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Old 15-08-20, 12:53   #4
Joey79100's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: France
Posts: 3,188

In fact the MESHSWAP* slots are something completely unrelated to cutscenes. They hold the alternate meshes for in-game entities.
For example when a TR4 baddy is holding either his sword or his gun (or nothing at all), his hands are swapped with a version of the hand with the weapon in it. BADDY_1 has his alternate skin in the MESHSWAP3 slot, BADDY_2 has it in the MESHSWAP_2 slot, etc... VON_CROY and the GUIDE have this too, and probably even other entities that I don't remember.

For cutscenes, objects held by actors are usually animated in real-time (with the exception of weapons).

In TR4/TR5, cutscene data was stored in the cutseq.bin or cutseq.pak files (I don't remember, I think TR4 had .pak and TR5 had .bin), and it has animation data, camera data, audio track ID, and the information on when to swap actor heads with their speech heads.
Lara has 4 dedicated slots, so it means 5 differently textured heads if you account the normal face, while there can be 2 actors with 2 dedicated slots for their additional heads (3 faces per actor).
But these cutseq files were produced by Core and we never got any tool to build them ourselves (I suspect they had some exporter from 3DS Max for all the animation and camera data, and the other things were added manually or by an external tool they had). Plus, if I remember correctly, the TRLE version of tomb4 lacked any cutscene related code anyway.

TRNG brought its own cutscene capabilities in the latest versions, but even before that you could simply make a combination of well-timed flybys and use any slot you want to store Lara or other object's additional heads (in case the default slots were not enough).
With the TRNG cutscene capabilities, you can use 1 slot for all the additional heads (1 mesh = 1 head), there are specific setups for that, you can also "record" cutscenes if you simply want to record some gameplay (in case you don't want to make specific animations for your cutscene and only use in-game animations), and... I don't remember what else you can do.
I suggest you take a look at the Lightnings and Cutscenes demo (the "Cutscenes and Demos - Binary, playable demo" link), it explains what can be done and gives you several examples that you can study to understand more about it.
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