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this tutorial was submitted by tommy tomb raider
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A step by step guide


There are very few required tools to create your own beautiful and exciting outfits. Of the ones that are required, the first would be STRPIX3 by Turpo Pascal. This awesome utility allows you to export individual textures, among other features, from any available TR wad file and save it as a small bitmap. These bitmaps are then available for re-coloring.
The next
required tool would be some sort of paint program. There are several available, MS PAINT comes with windows, so nearly everyone should have it. There are plenty of others though, some offer a free trial download on the net. I use MGI PHOTO SUITE 8.0.
The final required item is your imagination! So far, I've had fairly good luck figuring out how to do nearly every outfit that I've dreamed up.

Personally, I like to organize my project into different sections. This makes it much easier to complete one part of Lara before going on to the next. Also, all of your re-colored textures are easy to find should you have to go back and make a correction.
The technique that I use is as follows: First, I create a folder to put the project in. Typically I give the outfit it's name based on what I'm planning. Within that folder, I copy the WAD file that I'm going to use, for example coastal. WAD. This you
copy from your TRLE/graphics/wads folder. The final step in preparing my project is to create a "Texture Package". This is no more than a series of empty folders labeled as such...

Often there are more files within the package, sometimes less. It all depends on how involved your project is going to be.

Now you're ready to Fire up STRPIX3 and let's go! Load up the WAD file that you're going to work with. It should look something like this...

By scrolling through the meshes, you can view all of the different parts that make up a level. The 'Render Mode' box lets you select between wireframe, solid, or textured views in the right hand window. The left hand box displays the texture map, the current 'active' texture, and it's reference number. For more detailed listings of what everything is and does, click on the help button and go to keys guide. For ease of the moment, I've copied part of it here...

NOTE: you have to use the page down button to view the entire help screen.

Don't forget to make a backup copy of the original .WAD before modifying anything!

WADFIXER, by Colin Grigson is another super utility you can use to restore your original .WADs.
Find it on the TOOLS page!

Once you've gotten this far, you're now ready to begin exporting the individual textures for editing. By pressing Ctrl while left clicking the mouse, on whichever part of the mesh model you want, the active texture will be displayed on the left side. Use this feature to locate every texture that you want to edit. You can scroll up and down through the texture map on the left and find them, but it's nearly impossible to find them all. Once you have the texture you want active, click export. Be sure that the texture number is highlighted (texture 181 in the picture above). You'll be asked where to save. Since you've already created all the empty folders, open the one corresponding to the body part you are working on and save it there. When you're done, it should look something like this...

   Repeat this procedure for each texture on every part of the mesh, and for every mesh that you want to retexture. Also, take your time to become familiar with where each texture fits into the 'Lara puzzle", as it makes re-coloring that much easier. To do this, check out the wireframe and solid displays as well. You'll get a view of exactly how many pieces there really are. I've found that it helps to recolor an entire section (i.e. the torso), by using your favorite paint program, before re-importing the new textures. This is where the 'imagination' part comes in. If you have an idea of what you want the finished outfit to look like, then re-coloring is a breeze. If not.....

  Once you've edited everything, you're ready to re-import your new textures back into the WAD. Again, find the textures either in the mesh window, by using the ctrl-click method, or by scrolling through the textures on the left. HINT: most of these textures for any given part are in numerical order, so if you start at the beginning and work you're way down, it'll go much faster. For example...

The highlighted texture is Tex #195. These textures are usually in order. Simply highlight the texture that you want to import, and click import. Once at your 'texture package folder' double click the "improved" icon. Repeat this for every texture on the mesh and wait for your new outfit to begin to appear.

That's all there is to it! Once you've modified everything you want to, COPY your new WAD into your TRLE/graphics/wads folder and use the level converter to build it up.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be certain that you make a backup copy of the original WAD.


The first and possibly the worst problem that I've encountered thus far results in re-coloring the small (4x4) flesh textures used in Lara's arms, legs, and joints. Some of these same textures are used in her face and other parts. Changing these can have disastrous results. If you need to re-texture one of these, be certain that it's not used in another place that you don't want changed.

Usually these are in Lara's face, being her cheeks and under her chin. Another common one is Lara's elbows and knees. You might decide; for example, to give her a bai of long blue pants. You have successfully exported, re-colored and re-imported every texture that is used in Lara's legs. But when you scroll through the meshes, you see that her cheeks and elbows are now blue as well. I usually use the same mesh for the lower leg as I did for the upper thigh. For example, find the texture used in her thigh by clicking with
CTRL-LEFT CLICK and assign it to each poly in the lower leg with LEFT CLICK. don't forget to locate and modify the knees and/or elbows!


(LEFT) KNEE   turned a bit
from its original position.
(LEFT) ELBOW  as seen
in 'centered' position

NECK  Turned slightly
from 'centered position

in 'centered' position

Another useful bit of info would be that Lara's hips are actually made up of three different meshes, as is her torso (she has shoulders as well). It would be pointless to say EXACTLY which mesh numbers they are, since they are different in every WAD. But they will be close in numbering.


So far, that's about all. Have fun and be original. If I come up with more tips, I'll be certain to add them in. Also, I'll be adding more "helps" to this page when I get them done. I hope to be able to include such tools as TR2WAD, TRWEST, WADMERGER, and others once I get to it.