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Old 10-02-14, 19:53   #1
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Default Fun with Shininess and Reflection!

*This tutorial assumes you know the basics of sprite editing and usage. There are a few out this, and this tutorial is meant to take what we know and build up from there.*

Reflections are one of the few little things we have of use in the TRLE to make things look better than they actually appear. Let's be honest, that single sunburst used for reflections was not cutting it! Similar to distance fog, with careful usage of the reflection sprite, it can turn a simple reflection into something spectacular and give your levels a nice visual boost!

It's important to remember what's being reflection in the space. The normal sprite used in sprite #11, which is a sunburst, which is also used by the lens flare. This gives the object a circular shine. You'll want to experiment with different images to find a shine that works best for you.

Regardless of what texture you have, you'll be restricted to (at the present time):
  • The top left/first quadrant of the sprite
  • A maximum of image of 128x128 (so, the reflection image maximum is 64x64).
  • All reflected objects sharing a single sprite.

Currently, these are our limitations. But, not to worry - just like all limitations, these can be bypassed with some careful editing and creative solutions. Traditionally, players assumed that the entire sprite was used in the objects reflection. This is not the case. The reflection is just the corner of the sprite.

This is what your texture should look like when importing into WadMarger's sprite editor. This is all that's reflected.:

So, if you wanted your glass windows to reflect a cityscape, you'd put an image of the city in the top right, black square. If you wanted to have your water reflect the sky above, you'd put clouds in that space. Be warned! - You only get one sprite, so make it look good!

If you're using FLEP, you can have 2 different sprites - one for in game and one for the inventory. Depending on your sprite, I'll recommend getting it. You can also change which sprite is used for reflection, so you no longer have to share with the Lens Flare!

Here are a few examples of me playing with different materials, all of which use reflection level 10 and low lighting (to simulate glass).


Reflection an image of the environment (Natural reflection). This is used for a space where most of the reflected objects are in similar environment. In this case, the plane.


Scratches are used to give an object a rougher appearance. As Lara travels around the object, it gives them impressions of being damaged or scratched. Sort of like light bump mapping.


Etching/Noise is used to give an object some surface detail, such as tiny scratches or tiny brush strokes, and other subtle details that can be used for metal or even glass.


Colored Dots/ "Pixels."

In the currently environment, it's important to be a little creative with that's being reflected. Given the current digital environment, I chose a playful sprite of a monitor close up, forcing the image to appear as colored dots on the cube.


This last image is of a sphere. What the image does is draw swirled points on the image, and bends and stretched it. The image itself is obscure and strange and it makes for an interesting look, overall.


This concludes the tutorial. I hoped you enjoyed - Happy Level Editing.
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Last edited by matrix54; 11-02-14 at 15:11.
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