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Old 04-08-13, 15:25   #1
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Default Manipulating the camera for screenshots

Note: This tutorial will teach you how to manipulate the angle of the camera in the TR4-engine and customlevels that were built with it. You won't find any technical information on cameras and their setup here, but just a neat little trick to create seemingly impossible angles while playing customlevels.

OK - Got it. So what's this all about?

The camera in the classic TR's focused on Lara's back most of the time and in order to see her from the front for more than just a few frames, one had to place her in narrow spaces (meh...) or find a fixed camera somewhere in the game.
That said it wasn't really possible to show off great scenery AND Lara at the same time...until now

My little camera-trick makes it possible to show Lara from any angle anytime and anyplace in the level and it's really easy to do:

1) Find a place you want to "show off" and position Lara exactly how you want her to be on the screen later. Save the game, once you are satisfied.
In my example I wanted Lara to stand in her new kitchen from Titak's "Mists of Avalon".

(note that a completely different part of the kitchen will be on the finished screen and that I only cared for Lara's position!)

2) Now manipulate the camera so that it shows the part of the room you want to show off and reload your savegame, while pressing and holding the "look"-key.

3) If you did everything right the game should now show Lara from step 1) but the angle of the camera from step 2), until you let go off the "look"-key.

One possible explanation
There are certain parameters that aren't part of the savegame but instead remembered by the engine. If one for example saves a game while Lara is hanging on a rope, chances are high that her position changed slightly after reloading (depending on what happened before she will either be in full momentum, or "stuck" with her feet taken off the rope etc.).
One of these parameters is the angle of the camera relative to the initial (= after a savegame was loaded) angle. So if one loads any savegame (both Lara and the camera face S) turns 180 (both Lara and the camera now face N) and reloads the savegame, while holding the "look"-key, the engine will remember that the camera faced N and will thus show exactly this angle, while Lara is still in her old position.
(Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure after maaaany tests)

I just tried it and it doesn't work....Huh?

There are 3 possible reasons:
- You're simply doing it wrong - if the written explanation is not enough you can also see it in motion at the end of the tutorial.
- You're doing everything right, but Lara performs an animation that involves directional movement - the trick only works if Lara remains at one place (this doesn't mean she mustn't perform any animation though - it works while doing a handstand, while shooting, ducking etc.)
- It won't work in your level: AoDfan reported that the camera always faces N after reloading in his "20x20x20 Mask of Enoemos", which was built with FLEP, so you may have the same problem. (chances are really low though)

Meh - tl;dr....Can I see it in motion, pretty please?

If you insist

Anything else?
Yes - let me show you notable examples

Geckokid - The Beginning (Demo)
It took quite some time to make her look exactly into the camera and I finally made it by reloading while performing a swandive.

Inchdix - Hidden Garden NG: Obsidian Heights
Lara isn't shooting anything, but it's pretty cool, eh?

Codo - Deep Down Below
It also works underwater

teme9 - Reflection of Eternity
This one took by far the longest, as the camera had to be as far away from Lara as possible in order for her not to be semitransparent. I made it by reloading at the highest point of a backwards-salto + 180-turn.

Happy experimenting!
The owls are not what they seem

Last edited by Soul; 04-08-13 at 16:04.
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