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Question about FPS head movement


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Refering to camera head bob, is it based on an algorithm or an animation and is it editable?


Btw, has the Doom 3 source code been released yet? I heard it was going to be. Nice videos btw, really sweet looking.


Edit: Opps, i meant FPP in the title...

Edited by Noisycricket
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Good question; that has been a recent topic of conversation. With regard to it being casually adjustable, it's probably best to say it's not yet decided. One thing to keep in mind about a mod though, especially one that will be open source: you'll be able to edit anything.


What in particular are your thoughts on it (positive or negative)? Give us feedback.

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For now, you can go into your Tears of Saint Lucia install to /def/tdm_player_thief.def and scroll down to about line 360 for some variables.

//movement settings

"pm_bobroll"				 "0.0015" //side to side roll
"pm_bobpitch"				 "0.001" //forward roll
"pm_bobup"					 "0.03"  //upward bounce
"pm_runroll"				 "0.003" //running side roll
"pm_runpitch"				 "0.001" //run forward pitch
"pm_runbob"				 "0.35" //speed of run bob
"pm_walkbob"				 "0.3" //speed of walk bob
"pm_crouchbob"				 "0.2"	//speed of crouch bob

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Though I would keep my hands off the pm_walkbob, pm_runbob and pm_crouchbob values, as these are also controlling the footstep sounds. Changing these will seriously affect gameplay.

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  • 3 weeks later...
What in particular are your thoughts on it (positive or negative)? Give us feedback.


Edit: I've only played the Thieves Den demo, so keep that in mind :D


Well, this is something i think about a lot. I play a lot of games and notice that no game really gets it ALL right, but some games get one or two things pretty close to perfect. Battlefield 2142 has a great sprint/run head-bob where each boot step sound is perfectly in sync with an ever-so-slight stutter in the head-bob cycle simulating the body's jerk as the foot firmly hits the ground. Its also noteworthy that the gun your using in battlefield 2142 moves downward in sync as well. All this occasionaly leading to a pretty spectacular feeling of virtual reality for me. Other games do other movements better than BF2142. Theres a lot of things i'd like to do if i had all the time in the world, such as:


Sync all sounds created by your body to a head-movement (besides the human movements also: pulling out weapons, switching weapons, getting hit with a sword/arrow/paw/etc).

Create a separate animation for strafe-forward, strafe-sideways and strafe-backward.

Increase running speed slightly, about %20.

Make 3 to 5 different variations of each foot-step sound for different movement directions for each surface material. (at least a difference in backup variation)

Lessen to about half, the head-bob roll.

Raise the crouch height about %20 (or reduce speed more at its current height)

The stutter i mentioned in the BF2142 example, but different for a sneaking character.


The hard part about these movements is that they'll be a compromise. By that i mean if you make a movement look perfect for one situation, it might look odd in another. Its likely to be a compromise between various situations. So it will take some thought and likely some tweaking to get right. It should all be unobtrusive and comfortable to the eye, subtlety is key.

Edited by Noisycricket
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I just tried the St. Lucia demo. Very different from Thieves Den i see! I will delete some of my previous post pertaining specifically to Thieves Den so i dont confuse any future readers. I have a few comments on St.Lucia's movement, while realizing this is subjective. My personal opinion is that the roll for walking is a little too much, i'd say its 2x too much, but again, I can see someone else loving it. I'd like to implement a slight 5 centimeter side-to-side lateral sway (camera parallel to movement direction ) as well as a 1 or 2 pixel side-to-side angle shift and see how that looks for a start. I think Chronicles of Riddick (first version) has this side to side movement done well, but maybe slightly too exaggerated, can't remember. I'd like to spend a lot of time trying to get this right, but going off the top of my head, its seems the over-all look of the movement im going for would be much like the result of trying to steadily and quietly step over a series of obstacles on the ground that are all about 15cm (6"") high. If you try this, you'll note there is an acceleration of your head as you try to quickly shift your body weight onto your forward foot. For me there is also a heavy side to side movement as i shift my weight over each foot and my head's forward movement looks like a series of directional shifts about 4 or 5 degree off center of forward. Now that is exaggerated, but shows the effect im looking for i think in a round-about way.


With the run movement, i think the head-bob should be more pronounced, or perhaps just different. Heres an video of the Battlefield 2142 movement. Its hard to the full effect because of the low resolution.



As i mentioned, i'd love to see the effect of foot landing on head-movement. I also believe that once the foot lands, the movement isn't just interupted, but the whole movement changes from then on. If i could animate the camera movement in Maya/3DSM, then i would think it would be easier to get right. Any chance of that?


The side-steping movement I would like to make it such that it begins with a deeper curve followed by a shallower curve. This would simulate the long first step of the leading foot, followed by the push-off-like step of the other foot, which pushes off the ground leaving you to balance on the leading foot.

Edited by Noisycricket
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  • 2 weeks later...

I intended to add more to my posts, but kind of forgot what i wanted to add. But i did want to say that I find the quality of the head-bob in the St. Lucia demo to be on par with AAA titles, really well done I thought. I'd like to see if I can create a bit of a VR feeling at some point.


One question that i was hoping to get answered: Is it possible to animate the FFP camera in the current code? Maybe replace the viewport camera with another thats not linked to the head-bob algorithm such as the flyby camera used for scene view? Im guessing not. :blush:

Edited by Noisycricket
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There is functionality for in-game cinematics in Doom 3 already. And I believe (just off the top of my head) that we could move the camera in SDK code if we wanted to.


As mentioned above, there are some settings exposed in the def files for tweaking head-bobbing; feel free to play around and propose some alternate defaults (there's definitely no guarantee of having them implemented though :) ). Finer control (e.g. with animations) is not supported. It might be possible for someone to implement that in the future, but I think I can safely rule it out for TDM 1.0. ;)

My games | Public Service Announcement: TDM is not set in the Thief universe. The city in which it takes place is not the City from Thief. The player character is not called Garrett. Any person who contradicts these facts will be subjected to disapproving stares.
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  • 2 years later...

I been creating a file to modify the frequency of footsteps, adapting it to my personal preferences (something similar to Amnesia: The Dark Descent). The file is called autoexec.cfg but I need to write in the console exec autoexec each time I load a game. Is there any way to make it work automatically?

My autoexec.cfg is located in the route doom 3\darkmod and contains the following:


"pm_bobroll" "0.0015" //side to side roll

"pm_bobpitch" "0.001" //forward roll

"pm_bobup" "0.03" //upward bounce

"pm_runroll" "0.003" //running side roll

"pm_runpitch" "0.001" //run forward pitch

"pm_runbob" "0.31" //speed of run bob

"pm_walkbob" "0.19" //speed of walk bob

"pm_crouchbob" "0.24" //speed of crouch bob

Thanks, and sorry for my poor english.

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You need to have "seta" in front of those:


seta "pm_bobroll" "0.0015" //side to side roll

seta "pm_bobpitch" "0.001" //forward roll

seta "pm_bobup" "0.03" //upward bounce

seta "pm_runroll" "0.003" //running side roll

seta "pm_runpitch" "0.001" //run forward pitch

seta "pm_runbob" "0.31" //speed of run bob

seta "pm_walkbob" "0.19" //speed of walk bob

seta "pm_crouchbob" "0.24" //speed of crouch bob

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Presumably Dark Mod is overriding these settings then. If they are in DoomConfig.cfg then worth trying to change them there - but they might still get changed.


Remember, if you change DoomConfig.cfg to uninstall your current FM first then change it in the darkmod folder (or change it in your current FM folder.)

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