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Old 30-06-05, 13:41   #1
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Exclamation LEVEL EDITOR FAQ. For builders & players - Latest update 05-01-2011

Frequently Asked Questions about the LevelEditor

Hello all!

This thread contains Frequently Asked Questions about playing and building custom levels.

Please do not reply to this thread.

This thread will keep developing and more questions will be added.
If you have a question you think is a FAQ and should be placed here feel free to contact either Uvavoo or Titak through PM. We will then add them to the thread.

Most questions and answers about levelbuilding only deal with the basics. Links to existing tutorials on the subject will be posted in the answer.
If you know of a usefull tutorial which isn't posted here: please contact Uvavoo or Titak.

We also used to have a pretty long list of stickied threads which have been unstuck because they weren't viewed very often anymore.
You can find this list and the links to the threads HERE : Previously stickied threads.
You can find a Table of Contents below. Scroll through the pages or click on the post of you choice. The post will then open in a seperate window.

Another recommended tutorials place (for more advanced and more complicated things) is our very own Tutorials section.
To make it easier for you to find a specific tutorial, you can check the Tutorials INDEX, which has been stickied in the tutorials section.

Enjoy!

Contents of this thread:

Page 1
1/ Where can I download the Tomb Raider Level Editor?
2/ Long loading times in XP
3/ How to install custom levels?
4/ Missing or wrong Lara animations
5/ ARG List Too Big
6/ Usefull programs
7/ Usefull websites
8/ Getting started
9/ How to change Lara's outfit

Page 2
10/ Installing Levels: Flowchart
11/ COLLISION - adding collision to statics and animatings
12/ How do I create custom animations? - part 1: WADMerger's Animation Editor
13/ How do I create custom animations? - part 2: 3D Studio Max 6
14/ How to make textures animate?
15/ Information for Mac Users.
16/ Sound Issues: Audio
17/ Sound issues: Sound effects (samples)
18/ How to change the logo? (uklogo.pak)
19/ Importing meshes into a wad

Page 3
20/ Known causes of game crashes.
21/ Fast, out of control, spinning LE in 3D view
22/ How to use the burning-floor?
23/ How to add more waterfalls to your wad.
24/ Remapping vertices with Strpix
25/ Tutorials
26/ Tomb Raider Engine Patcher (TREP)
27/ Starting a game with the crowbar already in the inventory
28/ Sounds are not working when an object is placed underwater
29/ Textures - links to good textures sites

Page 4
30/ Making the TIMER work
31/ How to get your level online
32/ Level Editor Manual
33/ Creating a Level from Scratch
34/ How to use the global lensflare
35/ Creating Cutscenes
36/ Crafting Lara's World
37/ Level Editor Forum - Netiquette
38/ TREP Flipmap Editor and Timer Editor User Codes
39/ Speedfix for dual-core systems

Page 5
40 Requests threads
41 Ideas and inspiration threads



************* UPDATES *************

Januari 2011
- Added another good texturesite to the list with texture sites.

December 2010
- Added more programs to the "Usefull Programs" list and added links to the programs.
- Added a new post where links to the different "Request threads" will be posted.
- Added a new post where links to "ideas and inspiration threads" can be posted.

14-05-2009
- A new thread called Tutorials INDEX has been added to the tutorials section to make searching for a specific tutorial easier.
- Dead links to images in some tutorials have been fixed.
- Missing images have been added again

26-04-2009
- new texturesite added to the list of Textures - links to good textures sites.

Last edited by Titak; 06-01-11 at 16:09.
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Old 30-06-05, 13:47   #2
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1 - Where can I download the Tomb Raider Level Editor?

You can download two versions of the Level Editor:

- Lite Version
This version is suitable for those who only wish to play custom levels.

- Full Version
This version is for those who wish to create their own Tomb Raider adventures.
It is in ISO format and needs to be burnt onto a CD before installing.

Both versions are available at Tomb Raider Chronicles - Level Editor

New version for Windows VISTA and XP Pro and Home (smaller download than the above):
Tomb Raider Level Editor on Windows Vista/XP

[ 01. July 2005, 11:45: Message edited by: Titak ]

Last edited by Simulation; 26-05-07 at 13:45.
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Old 30-06-05, 13:51   #3
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2 - Long loading times

"I'm running the game in Windows XP and the level takes forever to load."

This is a Windows XP related problem. To fix it you need to download an XP patch for the Editor.
It replaces the original Tomb4.exe.

Windows XP Enhanced EXE

[ 30. June 2005, 14:53: Message edited by: Titak ]

Last edited by Titak; 10-01-06 at 11:25.
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Old 30-06-05, 14:11   #4
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3 - How to install custom levels?

Please also check out Wizzkiddo's thread on this topic.
Attention new players

You can install custom levels in two ways: manual and by using an installation program.

Manual installment

Usually a custom level comes with a readme file explaining how to install the levels. If this is not the case you can use the file chart below.


- Files: script.dat, english.dat and load.bmp
Folder: TRLE main folder

- Files: WAD files
(files with the following extensions: *.lar *.CD *.raw *.sam *.sfx *.wad *.was *.tom *.swd *.txt)
Folder: TRLE/Graphics/Wads

(If the download contains these files you first need to convert the *.tom into a *.tr4 using the tom2pc.exe.
Run the program, under Edit Script click Add, then click Build All.)


- Files: *.tr4 files and uklogo.pak
Folder: TRLE/Data

- Files: Soundtrackfiles.
These files are numbered wave files, like 001.wav, 052.wav, etc.
Folder: TRLE/Audio

- Files: Sound sample files.
These are also wave files but they have names, like Lara_aha.wav, Fs_met2.wav, etc.
Folder: TRLE/Sound/Samples

Uvavoo has also created a user friendly Install Chart.
You can also view it on this page somewhere. Just scroll down. You can't miss it!

Installation Program

There are two programs available that allow you to easily install, manage and archieve custom levels:

- CLI-Suite
Created by Wizzkiddo.

- TR Level Manager


[ 28. August 2005, 09:22: Message edited by: Titak ]

Last edited by Titak; 16-09-06 at 11:23.
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Old 30-06-05, 14:29   #5
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4 - Missing or wrong Lara animations

If your Lara refuses to perform certain animations it means that those animations are not included in the Lara-object of your wad.

You can fix this by downloading the Updated Wads.

I also suggest you download the other wads available on that download page. They contain extra wads released by Eidos.

[ 11. August 2005, 11:39: Message edited by: Titak ]

Last edited by Titak; 10-01-06 at 11:26.
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Old 30-06-05, 14:42   #6
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5 - ARG List Too Big

This errormessage sometimes appears when trying to load a project into the LevelEditor.

The LevelEditor 'remembers' the path where it can find the TGA textureset, to run a project.
If the TGA is renamed or placed in another folder the LevelEditor won't be able to find it file and it will tell you so by giving the above message.

You will now have to manually find and load the TGA again.

The LevelEditor will remember the path again once you have saved the project.

Last edited by Titak; 10-01-06 at 11:26.
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Old 30-06-05, 15:11   #7
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6 - Usefull programs

Over the years several people have created a number of usefull programs that allow you to customize your own levels.

These programs can be downloaded from Lara's Level Base, TR Search Engine and Aspidetr.com.

Here's a list of some usefull ones:

- WADMerger
This is a very usefull toll and it has many features. It enables you to transfer objects from one WAD to another and it also lets you rip WADs from other TR games.
But it also has:
- Animation Editor to create custom animations
- Switch Editor to assign OCB code bit numbers to certain switch animations,
- Sound Manager to assign soundFX to your WAD
- Sprite Editor to export and import the sprite textures
- AI Editor to edit AI features

- TRW editor
This programs allows you to edit animations which are in TRW format, which is the format used by WADMerger Animation Editor.

- STRpix
- STRPix - Sapper's updated version
This tool is mainly used to retexture the objects in your WAD, such as Lara's outfit.
But it also allows you to export meshes in DXF format for editing in a 3D drawing program, like Metaseqouia.
It can also be used to light static objects and to adjust the collision box of static objects.

- ReStrText
When re-importing an edited mesh into STRpix you will have lost all your texture data. Fixing something small on the object therefore takes lots of time due to retexturing the whole thing all over again. ReStrText restores the textures after you made a few tiny changes.
Saves you a lot of work!

- EditWad
Allows you to export meshes in MQO format for editing in a 3D drawing program, like Metaseqouia.
Unlike with STRPix your edited mesh will be reimported into the wad all textured again. It is however wise to also check the object in STRPix afterwards becasue fi you added faces to the object they might not be textured properly.
EdtiWad also allows you to recalculate normals in a way that STRPix can't do.. EditWad even allows for exporting a "normals" MQO in which the normals can then be edited manually in Metasequoia.
Scroll through the thread to find the link to the latest version.


- Metasequoia
This is a 3d drawing program you can use to edit meshes, including those of Lara.
It is available for free.

- MQO2DXF
With this little tool you can easily convert MQO objects into DXF format for opening in STRPix.


-Fexanim
Fexanim is used to adjust the collision of animating objects. It only works with TR4 files. To transfer the new collision data back into the WAD you need to use TRupdate.

- TRupdate
For tranferring new collision and animation data from a TR4 saved with Fexanim back into the wad that was used to create the TR4 with in the first place.


- TRViewer
Used to import and export custom animations created in 3d Studio Max.
It only works with TR4 files. You will need to use Fexanim and Trupdate to transfer the new animation data into the WAD.

- TBuilder
This program is used to easily edit TGA texture sets. It also allows you to export the sky textures.

- Meta2TR
This program allows you to edit the room geometry of the compiled TR4 file.
It also allows for UVmapping of objects and roomgeometry and you can adjust the lighting with it.

- Fexinspect


- Screamer
This tool allows you to edit the sounds.txt files pretty easily and convert them to new .sfx and .sam files for your levelwad(s), instead of having to run the sound.bat and/or go into DOS-prompt.
Screamer needs Java Runtimes to work properly. This usually isn't a problem but with 64bit systems you do need:
Download and install the newest Java Runtime Environment, available here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/ja...s-1880261.html, the 64-bit version exe is the second to last position on that list (Windows x64) and then Screamer should work.
Thanks go to Dustie for posting this.



- TREP
Well, this program is used to patch the tomb4.exe to add more possibilities to it.
Changes can be graphical, but also gameplay things can be changed.
This tool is no longer being updated but it is a wonderfull and quite easy-to-use tool if you want to customize your level further than just custom textures and objects.

- Leikkuri/Cutter
This allows you to edit the TR font, to make more detailed lettering in whatever font you want.
It is also developed by the author of TREP and van also be found on the TREP Homepage

- TRNG
The updated level editor and updated engine, allowing for all sorts of customization that is not possible with the original TRLE.
Also check out our TRNG forum section for more info. (There's simply too much info to put it all in this post. )


Other usefull programs include paint programs and audio programs to customize textures and audio.

Last edited by Titak; 25-07-13 at 13:21.
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Old 01-07-05, 11:05   #8
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7 - Usefull websites

Besides the usefull programs described above you can also download loads of other usefull stuff, like objects, textures, audio, etc for your custom level.

-- Tomb Raider Chronicles --
- LevelEditor and patches
- New Wads released by Eidos
- Texturesets from other TR games
- Custom levels

-- TRLE --
- More than 1700 custom levels!

-- Lara's Level Base --
- Wads
- Textures (TR and other games)
- Objects (including enemies and traps)
- Outfits for Lara
- Custom Levels

-- TR Search Engine --
- Same as the site above

-- TREP Homepage ---
- Here you can find the latest updates on the wonderfull tomb4.exe patcher program TREP!

-- Skribblerz --
- Home to lots of goodies and lots of TRNG related tuts and other stuff!

-- Croft Manor --
- Hoem of some object(pack)s, tutorials, tools and walkthroughs. Website is in development so make sure you keep checking it from time to time.

Last edited by Titak; 30-08-14 at 16:20.
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Old 01-07-05, 11:15   #9
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8 - Getting started

If you decide to start building your own levels keep in mind that a custom level can't be build in one day and that it will take time to develop your skills.

The best way to get started is by working your way through the manual and following the tutorial step by step.
It might seem a bit boring at times bacause of all those wild ideas for your own level jumping around in your head but following the tutorial is really the best way to get to know the editor.

Uvavoo has also created several datasheets that can help you with some of the basics but also with some more advanced techniques, like creating flipmaps and script editing.
You can download these datasheets from his site: Uvavoo's Tomb Raider Site

If you are still having a hard time figuring something out feel free to post your question on this forum.
That's what it is for after all!

[ 15. August 2005, 17:47: Message edited by: Titak ]

Last edited by Titak; 10-01-06 at 11:26.
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Old 01-07-05, 11:33   #10
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9 - How to change Lara's outfit

Retexturing
The easiest way to change Lara's outfit is to retexture the original outfit. You can use STrpix for this. Strpix lets you export and import the outfit textures. You can then edit the textures using your favorite paint program.

Remodeling
It becomes a bit more complicated if you want to change Lara's meshes.
  • Use Strpix to export the meshes (in .dxf format)you want to change.
  • Then use Metaseqouia or another CAD type program to edit the meshes.
  • Import again in Strpix and retexture the mesh.
  • Sometimes joints get messed up when a skin mesh has been modified.
    E.g. with the head: if you import a new head mesh the ponytail gets messed up.
    To fix this you need to remap the vertice points of the hole where the joint or ponytail connects to the mesh. This can also be done using Strpix with the Remap Vertices feature. Don't forget to also run the Recalc Normals option after remapping! This fixes the lighting of the mesh. If you don't run this option you might get weird shadows.
    Tutorials on remapping vertices: A guide to remapping outfits by Sapper and a very short tutorial Remapping vertices with STRpix by Titak.

IMPORTANT:
Maximum number of vertices (points) per mesh is 255 in the original TRLE. Exceed that and the outfit will not work properly and it can even crash the level!
Today, it is possible to exceed this 255 vertices per mesh limit by using either TREP or TRNG.

[ 09. October 2005, 13:41: Message edited by: Titak ]

Last edited by Titak; 12-05-09 at 17:12.
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