My journey becoming a Unity game developer: Beginning Cutscene-Animate camera for an above the shoulder shot
Objective: Make the virtual camera animate to move over Darren’s shoulder to see the security guards on patrol.
With the Rise to Reveal virtual camera, the Director’s notes want the camera to rise above Darren to reveal the area. This will show the guards location on patrol through this camera’s view.
Click on the Intro Cutscene and drag the Rise to Reveal camera in the Cinemachine Track to connect with the Darren Side Shot camera. In Timeline, create a new Animation Track and drag the Rise to Reveal game object into its slot. Click the REC button, then click on the Rise to Reveal object and retype the X-axis value in Transform to create the 1st keyframe.
Move some seconds ahead to create a 2nd keyframe by positioning the camera above Darren’s shoulder, plus zoom in a little closer to Darren as well, and move the camera in front of Darren’s face to look around the glass case. Move the Timeline pointer to the end of the virtual camera’s duration of the shot. Either move the camera to the position above the middle glass case to see all 3 guards on patrol, or in Scene View position the view above the middle glass case and press CTRL+SHIFT+F to Align with View.
When we play the animation, we will see the camera rise above Darren’s shoulder and move into a position to clearly see all 3 guards on patrol.
Another way we can animate the Rise to Reveal camera is to use an object for the camera to focus on. In this example we will create an empty game object name Rise2Reveal inside the Intro Cutscene. Position the Rise2Reveal object to be above Darren’s head and slightly in front of him.
Make sure to click on the Intro Cutscene object and head back into Timeline. Click the REC button on the Rise to Reveal Animation Track and move the Timeline pointer to the 1st keyframe created for this camera. Click on the Rise to Reveal object and drag the Rise2Reveal game object into the Look At slot in the Inspector. Come down to the Aim setting and change to Composer. Use the Aim settings to position the camera’s view if necessary to see Darren from the thighs up.
Move the Timeline pointer to the next keyframe, then move the camera above Darren’s shoulder while moving closer to him, and around the edge of the glass case Darren is hiding behind. Once that’s set, move the Rise2Reveal game object above the middle glass case to a position where the camera will be able to see all 3 guards. Use either Scene View and CTRL+SHIFT+F to set the camera’s position to that location to look at the Rise2Reveal object, or move the camera into the position itself.
Now when using the keyframes from the original and resetting the camera’s animation, we would be better off opening the Animation Window by double-clicking on the Rise to Reveal timeline and deleting the keyframe we want to adjust to recreate a new one. Just click on the keyframe and press delete, then reposition or reanimate the camera again.
If we play the animation, we will notice the camera moves rather quickly above his shoulder so we barely see Darren in the camera’s shot. In the Animation tab, just click on the 2nd animation keyframe to select it and drag that keyframe further along the timeline about another .30 seconds to give the camera a smoother looking transition into its animation.
This is the final shot from the Rise to Reveal virtual camera looking at the Rise2Reveal game object as its target.
So keep in mind that we have a few different ways we can shoot this shot, just try to keep it simple as possible if the shot in the scene allows it.