In defence of QME

So in some recent posts I have mentioned lots of nitpicky, minor issues that can arise when you save your models with QME. I’d like to make it clear that I still use use QME, and I thought I’d have a quick post on its strengths.

Firstly it’s still ideal as a model viewer, it understands the format inside and out. You can quickly extract information on polycounts etc, and preview how the animation sequences run. I take lots of screenshots using QME because it’s very simple to do.

The second thing that I use it for is creating skins. QME has the quake palette built in, along with a very handy palette editor:


The toolbar button to access the palette editor is highlighted in the screenshot. From here you can very easily create palette swapped skins in two ways. You can remap any single colour by double-clicking it, then picking the colour you want to replace it with from the palette that opens. You can also exclude a whole row of the palette – when you untick a row at the left, the editor replaces all those colours with the closest colour in the rows which are still ticked. You can tick a row which is not yet used so that the editor will consider it next time you untick a row.

For example, if you wanted to replace the warm beige colours in a skin with the cold beige row(ah, the quake palette!) you would do the following:

  1. Tick the cold beige row
  2. Untick the warm beige row

The most common use of the palette editor is to get rid of unwanted fullbrights – just untick the bottom two rows. If you’d like fullbrights on part of your skin, and need to exclude non-fullbrights from that area:

  1. Duplicate the model’s skin
  2. Remove all fullbrights from the first copy of the skin
  3. On the second skin, open the palette editor and tick both fullbright rows
  4. Untick the regular orange row
  5. Keep unticking rows, starting with the brightest. Make sure to re-tick the fullbright rows at each step if necessary. Stop when only the fullbright rows are ticked.

This ought to convert the skin to fullbright as well as possible. You may get different results depending on the order you remove rows. To finish off,  combine the two skins with an image editor, pasting the portions you want to be fullbright from the latter skin onto the former.

Besides the palette mapping tool, you can also paint directly onto the model using QME’s 3d view, which is very valuable. You can use it for things as simple as painting out the messy seams on your model, or get your skin started by painting flat colours on and sketching the shapes out, then exporting it to a file for editing. You can even paint the entire skin in QME!

Painting the entire skin isn’t as crazy as it sounds, the red tiled skin for the dome was made like this (and then the variant skins were made using palette shifts and tweaks). One of the features you’ll want to use is the undo function. It’s not obvious that it exists, it’s nowhere on the menu or toolbar, you can only get it by pressing ctrl-z.  It also only works on edits in the 3d view.

The downside to making your skin like this, apart from having to work with only a pixel brush, is that there’s no corresponding high-colour skin to go with it. I know that there are programs that let you paint in 3d with full colour and brushes and stuff, but I’ve never set one up. So if you need that, at some point you’ll have to stop working in QME.


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