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UDK: Cinematics Introduction Part 2/2

Category: UDK
April 27, 2012

Following article was written and contributed by Pete Bottomley.
Pete is a co-founder of White Paper Games.

UDK Scripting Series by Pete Bottomley:

Intro to Kismet
Moving Doors
How to Pick Up and Place Item
How to Trigger Material Instances
How to Spawn Bots in Kismet - Part 1
How to Add Functionality to the Bot - Part 2
Bot Functionality Final Touches - Part 3
Bools - Puzzle Design and Interaction
Cinematics Introduction Part 1/2
Cinematics Introduction Part 2/2
Using Console Commands as Gameplay Elements
How to Prototype Quick Time Events in Kismet

In this Cinematics tutorial we will show you how to set up your scene ready for a cinematic along with go into all the Kismet actions and events you may need. We will also take a more in-depth look at Matinee how and how use it to power our cinematic.
In this Cinematics video you'll learn:

  • How to use more features of Matinee
  • How to use new tracks such as Event, Slowmo and Fade
  • How to handle more than one camera in a scene
  • How to teleport the player
  • How to use Animsets and CameraAnims
  • How to use Cinematic toggles

1. Once we have the initial Matinee set up with our Cameras and Skeletal mesh we can start adding more functionality. We can start by right clicking on the Director Group in Matinee and select Add New Event track. The event track is a powerful tool which allows you to trigger things outside of Matinee at a specific point. In this example I have an Event to play a sound at the start and also the Explosion halfway. You can add a key on the event track and name it explo. Close Matinee and you will see an output now named explo. You can then trigger off events using this output and they will play at that specific point in the Matinee.

click on image to view full size

In this example I have a turn on Emitter (T+LMB) of the Dust particle effect. We can add the Particle Emitter into the scene by opening the content browser and looking for ParticleSystem 'Envy_Effects. VH_Deaths. P_VH_Death_Dust_Secondary' . I then added it to the level just by where the player smashes through the window so that it would look like the glass was exploding inwards when the player hit it. Open up the Emitter Properties (F4) and go to Emitter - Particle System Component and turn off Auto Activate. This is so that the particle doesn't trigger before we need it to.

We also have a Play CameraAnim action that plays CameraAnim 'Envy_Effects. Camera_Shakes. C_VH_Death_Shake' with the target set to the Player. You can add this right clicking New Action - Camera - PlayCameraAnim. We also destroy the Skeletal mesh in the scene because we no longer need the LIAM mesh. To add a Destroy action right click - New Action - Actor - Destroy and add the target as the Skeletal Mesh.

We also have another Toggle Hidden action that hides and unhides the two sets of windows we added to our scene previously which are the broken and unbroken windows.

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At the start of the sequence I also wanted to play a sound of LIAM grinding down the rail. In this example I used SoundCue 'A_Vehicle_Hoverboard. Cue.A_Vehicle_ HoverBoard_ EngineStartCue' and added a Play Sound action (S+LMB). The Play goes from the CamShake event output which I added at the very start of the Matinee event track. And the Stop is when the explo triggers because this is when LIAM is no longer grinding down the rail.

click on image to view full size

2. Now that we have the character smashing through the glass I want to add slow motion so that it looks like he is flying through the air and then smashing in to the wall. To add a Slowmo track right click on the Director Group and Add New Slowmo track. By default, a value of 1 is normal speed and the closer to 0 you go the slower the speed. I have two keys at the start of my track both with values of 1 for the slow motion. This is because if we started adding keys when the character when through the glass, the track would be slowing down continuously throughout the track, so we need to add 2 keys of 1 so that it stays at a constant rate. Then when you want the player to fly through the air slow the speed down to 0.2 by adding a key and setting the value. Then when you want the slow motion to end, add a key and set the value back to 1.

click on image to view full size

3. Next we will look at the Fade track. To add one, right click on the Director Track and select Add New Fade track. The values work the opposite to what you think they would from the Slowmo track. A value of 0 is a clear screen and 1 is a black screen. We don't need to add a key at the start of the track for the Fade just remember to add a Key of 0 when you want to start the Fade and then fade from there.

In this example I have a quick fade of when the player hits their head on the wall, and a fade out at the end of the sequence. Have a play around with values and see what works best for you.

click on image to view full size

4. Next we will look at how to add Sounds inside of Matinee. Since we have already established how to play sounds through Kismet, it is up to you how you wish to play the sound, I guess there is not 'better' way, it's down to personal preference and if you wish to do more with a sound. For example if you wanted the sound to play from a specific location, you would use a Play Sound action, however if you just want a normal sound, a sound track in Matinee will do just fine.

To add a sound track right click on your Director Group and select Add New Sound track. With a sound cue selected in your content browser, for this I used SoundCue 'A_Character_Footsteps. FootSteps. A_Character_Footstep_Glass BrokenLandCue', add a key (Enter or Add Key button) and the sound will appear on your track. That's really all there is to it. You can set the volume and pitch and have a play around with a few things, but you don't really need to change too much.

click on image to view full size

5. Lastly, we need to teleport the player to end location of the sequence. This is why we added the note at the start. To add a teleport action right click - New Action - Actor - Teleport. We also need to add another Toggle Cinematic Mode action to disable the previous one so that we are able to move again.

The target of both actions is the Player and the Location of the Teleport is the Note. With the Note selected in the viewport right click on the Teleport Location and select New Obj Var Using Note_0. This will teleport the player to the location of the note at the end of the sequence.

Note: If your teleport does not seem to work, try rebuilding paths located next to the build lighting and build geometry buttons.

You want to make sure the note is in the general location of where the player falls at the end of the movement track to make it believable.

6. Lastly, if you are using a setup similar to mine where you go below the player starting level (sliding down the rail) then you will have to alter your KillZ otherwise your player will keep dying. To do this click on View - World Properties at the top of your editor. Go to Zone Info and change your KillZ to a value of -1100 or something similar. In your perspective viewports you should see a Red line in the editor moving lower down. Whenever your player hits this line, they will die, so just keep that in mind.

Here is an image of the sequence as a whole. The best way to create these Cinematic events though is to play around yourself and think of some cool ideas and try to create them using the Animations, Emitters, Cameras, Sounds and Matinee tracks. Play around with the different settings and variations to add depth to your cinematics.

click on image to view full size

Following article was written and contributed by Pete Bottomley.
Pete is a co-founder of White Paper Games.

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