Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Introduction to Matinee, part of Unreal Essential Training (2016).
- Unreal Engine 4 contains a very powerful animation toolset to to create cinematics, cutscenes, and even be able to use this tool set to create dynamic gameplay. This toolset is called Matinee. And it is found underneath the Cinematics icon at the top toolbar at the top of the viewport. This is where you can do a simple little pull-down, and you'll see Add Matinee. Now, for a quick overview or explanation as to what Matinee is in the Unreal Engine 4 world, I thought I would show this work in progress, Matinee, cinematic build that's happening here, that we're actually going to build.
And just so you could see how Matinee works, what it is, the power of the overall toolset that exists within Unreal Engine 4, and just some of the basics of it. So, I'm not going to get into this full UI in here, but let's take a look at a quick overview as to how Matinee works or how you can create cinematics within Unreal Engine 4. So, Matinee works on this principle of creating a cinematic or placing a Matinee Actor. And this is where you would create this separate little actor that becomes its own module. In this sense, much like all of the other modules within Unreal Engine 4, we actually get a separate user interface that is referred to as the Matinee Actor.
So by default, it's going to be called a Matinee, or Matinee Actor, as you can see in this tab. Now, like any other tab within Unreal, we can simply dock that if we wanted to. But the overall basics of this is that we would create a series of cameras, or groups of cameras, where we can then define how those cameras are going to operate with a simple group of tracks. In this case, a Director Group. And what happens here is this is where we, essentially, I can scrub along the timeline here, so we can take a quick look back and forth at what's happening within this cinematic or this cutscene.
And this is where this will allow us to produce our cinematic or our cutscene to really showcase our overall scene. Now, the idea here behind Matinee is that you can, live within Unreal Engine 4, work with a series of cameras. You can create cameras within the user interface. Or you can use existing cameras that you've built and placed within your scene. This allows you to quickly edit and fade to or transition back and forth between different cameras to create a nice overall cutscene or a cinematic that can be used within game or exported even as a separate video.
So you do have the ability here to produce a video directly out of Unreal Engine 4 to showcase your project. Now, I did mention something else that's kind of a different way of using this toolset. Matinee is not just limited to creating simple or complex cinematics. It can actually be used as an important game building tool. And that is, if you wanted to build a game that leads, or directs, or kind of has that on-rails effect of leading a player to certain places throughout the gameplay, this is where Matinee's very powerful as well.
And this, essentially, would be building your cameras in with your scene, and as the player's progressing or playing, the cameras are switching and changing to where they're going, so something that's basically, you know, maybe on a time-based sequence where you want to lead a player to go to, this is where Matinee can be used to create that kind of on-the-rails type of game set. So, Matinee is its own powerful toolset that includes its own Graph Editor as well. And a lot of the common ways of working with those curves exist in here.
Being able to clamp different tangents, and be able to have smooth falloff, or simply keeping everything constant or linear. The way that the Matinee user interface works, again, is much like the rest of Unreal Editor's modules, where it has its own world, but it's very familiar if you're familiar with the other way, other modules within Unreal Engine 4, you'll fit right in with to how this works. So, that's a quick overview of what Matinee is. For creating cinematics, cutscenes, or also for creating a dynamic gameplay situation.
- Customizing the Unreal UI
- Creating a new project
- Creating landscapes
- Blocking out levels
- Assembling a scene
- Working with materials and lights
- Adding post-processing effects
- Defining bodies of water
- Adding atmospherics, foliage, and wind
- Working with the Blueprint editor
- Creating cinematics
- Monitoring performance
- Packaging a game for distribution