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Old 15-08-20, 04:44   #1
TRSMART
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Talking Meshwaps & actor speech heads

Hello, been a while since I was here but now back & ready to explore the more advanced features.

My struggle is cutscenes, from my understanding Paolone created the possibilities for us to create “resident cuts” like Core did.

Meaning the sort like slow movement cameras (not 30 flybys stacked upon eachother) to create real-time cutscenes in the editor.

But why the hell did Core feature actor_speech_heads into their tombraider 4/Trc files and more important how can we use these?

Also what is the use or meaning of the meshwaps?

I tried so many things already but can’t figure it out, maybe someone who can point me in a direction?

Thanks
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Old 15-08-20, 05:59   #2
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Well, the speech heads were introduced so the cutscene models had a moving mouth when they talk and not only a head shake like TR1-3.
Besides that, TR4 was a "new engine" and everything was improved, we can say the same for the Cutscenes.

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Originally Posted by TRSMART View Post
Also what is the use or meaning of the meshwaps?
If you are talking about the meshswaps slots in OBJECTS.H then is self explanatory, swaps a mesh from a model (the Speech heads is a meshswap itself, but a more specific one it can be triggered only in TR4 not in TRLE)

I don't know how to use them tho... Maybe TRNG can show u some functions? Or anyone with more knowledge will answer this for you.

Hope i could help.
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Old 15-08-20, 10:26   #3
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Thanks a lot for the reply ReH_ about the meshswaps yes I understand what you said and the speech heads too, but I can’t figure out how to use them with TRLE Paolone’s next gen LE I mean.
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Old 15-08-20, 12:53   #4
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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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Old 16-08-20, 01:54   #5
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Woow Joey79100 thanks a lot for this information and yes I figured out Core must have had a 3D studio Max animation/mesh exporter for use in their room edit since the TR cutscenes where always rendered real-time.

Tried contacting Jerr O’carrol about this a while ago but with no luck this far!

Anyway massive thanks for this answer!
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Old 19-08-20, 03:02   #6
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Ok UPDATE:

From talking to various people who had contact with various animation teams & some of the animators at Core (don’t know who) it appears Core Design had their own in-house animation editor wich was a sort like room edit but with the capability to communicate with their real roomeditor (to render and talk to the engine in real-time) it featured a lot of hard-coded complicated functions BUT it allowed to set up camera’s,actors, lights, fx to render real-time in the engine.

Animations were done in a very old 3ds Max version wich were then exported by their own export script to use in their in-house animation editor and be placed in the room edit.
This method was used since TR1 to TRC (the classics)

Finally an answer to a lot of questions regarding this! & oh yeah the tools must be still outthere but they will NEVER be made public by courtesy of Eidos (square enix) & to complicated for normal users. They were written with Core’s original tombraider source code (Wich we will never get) & suited for win 95/98/xp so all 32bits stuff.
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Old 19-08-20, 05:37   #7
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It's still possible to make cutscenes with talking heads!



However I've done this almost 2 years ago, I don't really remember the (huge) scripts I've had to make to have it work. It did take some hours (just how all cutscenes take), but I'd have to take a look at it to show c:
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Old 20-08-20, 22:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSMART View Post
Ok UPDATE:

Finally an answer to a lot of questions regarding this! & oh yeah the tools must be still outthere but they will NEVER be made public by courtesy of Eidos (square enix) & to complicated for normal users. They were written with Core’s original tombraider source code (Wich we will never get) & suited for win 95/98/xp so all 32bits stuff.
I thought the SDK was leaked quite some time ago with all the in-house tools they used to produce the game, no?
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Old 01-09-20, 06:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SrDanielPonces View Post
It's still possible to make cutscenes with talking heads!



However I've done this almost 2 years ago, I don't really remember the (huge) scripts I've had to make to have it work. It did take some hours (just how all cutscenes take), but I'd have to take a look at it to show c:
Would be so awesome If you could us have a look at the code!, Brilliant stuff here man!
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Old 01-09-20, 06:58   #10
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Quote:
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I thought the SDK was leaked quite some time ago with all the in-house tools they used to produce the game, no?
NO?? if this is true that would be absolutely amazing news!
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