Join Craig Barr for an in-depth discussion in this video Using camera groups in Matinee, part of Unreal Essential Training (2016).
- Using Matinee in Unreal Engine 4 is a very powerful way to quickly create some really nice cinematics to show off our scene. Now, in this video, we're going to take a look at how we start with the basics of working with Matinee to create a cinematic for our project. I'm going to go up to the top toolbar, just above the viewport, I'm going to hit the Cinematics pull-down menu, and I'm going to click Add Matinee. A couple of things are going to happen when we do that. You'll see this view eye pop up, which is our Matinee actor, but if we bring this out of the way, you'll see that a little director's board has dropped into the viewport here as well.
It doesn't matter where that's placed, but just a tip. Sometimes it's good to have any of these little actors placed, doesn't matter if it's particles or whatever it may be, if it's something that's going to be working with one of the module systems within Unreal, for example Matinee, if you ever need to select it in the viewport, you might want to have it someplace central so that you know all of your objects are within the same general area. With that in mind, it doesn't really matter if you can't find it here, because you can always find it in the World Outliner. So here's our Matinee Actor 11. So, with that said, we now have that selected.
We've created a Matinee actor, and it's opened up this user interface for us. This is where we want to start to create our cameras, so that we can work with this. So, just a quick overview, we have a Details panel, much like you would find anywhere else within Unreal Engine 4. We have our Menu set across the top, and we have our Toolbar across the top. You'll see by default Snap is on, and this is to help us drop down keyframes and to snap to the timeline as we work. You'll see that we have this Curve Editor; we're going to ignore that for now, because we're going to work specifically within this Tracks tab.
One of the first things that you'll notice is we have the ability to view all of our different tracks that we're creating, and this is where you can see all the different kinds of tracks you're working with, or all the different groups. So there's Cameras, Skeletal Meshes, Lights, Particles, Sounds, Events. You could even create your own custom types of tracks in this as well. But what we want to work with specifically here is Cameras, and to work with Cameras, we're going to create something that's referred to as a "Camera Group." So, the first thing we're going to do is to find a Camera within our scene.
Now, you can see the view that I'm looking from here. If I go into Matinee and I right-click in this track space and create a new camera group, or select Add New Camera Group and click that, it's going to want a name. I'm going to call this one my PanCamera1 and just hit Enter. You'll see that it's dropped down a new camera group. Now here's something that's interesting. It's created that camera from wherever my view may be, so here I am, viewing from out here, and it's dropped down the camera. Now, we're always going to get a nice little camera in viewport Preview window in here, and that will allow us to see how that camera is working.
So, this is PanCamera1 that we're working with, and just to explain what's happening inside Matinee here, we also have this little camera icon, and if I toggle that on at any time, depending on where I am, this is going to allow me to select that camera and view it in viewport and get the preview here. The reason why we'd want that is this is handy when you get into several stacked cameras. This is where you can just click on and work with a specific camera. Now, let's start to frame things up or maybe create a keyframe for things. So, before we drop down a whole new keyframe, you're going to notice a little red triangle here on our movement space, and that's holding where we placed this camera, so it's dropped down a keyframe for me.
So I'm going to click that keyframe. I'm actually going to select Movement and make sure we're on that keyframe, and we can start to move this camera specifically around, if we wanted it to be, perhaps, somewhere else in here. So I'm just going to manipulate my camera around, just to take a look at where we might want to position that. Maybe it's something like in that space there. Let's take our Timeline Extent, or kind of the mark out of our Timeline, which is this little green tab, and just drag that over a bit.
I'm going to scroll this over a bit, maybe in the area of 4.5 or even 5. All of these things we can adjust on the fly. That red one represents the end of our animation and we certainly will adjust that to as big as we need it to be as we go. So, we've got that one selected in there, and if we scrub the Timeline with the black line down below, we'll see that nothing is happening, because our camera is in place here, from this spot. Now, let's go and drop down a whole new keyframe, maybe at around four seconds. And I say around, because you don't have to be right dead on four seconds there.
Because we have it to snap, with our Snap Selection here, by default, it will drop it down to that closest second or by half-second. I can set that to how I want it to be right up here in Snap Setting. It's at every half-second. So, now that we have it selected over there, we're going to want to drop down a keyframe. So I'm just going to select nothing in here, because I want to show something that you may come across that's a common thing within Matinee. We've selected where we want to drop down a keyframe. Now, I don't actually have anything selected here to drop a keyframe down , and it's going to tell me that.
So if I hit Add Key or the Enter key, so let's just hit Add Key, it's going to tell me that I have not selected a track, and I need to have a track selected before I can do that. What it's referring to is, underneath this group, PanCamera1, we have a movement and we have a field of view angle. Let's select Movement. Now we can simply hit Enter or Add Key and it's going to drop down that keyframe for us at 4.5 seconds. As I mentioned, it snapped it to point-five, based on our Snap Settings there. So now we've dropped down a keyframe, but we can see, if we scrub this, the camera's not doing anything.
That's because we haven't done anything with the camera at this timeframe. Make sure you have that keyframe selected, and let's just move back out into this view, and start to toggle or change our animation here. So, come up into this space. Let's just move this Matinee Actor out of the way. And grab this little arrow at the top left corner of the viewport, and you can click on Toggle Cinematic Preview. This is now looking specifically through the camera that Matinee is working with. So we're looking through exactly what the camera sees at whatever point we are at in the timeline.
And if I turn that off here, and come out of the view, I'm just going to click up here so I'm not selecting that drop-down menu, we can hit even Escape, and if you hit the Escape key, we have selected nothing now. Now, the nice thing about this workflow is if I just tumble away, you're going to notice that we are working specifically here, just by view, in the viewport. We're not working with this camera now that we were, but I can certainly select it. So let's just scroll down and find-- There it is, right there, Camera Actor 22-- I can grab it in the viewport, and you'll see that it'll select it there, and it's going to show me that view that that camera's always seeing in.
This is the way I prefer to work with it. I can drive through the camera, move it and position it, and that works fine. You can actually certainly do that, if you want to do that. But sometimes I find it kind of nice to work with it in this kind of object-space view, and be able to see what the camera's seeing in here. It's my preference, but you can certainly work within camera view if you wanted to. Now, I'm going to move this. Remember, we're working at this 4.5 area. I actually should have this camera selected with that keyframe selected, and you can see that, now that I've selected it, it's snapped it back.
So now, let's adjust this camera. We can see Adjust Key Movement, and select it in both views here. Let's grab this camera and bring it to where I want it to be. I'm just going to translate this, I'm going to hit E, and maybe adjust this camera to view a little bit down, and that should be fine. I think that's going to give us exactly what we want there. I might just move out just a little bit to frame this up, and grab the green, and I'm looking at this view, the camera view, and I'm just going to position this in a little bit.
That should be fine. If we come back into our Matinee now, we had already previously placed the keyframe, but we didn't have anything associated with it. So, it basically took this movement and left it there. Well, the way the keyframing works here in Unreal is it's kind of live keyframing in here. So let's, actually, if we want, deselect everything here. Just click away in the UI and hit Escape, so that nothing's selected. And we can see, if we scrub through the timeframe, we should see this camera move here for us. So we can simply scrub through the timeframe, we can see the camera movement there as we go.
Let's go up and toggle our Cinematic Preview back here into this view, and we'll bring this one back over to our space here. And if we grab that camera, let's actually grab our camera, there, we're going to see that view through our camera here as well. And we can simply go in and scrub through and see how our cinematic is coming along. So, now that we have one camera in there, let's quickly add in another camera. So that's how we add our camera groups, and this is how we would work with them, how we would animate them.
I'm going to zoom out using my middle mouse button, and work with a little bit more space in this. So let's drag this TImeline here. I need to grab these keys. Actually, let's bring this up so we have full space in here, and just get all this out of the way. And I want to move the red, I'm going to grab the little red extent here and let's just move it over to around 14 for now, and we'll snap the green over. Now, we have one at four and a half. I'm going to want to drop down a whole other camera here to work with, as well. So let's create a whole new camera group, create a brand new one here.
I'm going to call this one here ZoomCamera1. We'll hit Enter. Now, remember, we're working with a group here, but let's work with the Movement tab. It's placed, by default, this at frame one. I'm actually going to grab that keyframe in here, and let's bring this guy down, and go to our camera. Because we'e working with this here, actually, we probably do want it at exactly the same view for what we want to work with in here.
So let's grab that, and what we want to do is actually bring it to this space here and hit Enter. Now we have that keyframe down, and I've just gone back to that one and hit delete, so that we have a brand-new keyframe here, locking up that same view, and I hit delete on the original one. It's not really going to matter, because when we get a director track down, we're going to define at what time point each camera kind of comes to life, or the view from each camera. So, now I'm going to drag along here to, let's go to around nine, and hit Enter.
Make sure that Movement track is selected and that keyframe is highlighted, and let's dock that up into there and come back to this viewport. And then we'll simply make sure we have Camera Actor 23 selected in our view, and we can start to work with this camera specifically in here. Let's turn off that Cinematic Preview in there. And now we're going to, just going to zoom away from the camera. Again, just the way I prefer to work is outside of the camera, and view it in this window. I'm going to zoom this camera in a little bit, and that's what we were calling this one simply "Zoom." So that will bring our camera kind of into this space, just to frame it up.
Let's go back to our Matinee in there. We're going to tear this off just to scrub through. And if we scrub through now, we can see that that camera is moving, and the other one is moving, when we get to that timeframe as well. And the important thing to note is that, we're going to probably, when we put down our director track, work between these two cameras, so they'll switch between them as they go as well. So there. We've looked at how we can create camera groups within Matinee, how we can work with animation on those camera groups, how we can work within the user interface of Matinee as well, and now we want to start to bring this together, to really create our cinematics.
So let's take a look at how we can do that next. This was a quick overview of working with camera groups in Matinee in Unreal Engine 4.
- 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