On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 10:15 AM, Jonas Nicolaisen <j.nicolai...@gmx.net> wrote:
> Hi,
> I am a level designer creating Quake levels. This means I often have to
> work with textures. At the moment, I have to rely on obscure '90s
> software running via wine, which is suboptimal. There are more people
> like me.
> Quake 1/2 and Half-Life used their own formats to store data, while
> later games (Doom 3 etc) use zip files etc.
> How difficult would it be to add support for the Quake or Halflife
> texture wad formats to today's Gimp?
> I ask because there is an old discussion from 2001 on this list where
> Raphael Quinet was asking the same question. I don't know if anything
> came of that at the time.
> WAD2 (Quake) and WAD3 (HL) are container formats for textures. The
> textures themselves are bitmaps, the Quake format is sometimes simply
> called *.mip (mipmapped bitmap). Quake textures are typically 64x64
> pixels using a single 256 color pallette across the board, unlike
> Half-Life, where each texture can use a different 256 colors.
> Background: Half-Life uses a variant of the Quake engine, Wad3 is simply
> the HL extension to Quake's Wad2. Wad1 was some Doom format (levels?).
> An open source wad extractor (command line) exists, written by Raphael
> Quinet and very well documented. The formats are fully known. The tool
> is QEU03, Quake Editing Utilities.
> http://www.gamers.org/pub/idgames2/utils/bsp_pak_tools/qeu03.zip
> The user should be able to open the wad file and get a listing of all
> the bitmaps inside (they have simple names), then select one for
> editing. Afterwards, he should be able to save it directly back into the
> wad.
> For the curious, the Quake based modding scene is still very much alive,
> because engine and tools have been open sourced and the engine is simply
> brilliant. A look at
> http://www.quakeone.com
> or
> http://www.inside3d.com
> should speak volumes. A collection of texture wads is at
> http://www.quaddicted.com/wads/
> Now about the wad support, I'd like to ask if this is now technically
> possible given that 8 years have passed since the last discussion, and
> if a developer would be willing to write a plugin?
As far as I can see, it has always been technically possible; I would
be surprised if any genuine and serious technical obstacles could have
come up in previous discussion. The primary obstacle is simply the
work involved in making a plugin to load and save these formats.
I suggest you try to make one yourself.

It is true that you will not be able to browse directly to the texture
in the file selector, only to select the WAD file. However this is not
a problem because you can immediately present the user with a listing
of the WAD file and allow them to select a texture. One oddity is that
the filename cannot be a 'real' filename, since it is pointing to a
particular part of the WAD file.

plug-ins/pygimp/plug-ins/colorxhtml.py in the GIMP source tree
demonstrates how to write a I/O plugin using Python. Python is the
easiest way to do this, if you find you need more speed it should be
straightforward to
convert it to a C-based plugin.

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