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Old 29-12-07, 20:18   #1
Piega
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Default Meta tutorial of a lantern.

OK, we are going to create a very detailed lantern in a way so easy beginners will be wondering why, why am I struggling with this stupid program! You probably spent more time reading this tutorial then working in Meta. I'm not going into details about sizes as you can easily adjust your finished lantern in the end to fit the tomb raider world.

First another setting wich makes rotating your object a lot easier. Top left click on "File" and "Configuration". Go to the "Action" tab and enable "Rotate 360 degrees around pich". Now you can rotate your object with more freedom.

OK look at the shot. Press Primitive in the command panel and select the round solid cylinder object. In Property decrease value U-8 to U-6 as most lanterns have 6 sides. 8 is also too detailed in tomb raider world. Press Create. Now I'm probably the most pigheaded guy but in the end you know why. Rotate this piece 90 degrees on the red axe. Yes people, the blue axe must be straight up and that's how we work. To do this press "Rot" in the Command panel. Hold your arrow on the red cirkle and move your mouse till the info box gives exactly 90 degrees. If you have a problem with the steps ahead and you made a mistake press "Undo" in the Edit panel and you will go a step back.



Now press the "Scale" button on the left underneath the Command tab. Click on the yellow cube, hold and scale the entire cylinder to value 0.25. Not perfect but a pleasant size to work with.



OK, with the blue axe pointing upwards select the bottum of the cylinder. To do this press "Rect" in the Command panel. Now hold the left mouse button and drag your selection rectangle over the bottum. Press "Scale" and with the yellow cube scale the thing to value 0.64. Now press "Move" in the Command panel and raise the bottum with about 6.50 with the blue arrow. You can be just over or under this value, you dont have to be precise. OK keep in mind you dont click on the screen as your bottum gets deselected. Now press "Extrd" in the Command panel. Click and hold on the green selected bottum, drag your mouse until you have a nice base (see picture).



Repeat the "Extrd" command again and make it twice as thick. Use "Scale" and scale to value 0.50. Repeat "Extrd" with about the same thickness as the base. Scale this to value 1.50 (bigger). Extrude again to where you like. Now we must select the vertices as now only the faces are selected. So select them and press CTRL+J and we get a nice cone. Now select the joined vertice and raise or lower it untill the cone is parallel to the other diagonal part. Now select and extrude the top of the lantern. Select the vertices and press CTRL+J again. Wow, the lantern is taking shape! Great huh! Now you see how powerful extrude and scaling is but I said a detailed lantern. And it's far from detailed! So go with me to the next step.



We have a lantern but it is solid and we want to look through it with glass so we must also have faces on the inside so that we can texture these in strpix. So this is what we are gonna do but with a few steps. Delete four faces of the lantern (press "Del" in the Command panel) but leave the two opposite ones on the red axe. Strange huh? Select these two faces like in the shot.



Now press the "Extrd" command again but this time switch from "Normal" to "Bevel" in the tiny window. Now extrude to the inside of the lantern like this.



Now we have a glass frame but the top and bottum are not equal to the sides and we want a decent looking frame. So select the "glass" part like in the shot and you will have both sides selected. Now scale with the green cube so all sides are equal. Now you dont have to be precise again but in my case scaling to 0.85 looks great.



Now something important about bend faces. Bend faces are four vertices with one vertice out of place wich causes the face not being entirely flat but bend. These faces cannot be drawn properly in the engine and explains why faces dissappear and reappear (the flickering) in game. We have just created bend faces and we are gonna fix them. Look at the frame we created. From this position (in the shot below) the horizontal faces are bend. One is marked in green. To correct them select the lower vertices. Do this from this view so you also select the vertices from the other side. Scale again to about the same value of 0.85 with the green cube! All faces are flat again and the frame looks better. Press "Undo" and "Redo" to see the difference of the corrected face.



Now why have we deleted four faces? Because scaling does not work well when faces are diagonal on an axe and we want to keep it simple. And it's gonna be simple. Select the entire glass frame like we did before extruding.



On top of Meta open the "Selected" tab and press "Copy". Do this again but now we "Paste". We have a new object added in Object Panel. Now press "Rot" and hold the mouse on the blue circle. Rotate exacly 60 degrees. Now we paste a second time and rotate again in the same way but now we rotate to -60 degrees. We now have a solid lantern out of 3 objects.





We want to keep a nice overview so in the Object Panel window click on "obj1" and then on "Misc". Click on "Merge all". Now we have one object again. Keep in mind that there are double vertices in the glass frame. It still consists out of 3 parts! That does not matter though cause once saved in DFX all double vertices (on the exact same spot!) will be joined. Your lantern is finished if you dont want one to see through it but I do so select the entire glass frame again and copy it. Dont paste yet!



Now from the "Selected" tab press "Invert" and we get this.



Now delete only the vertical parts of the glass frame as these faces cannot be seen when the object is finished. Dont remove the glass faces! Did you notice that we have not made a single face by hand till now? It is time we do so as we want the lantern to be solid when we look through it. So press "Create" in the Command panel. Now make the lantern solid on the top and bottum. To create a better view on what you are doing press "Fr" on top of the 3D window. The frame with the faces you dont see will dissapear so you have a free view on the faces that can be seen.





We also create the inside of the frame wich becomes real 3D. Now create faces between the glass parts. Also fill the little triangles. After 3 clicks press the right mouse button or Meta will wait for the last click to create a face of four vertices. Voila, the inside is finished. Dont forget to enable "Fr" again as we need to be able to select all vertices again later. Remember that we copied the outside before we inverted to the inside? So press CTRL+V and the lantern is finished! We cannot see the inside anymore but the outside is a separate object and when we click on the eye in the Object Panel we can turn it on and off. In strpix you will be able to zoom inside the lantern to texture it. Now just for fun delete the top of the lantern so you can look inside. With the "Undo" button in the Edit panel you can make the top of the lantern return. Now the lantern is finished! Ofcourse this is just an example. Lanterns are in so many shapes and sizes the possebilities are endless. Maybe you want to make it more perfect in the inside. Maybe you want more design on the top.



But what about the lantern? It just floats in the air! That's right but with the nowledge you have now you can create pedestals. Change the bottum of the lantern so it can stand or to create an object so the lantern can hang against the wall. So why we worked on the blue axe? No more swapping with saving and opening! That's why! If you like to work on the grid swap the thing. I always work with numbers as those are precise while the grid is not. But I'm not finished! Let's make a graphic effect like this. If you like that go with me to the second post.


Last edited by Titak; 01-02-15 at 10:52.
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Old 29-12-07, 20:19   #2
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So we have our lantern and we are going to create the light coming out of it. Now you will learn more about handling parts in the Object Panel. If you followed exactly the tutorial in the first post we have now 2 objects in the panel window. We dont want to adjust the lantern so to make sure nothing happens with it enable the little square next to the eye from object 1. Now there is a key wich means this object is locked and you wont be able to adjust unless you enable it again. Now click on the eye and the lantern will dissapear keeping object 2 in sight. Press "Sel All" in the Edit panel. You guessed right, it is green now. Copy and paste and we have object 3 in the object panel. Click on the eye of object 2 so only object 3 is shown. You can also lock object 2.



Delete the entire glass frame. Now you could also only select the glass but the lantern must be positioned in the right angle to catch them all in your selection so we play safe. In the end we must have this.



With everything still selected green press the extrude button again and extrude to about this.



See how the outside faces are still selected but we are here to learn so left click on an empty place in the 3D window. Instead of the "Rect" function we now press "Rope". Rotate to the best view wich is from underneath (dont rotate the object). Start at the red dot (my cursor is not saved when making shots) and surround the pixels of the outside as we are gonna scale them.



Press "Scale" and scale the selected part to value 2. That's pretty big but keep in mind that the light fades away on these faces so the actual lightbeam looks shorter.



Delete the six extruded "glass" faces and press "Sel All" in the edit window. Invert the object (can you find it now? ) and you are finished.



It is not needed to have faces on the outside of the light mesh as it does not look natural in game. I think I did not extrude enough so feel free to make the lightbeams longer. Be carefull if you scale the end vertices of the light mesh as you create bend faces again. Best way is to extrude from the beginning. It only takes a minute You can have the light mesh in a separate static slot so you can adjust the strenght and color value in the editor. This is the end of the lantern tutorial. Oh I forgot the lightbolt in the middle! Press Primitive and select the ball. Adjust how many faces you want. Dont overdo it as it's tiny in game. Create, scale, move ah what am I telling you! You know!!!

Last edited by Titak; 01-02-15 at 10:45.
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Old 30-12-07, 16:44   #3
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Feel free to ask questions if something is not clear or obvious
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Old 30-12-07, 16:54   #4
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Great tutorial. Thank you so much.

Gonna try it now.
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Old 30-12-07, 17:56   #5
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Very nice tutorial.
It looks indeed very easy, I will try it now if it is really that easy as you said.

I have a question. You wrote:
Now we must select the vertices as now only the faces are selected. So select them and press CTRL+J and we get a nice cone.

But how can I select more than 1 vertice?
When I select a secon one the first one gets unselected.
Ah just've found it out. I forgot to hold the shift key.

Last edited by Stranger110; 30-12-07 at 18:17.
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Old 30-12-07, 18:31   #6
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You dont have to use shift. Press "Rect" in the Command panel. Now hold the left mouse button and drag your selection rectangle over the bottum. Tutorial updated

Last edited by Piega; 30-12-07 at 18:35.
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Old 30-12-07, 19:09   #7
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That's also a way. But with the rectangle thing it is easy to get a vertice or a face you don't wanted to select. Thanks for the info, though.
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Old 30-12-07, 22:31   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger110 View Post
That's also a way. But with the rectangle thing it is easy to get a vertice or a face you don't wanted to select. Thanks for the info, though.
F1, F2, F3 and F4 are useful for different views, making selecting things easier Wonderful tutorial Piega, I started it as soon as you posted yesterday. Now to finish!

Last edited by tweetygwee; 30-12-07 at 22:32.
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Old 31-12-07, 19:35   #9
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Your are right the F1,2... are very useful buttons.
Again great tutorial, Piega. I'm done with it and I'm very happy. It was really easy.
You are not going to make other Meta tuts, are you?
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Old 01-01-08, 08:24   #10
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Great tutorial Piega, I'm very trankfull for it.

Just a couple of questions, at the beginning when I escaled the cylinder de size I come up with is 0.25 instead of 25 and the same thing happens when scaled the bottom of the cylinder, instead of 64 value I get 0.64

What's your opinion?

I manage to finish the lamp following your tut. but I haven't tested in game yet.

The other question is, I'm translated your tutorial into Spanish to put it a Spanish forum, I hope you don't mind to do so, of course is your tutorial and I say so in the translation.

Happy New Year.
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