Creating shots and takes with Unreal Engine's Sequencer

Creating shots and takes with Unreal Engine's Sequencer

By Epic Games

July 19th 2016 at 1:00PM

The Epic Games talk devs through its new Sequencer cinematics tool, which is used for many of the company's game trailers

Similar to traditional film editors, the Shot Track allows you to add, arrange and re-arrange Level Sequences that will be played back in the order you arrange them. Each Level Sequence you add is referred to as a Shot and each Shot can have multiple Takes. With Takes, you can quickly swap the shot out with an alternate version giving you the ability to quickly experiment with different looks for your cinematic.

In this How-to, we will create a multi-camera cinematic using the Shot Track and create multiple Takes for a shot. We are using the Blueprint Third Person Template project with Starter Content enabled.

To view a larger version of each image, simply click on it.

1. In the Content Browser create a folder and four Level Sequences renamed as shown below. You will need a MasterShot01,Shot02 and Shot03 respectively.

 

2. Open Shot01 and click the Add Camera button.

 

3. Move the camera in the viewport in front of the character's feet.

 

4. In Sequencer, add a key for Transform at frame 0 and adjust the Manual Focus Distance then add a key. We used a value of 123for Manual Focus Distance, however feel free to use your desired setting.

5. Scrub to the end of the sequence, move the CineCamera up towards the face of the character, then add a key for its Transform. This will allow the camera to move up from the feet towards the head as the sequence plays out.

 

6. Open Shot02 and repeat the process for adding camera movement. Here, we placed the camera on the left side of the character at the feet then moved it up over time. You can also adjust the Manual Focus Distance and add a key for your change to bring the character into focus.

 

7. Open Shot03 and add camera movement for the shot. Here, we moved the camera to the right side of the character at the feet, adjusted the focus, then moved it up to the head over time.

 

8. In the Content Browser open the Master Level Sequence, then add a Shot Track.

 

9. Click the Add Shot button and add Shot01.

 

10. Add Shot02 and Shot03 by clicking the Add Shot button.

 

11. Left-click and drag a shot into a new position to re-order the sequence. Below, we play back the original setup then quickly change that by re-arranging the shots and moving them around in the sequence.

12. Right-click on a shot and select the New Take option. A save confirmation will appear and the shot will automatically be given a save name/location.

 

13. Right-click on the new take and create another New Take.

 

14. Right-click on the new take and highlight Takes. Each of your Takes will appear under the Takes menu where you can change out the shot quickly by selecting a different Take. Takes are duplicated Level Sequences, which means that when you alter them you are not altering the original sequence but instead altering the duplicated version.

 

Currently when creating a Take for the first time, it is listed in the menu as Take 2 and Take 1 (the original) is not listed but still exists in the Content Browser. As a workaround for this, you can create a Take (to use as the original) then create another Take which you can then modify (this will allow you to quickly switch between them using the Takes menu).

Conclusion

You can now arrange your shots and quickly swap out those shots with a different Take using the Shots Track. The example below shows how you can use the Shot Track to quickly modify the order in which shots are played back as well as swap in and out shots with the Take system. With Takes you have the freedom to experiment in the way your shots play out as those duplicated shots can quickly be reverted by switching to the original take.

For the original tutorial, plus more tips on how to use Sequencer, head to Unreal Engine's website.