Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tutorial - Simple Cutscene in Unreal Editor

Maybe I'll add some pics later.  This tutorial just covers the basics of getting a simple cutscene in the Unreal Editor.  A basic knowledge of the editor is needed in order to complete this tut.

1) Place your trigger by right clicking in the perspective viewport where you want your trigger, and selecting Add Actor > Add Trigger. Open Kismet by selecting the green "K" on the menu bar of the editor. With your trigger selected in the perspective viewport, right click in Kismet and select "New Event Using Trigger_X(whatever number it says) > Touch.

2) Place your camera by opening the generic browser, click Actor Classes tab, then select "CameraActor. Then right click on the ground somewhere in your perspective viewport where you want to place the camera, and select from the pop up list "Add CameraActor Here"

3) With the camera selected in the editor, open Kismet, then right click and select "New Matinee". Double click the newly created Matinee node to open Matinee. (Double click the orange bar that has Matinee written in it).

4) On the far left of the matinee window, below the tabs that read "All" "Cameras" and "Skeletal Meshes", the dark grey space, right click and select "Add New Director Group". Right click again, now in the grey under the new white bar, and select "Add New Camera Group". A popup will appear asking for a name, type in whatever you want to call it.

5) Left click on the little camera icon on the right of the name of the camera group you just created. It will turn yellow. Once that has occurred you will notice that your perspective viewport has now turned to the camera viewport, or in other words, you now see what the camera sees.

6) Select the bar that says "Movement"(it should have an orange outline around it once selected. To animate/move the camera, select the little black bar(its verticle) in the timeline/keyframe window. Move it to whatever time(these are in seconds) you want to make your first keyframe/camera movement in. Press the little grey square at the top left(Add Key). You have now just added a key. Now, in the perspective viewport, move your camera wherever you want it to be at the time that you added the key. So if you added a key at 3 seconds, move the camera where you want it to be in 3 seconds. Now you can repeat the process. Move the little black bar in matinee, press "Add Key" then move the camera. At any time you can view the animation by bringing the black bar to the beginning of the timeline, and then clicking the play button on the matinee menu bar. It will animate in the perspective viewport.

7) Slide the black bar back to frame 0. Select the bar that says "Director", making it the active selection. Click the "Add Key" button at the top left of matinee. A new window will open. From the drop down list select the name of your camera(the one that you named).

8) Matinee should be good to go, now just the trigger. Open Kismet. Click the black nub on Trigger Touch that says "Touched" and drag the line over to the black nub on Matinee that says play.

That should be it. I just tested this and it works. Now whenever your player touches the trigger, it will cut to the camera. Now keep in mind this doesn't prevent your player from moving while the scene is occurring. This is just a simple way on how to do it. Hope it helps.


  1. Hi,

    Novice Unreal level designer here, using Unreal 3 for Gears of War. I'm not getting the option to "Add New Camera Group." I have the camera selected on the map, I created the Director Group in the matinee, but it doesn't give me an option for that. Have any ideas?



  2. Hey, this is a well written tutorial. I appreciate that I can follow it based on your words alone, without needing to see any pictures.