Unity Fundamentals — Cinematics

Unity is not only about making games but can be used to create cinematic scenes. Its ability to create 3D environments and then implement virtual cameras makes an excellent tool for cinematic cut-scenes and more.

There is an essential part in the creation process with any cinematic production, which is called previsualisation (previs for short). In this article, I will cover the previs elements and composing and scene.

Previs Elements

Previs can be defined as the collaborative process that generates preliminary versions of shots or sequences. The most common technique used to create previs elements is Storyboards. However, there are many other techniques available, including Animatics, Riopmatics and Slap comps/precomps.

Composing a Scene

At Mooski Games, if we need to create cutscenes, we have a director/producer develop the Storyboard, and a character animator creates the animation. Using the animation, the game developer will create the scene with Unity and follow the camera shots outlined in the Storyboard.

We use the Unity Package called Cinemachine to create virtual cameras within the scene. These virtual cameras and be aligned, panned, animated and more. Here is a cutscene created using Cinemachine in the Unity Tutorial “The Great Fleece”.

To create this cut-scene, we used the Unity Timeline Feature, added two Cinemachine Virtual Cameras positioned at different angles as directed and the animation provided by the animator.

We added three Animation Tracks in the timeline, two for the camera’s panning behind and in front of the agent. The other Animation Track added a black image UI that provided the fade in and out of the cut-scene. We also added an Activation Track to hide the card when the agent takes the security card.

This article is only an overview of the process. If you require more detail, please let me know.

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Jose Gil

Jose Gil

Unity Developer at Mooski Games