you were willing to offer this input, but in the end, I simply could not come up with a rational justification as to why these green pixels are inexplicably present.

They shouldn't be there, but that doesn't mean they should be simply cut. The colors are off, but I'm not so sure about the contour.

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There are wierd black pixels above doomguys ear in this position.

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I am glad I came up with something you could actually use in this project. Your choices are also OK, especially since some of my edits really deviated a bit too much from the original graphics.

I'd be surprised if I found more things like that to fix in Doom, but in case I accidentally discover something, I'll let you know. :)

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joe-ilya said:

There are wierd black pixels above doomguys ear in this position.

Yes, this was a part of NightFright's status bar mug fixes. However, I opted not to use this particular change as the placement of those black pixels appears too consistent (not perfect, but well enough) between frames to be unintentional. They only appear when Doom Guy angles his head down, and they even still appear above the furthest ear when he turns left or right. Since it only appears on the downward-angled faces, I'm guessing it's supposed be a bit of shading meant to accentuate the angle.

NightFright said:

I am glad I came up with something you could actually use in this project.

Much gratitude to you for sharing your work! And indeed, I imagine there's really not much left to tackle as far as Doom fixes are concerned, so this is likely the last major update until that lost Doom art sees the light of day.

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Aww, damn, that's disappointing. Maybe Romero doesn't want to risk litigation? It's nice that he responded at all, and I know that he's a very busy man with little spare time, but the one sentence that doesn't even acknowledge that these assets are desired, only that they exist almost make me think he doesn't care.

If he could check with Zenimax and explain that these extra rotations are minor assets that id wouldn't be losing any money on, that'd mean a lot to us.
__________________________

Anyhow, I have a few thoughts on potential "fixes".

Do you think that it's justifiable to darken the Zombieman's rifle? Since they are a very common enemy, I understand that this would look notably different, but it is technically in the same camp as the darkened Baron bits.

A less noticeable change from the alpha version of the player sprite is that the proportions were slightly altered (one or two pixels taller) when the sprites were touched up. This one is probably the most justifiable change, since it keeps it up to date with the player sprites while not being very radical at all.

This one is rather iffy, but the Pinky's claws have very flat shading in the attack and pain sequences. After the alpha, the contrast was ramped up, but id forgot/didn't bother to touch those up as much as the rest.

Lastly, would you consider adding those orange markings on the Pinky's shins to the attack and pain animations? This is yet another leftover of the alpha, when he didn't have those features. I know this one delves more into subjective territory, but it's far less radical than the claw and rifle shading.

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Hello there Revenant100!

I really like this mod. It makes Doom much more cleaner and better. So I decide to mod it. Here's a list on what I've done;

-Fists have no grey pixels anymore.
-Pistol, Shotgun, SSG, Plasma Gun and BFG9000 have now actual metal. Instead of seeing brown parts on them, they are grey (This doesn't mean that I've changed the pump on the Shotgun, for example).
-Chaingun muzzle flash frames have no longer green pixels.

And here's the link; https://www.mediafire.com/?sjk94itytr6t6xb

Hope you enjoy it!

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Sodaholic said:

Anyhow, I have a few thoughts on potential "fixes".

Whoops, I meant to reply to this a while back, but forgot to head back to this thread. I'm going to leave the Zombieman's rifle alone as changing it to match Doom Guy's gun would be too jarring. Plus, although they're technically the same, there's no real indication that the two weapons are supposed to be identical. I've been aware of the inconsistencies in the Demon's attack and pain frames, but I'm hesitant to change them as it would basically be all original art modifications on my end. I don't think the darker claws would be too difficult to match, but the orange markings on his legs are trickier. I'd like to just copy the orange things from its existing walking frames, but I'm not certain if the leg positions match closely enough.

The slight proportion alterations evident when comparing the Zombieman/Shotgun Guy sprites and Doom Guy's sprites are intriguing, though. I'm most interested in these changes as they have a clear technical basis to work from. It might be a bit presumptuous to assume the former humans should have identical proportions to Doom Guy, but I'll make the changes myself and scrutinize the end results. Just to be clear, however, there are no impending updates to this project coming soon. I still wish to attend to the Heretic and Hexen fixes first, and I'm backlogged with many other things in the mean time.

But for the record, I am keeping a very close watch on the potential Doom beta now in the hands of those at the Duke4 forums. If that manages to see the light of day and there are new useable graphics to be found, that will prompt an immediate and critical update here. Fingers crossed!

Quaker540 said:

I really like this mod. It makes Doom much more cleaner and better. So I decide to mod it. Here's a list on what I've done;

As Werecat said, it appears you uploaded the wrong WAD as I don't see any differences, but judging by your description, I don't agree with the changes you've made as they're certainly not errors to be fixed. Quite the opposite, I believe they're very deliberate artistic choices meant to add some subtle color depth, an important factor when working with a limited color palette. I've seen other sprite modifications remove the green/brown highlights from the weapon sprites, and I think that erases all of the depth and color detail, resulting in flat, monochrome shapes.

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Oh! Sorry about that Revenant100, I was busy and I forgot to upload the fixed version! You could actually see that I was busy because of my stupid-like description. Anyway, I've uploaded the fixed version;

https://www.mediafire.com/?deot41gnypxjcli

To see the differences to the weapons, you should look carefully, because now instead of having brown parts on them they are metal. Also, fists have no longer grey pixels, and Chaingun has no green pixels on it's muzzle flash.

Enjoy!

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It's been a while since I checked this thread, but is everything in this project strictly graphic related? As in if I were to run this with an already recorded demo it shouldn't desync or anything (like perkristian's soundfx mod)

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