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Titak 24-11-06 17:20

Creating Cutscenes
Creating Cutscenes
By Titak

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

If you want a cutscene with Lara in it, you'll most likely have to create some animations for her.
This depends ofcourse on what you want Lara to do during the cutscene.
Keep in mind that it does take time and patience to create a cutscene with long and natural looking animations. ;)
So you'll have to make up your mind before you start working on the cutscene and its animations.
It is best to start with a short one, just to see if you can make it work and if you manage to make it look good.

This tutorial will show you different ways of setting up a cutscene.
It will NOT tell you how to create custom animations for Lara!
If you want some info on how to create animations for Lara, you can check my Creating custom animations tutorial. ;)

Below are some of the ways in which a cutscene can be setup. Each setup features Lara.
I'm sure you can also setup cutscenes in other ways. Just use you imagination and knowledge of the TRLE to come up with your own setup.

1. Lara in an animation object slot
2. When inserting a puzzlepiece
3. A seperate TR4
4. TREP - Flipeffect Editor
5. TRNG - Force animation flipeffects

It is important that you disable Lara control while she does the cutscene animation(s). This should be done with every setup!
Otherwise it can ruin your cutscene if players start moving your Lara around.
Disabling Lara control 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. Choose whatever setup fits your situation best. :D

Titak 02-05-09 12:16

1. Lara in an animation object slot

In this setup you use a Lara model in one of the ANIMATING** slots.
Because it is placed in an ANIMATING** slot, the "cutscene" Lara won't have joints and moving ponytail.

It can be made by taking a TR3 Lara model or by editing Lara's TR4 skin meshes. If you take an outfit you downloaded of the internet, you'll have to edit the skin meshes by attaching the skin-joint meshes to them, to cover up the holes in the skin.

This animating object can then be placed in a room the "real" Lara can't get into and it is triggered, together with the flyby camera sequence, just like any other animating object.

Here is an example of a special death animation I created. It is a Lara 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.


Titak 02-05-09 12:18

2. When inserting a puzzlepiece

Lara has 444 animations. But that's not the limit. You can add more animations 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. :D

A drawback is that the cutscene(s) 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.

Here's an example of a short cutscene (animation) "triggered" with a puzzlehole.


Titak 02-05-09 12:23

3. 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 this 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.
So if you edit this animation she will start her cutscene animation the moment the level loads. So you don't have to "trigger" the animation in any way.

Since it is a seperate **.tr4, you'll have to add it to your script like you would do for any other level.
So if you want to "trigger" this type of cutscene, you'll have to place a "finishtrigger" leading to this cutscene **.tr4 in your level.
If the cutscene **.tr4 is the first one in the script, it will play when you start the game from the New Game menu.

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


Titak 02-05-09 12:29

4. 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 the command PLAY_ANIM 445.
445 being the number of the animation you want to trigger.

You enter this command in TREP's Flipeffect Editor.
Lets say it is flipeffect number 50.
In TRLE, you place a flipeffect trigger for flipeffect 50 where you want Lara to perform the animation.
Keep in mind that Lara will perform the animation in the direction she is facing when she crosses the trigger!

Here's an example, another special death animation, for which I created an animation flipeffect in TREP.


Titak 02-05-09 12:45

5. TRNG - Force animation flipeffects

TRNG has a whole lot of new flipeffect triggers which also include several Lara Animation related ones.

Below is a screenshot showing the list of Lara animation related flipeffects in light yellow.


You can combine them with other TRNG triggers, like you could transport Lara instantly into a copy of the "real" room to the "cutscene" room by using the "Move Lara in LARA_START_POS with <&> OCB value in (E) way" to make sure Lara is positioned in the correct direction before the cutscene animation starts. (moving her back into the "real" room at the end of the cutscene :p)
And you can use a flipeffect for adding an inventory item to Lara's inventory if she picks up an item during the cutscene, or...
There are so many possiblilities with TRNG, so use your imagination to make whatever you want to happen during the cutscene happen. :D

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