Tag Archives: Tomb Raider

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Once more a Tomb Raider game is starring the beautiful Lara Croft – featuring outstanding and huge visuals which make it easy to stare and get lost like watching flames. In fact, this is todays hot topic: Flames! Or let’s say: a Flame.

Source: Tomb Raider

Don’t tell Lara but I read in her diary and can proudly present the three hot secrets of Lara Crofts torch:

Hot Secret I
Seamless Fire Animation

5. March 2013
Dear diary, today i was in an ancient grave and found a torch! I named it “Mr. Magma” ’cause he has a beautiful flame! I never saw such a lovely fire before…it is made out of a pre-rendered loop-able texture animaton:
Source: Tomb Raider
It is not easy to create such a texture! The renderer can simulate fire but you can’t tell it like “simulate fire in 32 frames but please make the first and last frame fit so i can loop it”. An engraving told me the solution: They took the last frame twice and blended in the new frame with 50% transparency:
I really like this idea. And i love Mr. Magma! He’ll join my adventures from now on! Have a good night diary!
– Lara

Hot Secret II
Non-breakable fire stream

10. March 2013
Ouch! Today i slipped and was sliding down a hill very fast…but guess what: Mr. Magmas fire wasn’t interrupted through the fast movement like when using a standard particle system where not enough particles are generated. Do you remember the great game Silver? I love it! It came in my mind as an example for the fast-torch-movement-with-particles-difficulty:
Source: Silver
Do you see the gaps between the single particles? This doesn’t happen with Mr. Magma because the creators of his fire used a subdivided plane which stretches and deforms when its moved (and is always faces at me, how thoughtful of it!):
Source: Tomb Raider
See how fast the torch can be moved without breaking the fire stream:
Source: Tomb Raider
I spent the rest of the day wagging Mr. Magma but now we both have to go to bed and sleep a bit.
– Lara

Hot Secret III
Angle-Independent Fire

15. March 2013
Today a guy with hat and whip was staring at me from an upper cliff. At first i thought he was looking at my … necklace but then i realized that he focused on Mr. Magma. He was impressed because normally you see the plane-“fake” very well by looking from above. Here an example! From the famous Company of Heroes:
Source: Company of Heroes

But even if you look directly from above on my magic torch you don’t see any plane. This is because the plane fades out depending on the viewing angle and then a standard particle system fades in! If you look closely you can see how the both components get exchanged.
Isn’t that beautiful? So much effort for a single torch…oh by the way, i don’t know why but i’ve the feeling that someone is sniffing around in the camp and reads you…i’ll keep an eye on that. You’re my precious!

– Lara
Update 1
Update 2
Moss mentioned this link to a flame-tutorial in video-format! Thx!
Update 3
Isak mentioned the torch of Uncharted 4 in the comments and provided this study video. Looks really amazing! I wish we could investigate how it was done. :,)

I didn’t embed the video directly to avoid any tracking from Google and complications with the DSGVO.