Coding for Cinematics

Hi There,

Does anyone know if there is a way to use code to make the creation of cinematics and short animation scenes in Unreal more scalable and faster?

From all courses and material I saw on the internet so far there seems to be a divide between those that focus on gaming and use code for game logic and those that focus on cinematics and use sequencer.

The use of sequencer for cinematics is great but is also very manual and time consuming. So I was wondering if there is a way to use code logic or gaming tricks to make the cinematics creation in Unreal faster.

If you guys know of any courses, projects or creators who are doing that I’d be glad if you could share these resources here.

Thanks!!

Hi Patrick and welcome to the community.

Honestly, it’s a bit of a combination of both. The animations for characters, walking and so on are scripted using animation blueprint, then you trigger certain aspects using the sequencer. There’s no real way to automate this really. I guess you could use paths and show characters walking along them but you might want to also control camera changes to get different angles as you go along that path.

The sequencer lets you do this quite easily. You could probably do this via code as well but I imagine the code would be far more complex - entering volumes causes a change of camera.

Even in code however, you’re going to have a sequence of events and the sequencer is better suited to this than C++ or Blueprint, unless you create your own engine which plays back a file that controls the aspect of the animation.

What you need to do is find out what works for you. If you’re an animator, the sequencer style approach may suit you better, if a developer, code.

The cinematics course here covers both the cut-scene type animation and also using the sequencer to control aspects of a level such as changing camera when you pass through a specific area or to control moving platforms but it is mainly about the sequencer.

Honestly, I’ve never heard of anyone coding an animation for use of a cutscene. Doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done or is in common use.

I know this doesn’t exactly give you an answer but it’s a topic that I’d consider subjective - everyone has their own opinion

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I totally agree with @beegeedee there are things that need visual feedback.

The onlything that is kind of different is a dialogue system where you focus on the speakers. This might be done quite good in code.

Great points! Thanks @beegeedee and @benderbiber for the reply.

And how about procedural mesh generation. Do you guys think it is useful to learn that if one wants to user Unreal to create short animations?

Also, one thing that is still time consuming in Unreal are character dialogs. You need to shift between camera points all the time and I still haven’t come across good solutions to animate character’s month to mimic their dialog. Have you guys seen any solutions that might help with that?

thanks!

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Metahumans may provide a solution to this. There’s also ways to mocap mouth movement to sync with speech but you’re gonna need hardware (mobile phone maybe with a head rig) and to be completely honest, that is a whole other area. Doesn’t matter how you create your animations/shorts, this is a huge amount of work and no easy way to do it, be it max, blender, unreal or unity.

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