Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Bearhugger

Question about Diablo 2's sprites

This topic is 3721 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I've been playing Diablo 2 lately (better late than never, right) and I'm really amazed at the characters' sprites and I wonder how they did it. The sprites show everything I equip on my character. I equip a tower shield, an axe, a gothic armor and a mask, my character will show with a tower shield, an axe, a gothic armor and a mask. Considering that there is about 10 classes of weapons and many types of armors, not to mention that not all weapons and armors of a same class look the same, that makes an awful lot of possible combinations. Does the game have ALL combinations pre-rendered? It sounds pretty insane. The sprites seem to have many frames per move, and every move can be done in all directions. But I also find it hard to believe that the sprites would be composed in real-time with the computer "sticking" weapon and armor sprites on the character because it is really, really well made, with the shadows dropping on the floor and even on the body. PS: Sorry if this question would fit better elsewhere. I didn't knew where to post it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
But I also find it hard to believe that the sprites would be composed in real-time with the computer "sticking" weapon and armor sprites on the character because it is really, really well made, with the shadows dropping on the floor and even on the body.

The most likely answer: The shadow is also composed in real-time in the same way the player sprite is, so when you equip a mask it changes not only the player sprite but also the shadow sprite. Not too hard to do, really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's been a while since I've played Diablo or its sequel, but I'm pretty sure it was done with the composition of pre-rendered 3D into 2D sprites, using a "paper doll" technique to combine them all together. It was just done rather well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I recently heard the term "paper dolling" more info (on Wikipedia).

For a complex system, I would think that they might generate the frames whenever you switch items. They might have different renders of the weapons for different races/genders. Originally I was going to suggest that they might actually compose the 3D composite object from the character and items, and then render it 2D. But for the hardware that Diablo II runs on and the fact that I think they use high-polygon, raytraced 3D models means it was a pipe dream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes all the art is pre-rendered, but every possible combination isn't rendered as a separate sprite-sequence. Each body/armour/weapon is rendered separately and then layered over the top of each other at run-time.

Quote:
Original post by Bearhugger
But I also find it hard to believe that the sprites would be composed in real-time with the computer "sticking" weapon and armor sprites on the character because it is really, really well made

Those folks at blizzard are clever ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I recall correctly, there's some clever optimizations in play. For example, they only had to animate 3 movesets per character: 1h weapon (with or without shield), dual wield, and 2h weapon. I think there's also only 3 armor sets; light, medium, and heavy. I do believe it's all pre-rendered sprites, though. There's also some pallete swapping going on (weapons that do cold damage look blue, for example), which makes it look like more variety than there really is.

Also, they probably made separate textures of the weapons, shields and head models, then applied them on the fly; another advantage of limiting your animations. It's still a lot of work for their artists to make all the weapons, shields, and helms for each character, but considering it's a loot-centric game, that comes with the territory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!