Frame commands

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Animation Primer

Each animation can have commands attached. These are either global (they influence the entire animation), or per-frame (they do or start something at the frame with the given number).

Apart from the default D3 frame commands, the darkmod team has added a few new, useful frame commands. This page tries to describe them all.

In animation, there are some important concepts:


This is the channel the animation plays on, usually LEGS, TORSO, HEAD and so on. Animations can play on one channel, or on multiple channels at the same time. Different channels can also play different animations at the same time.


Override means that the overridden channel is forced to play the same anim as the originating channel, i.e. LEGS is forced to run the same anim as TORSO. This is usually meant as "idle override" => if the HEAD animation channel is currently idle, it is overridden by the anim played on TORSO.


Synchronizing is meaning two different things, it ensures that two channels are in sync with each other (such that the hands of the TORSO channel are matching the LEGS movement, like one would expect it when observing the AI - we had a bug report of that back when we implemented the walk animation for the new skeleton), and secondly it is deactivating the framecommands on the channel being synchronized, to prevent double-firing of anim frame commands.

How to use

You need an animation in the md5anim format, and a definition for your AI, which must be placed in the model defitinion of your AI. Here is an example from model tdm_ai_proguard defined inside def/tdm_ai_guard_proguard_devel.def:

anim throw_dice01               models/md5/chars/guards/proguard/throw_dice.md5anim
    no_random_headturning                                       // this is a global command
    frame 17            sound tdm_dice_click                    // this is a frame command
    frame 19            create_missile RightHand
    frame 19            attach atdm:drop_dice01 dice01 hand_r
    frame 71            sound tdm_dice_shaking
    frame 81            sound tdm_dice_shaking
    frame 119           destroy dice01
    frame 119           launch_missile RightHand
    frame 122           sound tdm_dice_rolling
    frame 144           sound_voice snd_reaction

Animation frame commands

These commands influence the entire animation, and not just the current frame.

Command Description
ai_no_turn ?
anim_turn ?
no_random_headturning The HEAD channel does not play any random turn animations.
prevent_idle_override animation will not be interrupted by random idles (may no longer work)
random_cycle_start Starts the animation at a random frame; avoids all md5meshes being in sync

Default Doom3 frame commands

Command Description Example
call calls a global script function frame 1 call overrideLegs
object_call calls a script object function frame 1 object_call ArrowInvisible
event Calls an event function Unused so far
sound Plays the referenced sound shader on the general sound channel. frame 12 sound readable_page_turn
sound_voice Plays the referenced sound shader on the voice sound channel. frame 23 sound_voice snd_sight
sound_voice2 Plays the referenced sound shader on the second voice sound channel. frame 1 sound_voice2 monster_boss_vagary_attack1
sound_body Plays the referenced sound shader on the body sound channel. frame 50 sound_body snd_footstep
sound_body2 Plays the referenced sound shader on the second body sound channel. frame 92 sound_body2 snd_footstep
sound_body3 Plays the referenced sound shader on the third body sound channel. Not used so far, but similiar to sound_body
sound_weapon Plays the referenced sound shader on the weapon sound channel. frame 16 sound_weapon snd_drawsword
sound_global Plays the referenced sound shader on the global sound channel. Not used so far, but similiar to sound_body
sound_item Plays the referenced sound shader on the item sound channel. Not used so far, but similiar to sound_body
sound_chatter Plays the referenced sound shader on the chatter sound channel. frame 57 sound_chatter snd_alert_idle
skin Sets a new skin for the model. Skin name is optional, if left off, no skin (e.g. the default skin) is used. frame 1 skin tdm_burnt_flesh
fx Plays the named fx (effect combining particle, sound and light). frame 16 fx fx/tdm_flame
trigger Triggers the given target (e.g. activates it). Not used so far
triggerSmokeParticle Triggers the named particle (which can be everything, not just smoke). frame 1 triggerSmokeParticle smokestack
melee Starts melee action? frame 9 melee melee_elemental_fire
direct_damage Does direct damage to the target entity. Not used so far.
muzzle_flash Used to flash the weapon muzzle. Not used so far.
attack Attack the named entity. Not used so far.
attack_begin Begin an attack. Not used so far.
attack_end Stop an attack. Not used so far.
create_missile Create (in the def specified) missile at the given attachment position. frame 2 create_missile RMissile
launch_missile Launches a missile from the given attachment position. frame 16 launch_missile LeftHand
fire_missile_at_target Fires a missile at the target. Not yet used.
footstep Unknown. frame 12 footstep
leftfoot Unknown. frame 12 leftfoot
rightfoot Unknown. frame 12 rightfoot
enableEyeFocus Unknown.
disableEyeFocus Unknown.
disableGravity Gravity no longer affects this model.
enableGravity Gravity affects this model again.
jump Makes it jump.
enableClip Unknown
disableClip Unknown
enableWalkIK turns walkIK back on
disableWalkIK turns walkIK off, so feet don't respond to hitting obstacles
enableLegIK Unknown
recordDemo Unknown
aviGame Unknown

TDM frame commands

Keyword Description Version  Example
setRate Sets the anim rate, used for speeding up/slowing down walking and crouchwalking animations to get correct footstep sounds. v1.00 + Does not appear to work
reattach Move an attachment to a different position. Used f.i. to move the weapon from the back to hand. v1.00 + frame 16 reattach melee_weapon hand_r
pause Pause the animation at its current frame, wait for unpause from somewhere else. v1.00 + Not used yet.
melee_hold Holds a melee attack at a given point in the animation (e.g., at the back swing in attacks, at the parry position in parries). Similar to pause but also updates actor's melee status. v1.00 + frame 6 melee_hold
melee_attack_start v1.00 + frame 16 melee_attack_start melee_weapon slash_rl
melee_attack_stop v1.00 + frame 16 melee_attack_stop weapon
melee_parry_start v1.00 + frame 5 melee_parry_start melee_weapon left
melee_parry_stop v1.00 + frame 5 melee_parry_stop melee_weapon
set_combat_flag v1.00 + frame 16 set_combat_flag melee
clear_combat_flag v1.00 + frame 16 clear_combat_flag melee
attach Spawns an entity of the given class and attaches it with the given attach name on the given attach position. v1.02 + frame 42 attach atdm:prop_single_card card hand_r
destroy Detach and destroy the entity at the named attachment. Usually used after attach. v1.02 + frame 42 destroy card
drop Detach and drop to world the entity at the named attachment. Usually used after pickup. v1.02 + frame 42 drop bucket
pickup Find the entity with the given name, then attach it as the named attachment at the given position. See this article for more information. v1.02 + frame 42 pickup atdm_water_bucket_01 bucket hand_l
putdown Detach and drop to world the entity at the named attachment, and restore the original position and angle it had at time of pickup. (If you use "putdown" on an entity that was created via spawn, it will simply drop to the floor). v1.02 + frame 80 putdown bottle
activate_at_joint Activate the entity attached to the given joint. v1.02 + frame 42 activate_at_joint hand_r
activate_near Find the entity with the given name, near (attached or not) the given joint, then activate it. See this article for more information. v1.02 + frame 42 activate_near hand_r
create_missile_from_def Create a specific projectile at the given joint name. The projectile entityDef name must be passed as first argument, the joint name as second argument. v1.04 + frame 10 create_missile_from_def atdm:projectile_firearrow LeftHand

See also