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CREATING CUTSCENES


By Titak

Related tutorial: Custom Animations

Cutscenes can be created in different ways.
It does take time and patience to create one with long and natural looking animations.

A cutscene is basically some animating objects (with or without Lara) and a flyby sequence showing the action.

A cutscene with Lara in it.
This can be done in different ways.

a. Lara in an animation object slot.
This is a Lara model without joints and without moving ponytail. It can be made by taking a TR3 Lara model or by editing Lara's skin meshes.
This object can then be placed in a room that the 'real' Lara can't get into and it is triggered just like any other animating object.

Here an example of a special death animation I created. It is a ara object placed in a copy of the real room. A flyby camera sequence shows the action and the last camera triggers the jump back to the main menu. (If you look closely you can see that this Lara does not have joints.)


Tutorials - Cutscenes - Titak

b. After Lara inserts a puzzlepiece.
Lara has 444 animations. But that's not the limit. You can add more animatiosn to the Lara object. Let's say you have added a new animation which has number 445.
You can trigger this animation when you put -445 in the OCB of a puzzlehole. Lara will then play that animation without first doing the standard 'put puzzle item into puzzle hole' animation. (So if you want to have Lara do that animation first you need to put that at the beginning of your cutscene animation.)

The advantage of this type of cutscene is that Lara will have joints and that she will have her moving ponytail, which makes the whole thing look more natural.
A drawback is that the cutscene can't be too long because all those extra animation frames can cause a level to crash. I had this happening after I had created a 1600+ frames animation for Lara and a 1000+ frame animation for an object. Both for a cutscene at the end of a level.

c. A seperate TR4.
If the cutscene will be very long it is best to create a seperate TR4 which will only be the cutscene. It won't be playable.
In that case you need to edit Lara's animation 11. This is Lara's default animation and each time a level loads she will start with animation 11.

Here's an example of a 'seperate TR4' type cutscene.
As with the 'puzzlehole' type cutscene Lara will have her joints and moving ponytail.


Tutorials - Cutscenes - Titak


d. TREP: Flipeffect Editor.
TREP's Flipeffect Editor has a command which can trigger one of Lara's animations when she steps on the flipeffect trigger.

For example command PLAY_ANIM 445. 445 being the number of the animation you want to trigger.
Here's an example, another special death animation.


Tutorials - Cutscenes - Titak


NOTE:
It is important that you disable Lara control while she does the cutscene animation(s). This can be done with the flyby camera settings (press the buttons 9 and 10 in the OCB of the first camera) and by giving the cutscene animation(s) StateID 89.

So... there are different ways to create a cutscene. Once you have decided which type you want to use you can start setting up the rooms, flyby's, other objects and ofcourse the animation. I'm actually using all four types in my HM levels. Choosing which ever type that fitted the situation best.




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Last update: 13/10/2007