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ILLUSTRATED MIRROR TUTORIAL


By QRS

In this tutorial I will try to show how to make a room with a mirror which shows Laras reflection in it. The first step is not hard but the reflection part can be very frustrating to do right. At least for a beginner. And yes, I'm talking of my own experience about making a fully working mirror. The only experience you really need following this tutorial is a few days of trial and error with the editor. You also need some basic knowledge of the script files. I will try and explain everything I can in detail but the basic stuff like how to make a room, making doors, saving the project etc I will leave out. Same goes for the basic script tasks. Why so? Well there are tons of tutorials for that and don't forget the official manual! Also, a mirror room is not the first room you should try and do! If you are reading this and have yet to build a single rooms using the TRLE I strongly suggest that you wait with this until you have some experience of building a few basic rooms!

Note 1
There are a few things you have to worry about before making this mirror project. Scroll down to the end and read for further info and credits for the people who discovered them.

Note 2
In my example I use a room in which I already have a few rooms built. Just ignore these rooms (to the right of the mirror project in 2d view) as they have nothing to do with this example.

Note 3
I'm from Sweden and I use a Swedish OS. Hence the strange words in the explorer and calculator pics. I'm pretty sure that you can navigate using these pictures anyway, as the menus are on the same spots in most of the languages.

THE MIRROR

As I said earlier, this is the easy part. At least if you have some experience in working with the TRLE. In this example I will show the easiest way of making the mirror rooms. I can already hear you say Did he say rooms? Is it more than one room? I'm afraid it is. To make the mirror you have to trick the editor into fooling yourself in seeing one room with a mirror. Sounds complicated? Nope its not! The whole idea is the make two rooms and put transparent textures between the rooms. The problem is the reflection but more of that later.

Step 1

First of all you need to make a room. In my example I have built a room of 7x8 squares. (Feel free to make it any size you want.) The height of the room is 12 clicks. The room number in my example is 46. ( I will refer to this room as 46 from now on). Your first task is to texture the rooms walls, ceiling and floor. It is not important right now to make anything special. Just make sure that there are no black holes when you run the game later on.





Step 2

Use your right mouse button and highlight all squares in your room and click on the copy button. You should now have an exact copy of room 46. In my case the new room is called 47.



Step 3

Highlight room 47 and choose mirror from the room dropdown menu. Room 47 is now a perfect mirror of room 46!



Step 4

You now have to make a door between the rooms. Make sure that you put room 47 to the left of room 46.



Highlight room 46, switch to 3d view and make a door on the whole left side to room 47.



Step 5

Now you need to make the doors between the rooms transparent. Make sure that Face edit is on and you are in room 46. Highlight the door to room 47 and click on toggle opacity so the door will be highlighted red.



Now click on the transparent and double sided buttons and choose a good texture for the mirror. I suggest something simple for now as the perfect texture can wait until you are done with this tutorial. (Note that I darkened both the rooms so the transparent texture between the doors should look better for the tutorial. You can do that later on if you wish.)



Repeat step 5 starting from room 47 and apply the same textures from that side.

We are done!! At least with the mirror. For making this look better and the transparent textures more mirror like, you need to make the room darker. Feel free to experiment with the lightning before proceeding to the next step. This is how it looks when you start the game:



If you are in a hurry and will experiment with the lighting effects later, you will see that Lara is still not present in the mirror and that takes us to . . .

THE REFLECTION

This part is tricky so make sure that you follow these instructions exactly before going on further on your own. Also, don't forget to read the notes at the end of this tutorial first!! I will try to make sure that you don't fall into any pits but it's up to you to backup your scripts!! Ok don't be afraid. It is not as dangerous as it sounds. I just want you to be careful ok?

Step 1

Go to room 46 and click on the upper left square. Check the coordinates for that square in the info page under all the buttons. In my example it shows Selected block [ X:28 Y:32] . Write down the coordinate for X on a piece of paper or if you have a good memory just remember it. Also write down or remember the room number (46).



Step 2

Now its time to leave the editor. You can save your project now if you wish. Use the built in calculator in windows and turn it into advanced mode by clicking on advanced from the view dropdown menu (visa in my example).


We now have to calculate a formula using the X coordinate. You did write it down right? The formula is: X+1*1024. In my example that makes 28+1*1024 = 29696.



Check the hex button and see how it turns into something else. In my case 7400 but don't be surprised to see letters combined with the numbers. You now have the hexadecimal numbers of the formula and unlike the decimal 0-9 numbers we now have 0-9 + A-F to worry about. If you are not interested in that and want to keep making the reflection work just write down the outcome you get in hex!.



Step 3

As I said earlier, I will not go into detail of how to find your script file etc. (I have provided a picture from my example though!)


Open the script.txt file in any text editor and look after your level in the text. Put this text in a separate line in your script for your level:
Mirror= 46,$7400.
46 is the room number and the value is the hex numbers you wrote down earlier.



Step 4

Save the script file back to itself and double click on the English.bat file.


After a brief dos view of a dos window, leave with a grin on your face, cause you have completed the mission! If you did not save your project earlier in the TRLE of course. Now you only need to run the tr2pc program and start your level. Viola! Lara's reflection is finally in the mirror. This is how it looks:



Now you will need to set better lighting, shadows, objects, better textures etc. to really get the right feeling but I leave that to you.

Notes and Credits

There are a few things you should be aware of before making this project, otherwise the reflection will not work. There might still be other factors that I'm not aware of. I will update this tutorial as soon as I find out.

1. Make sure that the mirror room is to the left of the normal room. (Credits to Oxy for that info.)

2. You can't have any empty room slots with lower numbers than the mirror room. In my example not any empty room slots under 45. (Credits to Essgee for that info.)

ALWAYS make a copy of your script files. Why not the whole script folder just to be sure?

Don't forget to run the English.bat file after changing the script. It can save you from a few frustrating hours of things not working.

A huge thanks too Oxy and Essgee for the information and help in understanding how to make a mirror with reflection. A special THANK YOU! To George M for helping me put together all this info into a tutorial with pics and text. Also for hosting the tutorial!

Good luck in making a mirror project and feel free to use, copy and spread this tutorial as much as you like.

QRS




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Last update: 15/08/2007