How To Make Custom Graphics for DooM

Step Seven: Import Graphic to Wad

A number of handy utilities are available from doomworld. You need one that can import and export lumps. The DooM engine treats almost everything, including graphics, as some kind of lump. I used to use Wintex for this back in the Win95 days, but it doesn't run under XP and up. The best I've found for XP (and Win7 x64) is WAD Mangle (an excellent utility, and a free d-load, thankfully). It lacks Wintex's fancier capabilities, but is superior to it in a lot of ways, especially simplicity of use.

Here's how to import custom graphics in WAD Mangle:

  1. Open your wad
  2. Open the main wad (doom.wad, or doom2.wad, etc). If you don't, Wad Mangle will error out when you try to edit the patch names and texture names lists: "Unable to locate wall patch BODIES."
  3. In your wad, right click on a blank line and choose "Import Lumps / Graphics (Doom graphics format)"
  4. Select your new graphic file in the dialog. Alternatively, you can simply drag and drop the file from Windows Explorer into the Lump List. The name now appears in the Lump List.
  5. Check to see whether your wad already has both a TEXTURE1 and a PNAMES. If it needs them:
    • Click on a line in the main wad, and start typing the word "texture". Pretty quickly, you'll see that you've selected the TEXTURE1 lump. Drag and drop it on your wad.
    • Not far below the TEXTURE1 lump you should see the PNAMES lump. Drag and drop it on your wad.
  6. In your wad, right click on PNAMES and choose "Edit Lump / Patch Names" bringing up the Patch Names Editor. Click the Add button, type the name of the graphic you imported as it appears in the lump list, and click OK. Your graphic will now be listed at the end of the list. Click OK to close the Patch Names editor.
  7. In your wad, right click on TEXTURE1 and choose "Edit Lump / DOOM Textures". This will bring up the Lump Editor. Click the Add button, type a name for your new texture (it can be any DOS-compatible name), and click OK.
  8. Scroll to the end of the Textures list and select your new texture name.
  9. Scroll to the end of the Wall Patches list and select your patch name.
  10. Under the Patches in Texture list, click the Add Patch button.
  11. Click both Recalc buttons in the lower left corner. You should now see your graphic image under the word "Texture:." Click OK to close the Lump Editor.
  12. Under File, choose Save. You should now be able to choose your new image from the texture list in your wad editor of choice. Leave your file and the main wad open in WAD Mangle until you have viewed your texture in a test wad and are sure you're happy with it.

After placing your new texture on some walls in the wad, build the nodes, and run the wad in the game. Unless you're extremely lucky, it will look less than satisfactory, but at least it will be there!

See my article on The Art of Custom DooM Graphics for information on why your work looks shockingly different than you expected, and what to do about it.

Most likely, you'll want to modify your texture repeatedly and keep viewing each version of it in the same wad. In that case, you can skip a few steps:

  1. After you modify your texture, save it under a new name. (If you name your first texture something like WTH-01.BMP, you can just increment to WTH-02.BMP -- helps keep track of your changes.)
  2. Drag and drop it onto your wad in WAD Mangle.
  3. Select the previous version in the list and delete it. Right click on the new version, and choose "Rename". Give it the same name as the one you just deleted.
  4. As long as it's the same size as the version it's replacing, all you need to do now is Save the file and play it. If it's a different size -- for instance, if you're changing out a 128x128 for a 258x128 -- you'll need to open Texture1 in the Doom Textures editor and click the Recalc button(s), then save and play. There's no need to rebuild nodes because the map itself has not changed.
Copyright © 2005 by David J. Finnamore
All rights reserved

Page updated 03 Oct 2005