By Titak

How to Create Custom Animations - Part One

You can create your custom animations using WADMerger’s Animation Editor.

1. Open WADMerger and load your wad.

2. Select the object you want to animate.

3. Open Animation Editor.

4. Select the animation you want to change/create in the Current Animation box.

5. Create the animation.

The basics:
- Select mesh: right mouse click.
- You can rotate or move the mesh after clicking the Move or Rotate buttons, right below the File and Edit dropdown menus. Three coloured arrows representing the X, Y and Z axis will appear. Pull these to move or rotate the mesh.
- You can add extra animations by clicking the Add button.
- You can delete frames using the button.
- The button let’s you add effects to the animation, such as sounds.
- Frame rate determines the speed of the animation: the higher the number, the slower the animation.
- If you want to link several animations into one long one you can put the number of the Next Animation in this box. Also put in a Next Frame.

Copy and paste frames or entire animations using the Frame and Animation dropdown menus.

6. Save the changes and save your wad.

7. Check out your new animation.

Animation Editor also has an Animation Wizard feature. This feature allows you to create the first frame, then the last frame and the Wizard will then calculate the frames in between. Saves time and makes the animation smoother.

The WADMerger download comes with a readme file describing more features. It is best to also read that.

Creating animations isn't as easy as it looks. But practice makes perfect.

How to Create Custom Animations - Part 2

This post will tell you how to export and import objects into your wad for creating animations with 3d Studio Max

1. Create a dummy wad, containing at least the animating object you want to change.
2. Convert the wad into a dummy level (tr4)
3. Open TRViewer and open your dummy tr4.
4. Select the animating object you want to change in 3d Studio Max.
5. Export into 3ds format.
-If the animating object has more than one animation you can select which animation you want to export with the object.
-If you want to change one of Lara’s animations you first need to export the skin meshes (select skin meshes and export into TRMVB format) and then import them again in the Lara object.
After that you can export the Lara object with one animation.
6. Import the object with animation into 3d Studio Max and create the animation.

Here is a full screenshot of the 3d Studio Max 6 window.

- Use import instead of open !
- Click the Auto button before starting to animate the object.

- Set the first key (=frame), move the strackbar thingy and create the next key. 3D Studio Max will calculate the frames in between.
- Use the Move feature only on Lara’s hip mesh when animating Lara!

- After you have finished the animation you need to set keys to every frame, depending on the frame rate you want. In the screenshot the animation will have frame rate 2.
The keys need to be set for every mesh!!!!!
Rotate key to every mesh, position key and rotate key to the hip mesh! Select the frame using the trackbar and click the set key button.

7. Export the object.
8. Open Trviewer and open the dummy tr4.
9. Import the object with the new animation and save the tr4
10. Open FEXanim and select the object. Fix the collision and save the tr4 again.
11. Open Trupdate and run the program to transfer the new animation data to the dumy wad.
12. Open WADMerger and load the dummy wad. Select the object and open AnimationEditor .
13. Select the new animation from the animation list and copy the entire animation ( animation dropdown menu > copy )
14. Close AnimationEditor and load your level wad. Select the object that needs the new animation and open AnimationEditor again.
15. Paste the new animation into the right animation slot. ( animation > copy (replace) )
NOTE: I tried to copy and paste the entire object with the new animation into the levelwad using WADMerger but that caused bugs in the animation ingame. That’s why I only copy and paste the animation.
16. Save the changes and save the wad. Convert the wad and check out your new animation!

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Last update: 15/08/2007