My journey becoming a Unity game developer: Beginning Cutscene-Animate Virtual Camera Side Shot

Objective: Animate Darren’s virtual camera side shot showing him hiding behind the glass case after sliding down the rope.

Final shot featuring the Darren Side Shot animation.

We need to animate this virtual camera by panning around to Darren hiding according to the Director’s notes.

To begin we want click on the Intro Cutscene game object and scrub the Timeline pointer to have Darren slide down the rope and hide behind the glass. When Darren lands on the floor and goes through his animation getting into his hiding stance, we want to keep the Timeline pointer right at that moment in time. Drag the end position of the Darren Drops Down virtual camera’s duration shot down to the pointer which for us was around the .

Darren Drops Down virtual camera timeline adjusted showing Darren landing on the floor and hiding.

Next, drag the Darren Side Shot camera to connect with the Darren Drops Down camera in the Cinemachine Track. When we play the animation, the virtual cameras will blend with each other as it’s playing Darren’s animation.

Darren Side Shot virtual camera timeline adjusted to blend with the Darren Drops Down virtual camera.

We need to create a new Animation Track in Timeline, and drag the Darren Side Shot game object into its slot. Click on the REC button to begin creating new animation keyframes. For the first keyframe, move the camera up along the slightly to start shooting from a higher point. Then, rotate the camera back along the to have the camera position itself slightly behind the glass case, but still focused on Darren hiding.

Move the Timeline pointer forward about a second and a half to give Darren time to talk to his partner on the headset as the storyboard notes indicate. In the Scene View, position the view to be behind Darren and a little closer to him as the storyboard picture shows. Once we’re set, just use the Align with View command with the CTRL+SHIFT+F hotkeys to align the virtual camera in that position. Stop the recording and check the camera’s animation to see how the camera is panning around to Darren.

Darren Side Shot virtual camera animated to pan around to Darren.

When we play the full animation clip through the 3 virtual cameras, we will see the animation playing with the cameras blending into each other. Darren Side Shot camera in particular will pan around to Darren hiding behind the case as the Director noted.

Darren Side Shot virtual camera animated with the other 2 virtual cameras in Timeline.

Next time we will animate the Rise to Reveal virtual camera which will show view of the camera rising above the glass case to see where the security guards are located.

Learning to become a Unity game developer.