Take Recorder

Record Editor, Gameplay, and Live Link actors with Take Recorder.

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Take Recorder enables the recording of gameplay animation, live performances, and other sources directly into Unreal Engine. By recording and managing takes into Sequencer, you can achieve a highly iterative workflow in your virtual production. This guide gives an overview of the Take Recorder feature, and demonstrates it's workflow.

Prerequisites

  • Take Recorder is a plugin and must be enabled prior to use. Navigate in the Unreal Engine menu to Edit > Plugins, locate Take Recorder in the Virtual Production section, and enable it. You may need to restart the editor for this change to come into effect.

    take recorder plugin

  • In order to record animation from motion capture and other live performances, you can optionally enable Live Link. Navigate in the Unreal Engine menu to Edit > Plugins, locate Live Link in the Animation section, and enable it. You may need to restart the editor for this change to come into effect.

    live link plugin

  • You should also have created a project with a playable character and Actors to record. Alternatively, you can use a project created using the Third Person Template template.

Opening Take Recorder

To start using Take Recorder, click Window > Cinematics > Take Recorder. This will open the Take Recorder window and open a new sequence, if one is not open already.

open take recorder

The new sequence will have its time display set to a timecode matching the Take Recorder's time display.

Interface Overview

Once the Take Recorder window is open, you'll see the four main sections of the user interface:

take recorder interface

  1. Toolbar: The Take Recorder toolbar contains several buttons and toggles which control Sequencer integration, take browsing, and option displays.

  2. Slate: The Slate section contains information on the pending take and timecode. You can specify the take name, number, fps, and write a description. The Recording button is also located here and initiates the recording of the take.

  3. Sources: The Sources section contains options to specify the sources to record into your sequence. Sources can be captured from any Actor in the Level as well as Live Link sessions, other sequences, a microphone, or World states.

  4. Details: The Details section contains user and project settings for Take Recorder, as well as settings for your sources.

Toolbar

The Take Recorder toolbar contains buttons and toggles for controlling Sequencer integration, takes browsing, and option displays.

take recorder toolbar

Name

Icon

Description

Clear Pending Take

clear pending take

Reverts the currently opened sequence to an empty pending sequence. Removes any sequences specified in the Record to Sequence button.

Review Last Recording

review last recording

Opens the most recent sequence that was recorded. Does not become clickable until after a recording has been created.

Record to Sequence

record to sequence

Contains a dropdown menu from which you can specify another sequence to record your take into. Can be cleared by clicking the Clear Pending Take button.

Take Browser

take browser

Opens a Content Browser window for navigating to your saved takes. When using the columns view mode, take-related metadata information will be displayed.

Take Browser

Show / Hide Sequence

show hide sequence

Shows or hides the Level Sequence that is used for setting up this take.

Settings

take settings

Shows or hides project and user settings in the Take Recorder's details area.

Return

return take

Returns to the pending take sequence, when reviewing a previous take.

Slate Info Lock

lock slate

Locks or unlocks the modifying of a slate, when reviewing a previous take.

Slate

The Slate area displays information on the current pending take, the current time, and recording functions.

You can set custom names and numerical entries for your slate and take number by clicking the Slate or Take text fields and modifying the text. The same can be done by clicking the field in the slate body.

take slate

You can also start a new recording by clicking the red Record button. When the Take Recorder plugin is enabled, the record button will also be available in sequence playback controls. Sequencer's record button allows you to start recording any selected Actor into the current sequence, and does not require the Take Recorder window to be open.

take record button

Clicking the button again or pressing Esc will stop the recording and save the current take.

During a recording session, you can click the Add Marked Frame button to add custom marks to the current time of the recording.

take recorder mark frame

Click the Frames Per Second (fps) menu for a dropdown list of different frame rates to select for your pending take.

take recerder fps

Sources

The sources area is where you specify various recording sources.

Sources are displayed in a list here and can be enabled or disabled from the recording.

take recorder sources

To add a source, select the + Source button and choose from a list of sources. You can choose from any Actor in the Level, other sequences, a microphone, camera cuts, or World / Level information.

take recorder add source

Source

Description

Any Actor

Selecting Any Actor as a source will create an empty Source Actor. You can specify an Actor from the details area when selecting this source. The details area also contains options for setting Spawnable or Possessable, keyframe reduction, and parent recording. You can shortcut to selecting an Actor by navigating to + Source > From Actor.

take recorder actor details

If a Skeletal Mesh Actor is specified, additional details for animation recording will be displayed.

Camera Cuts

If Camera Cuts is added as a source, Take Recorder will record all active cameras during the session. Any time the active camera is changed, a new camera Actor and camera cut section will be created.

Level Sequence

Selecting a Level Sequence as a source will allow for other sequences to be played during your recording session. You can specify any number of sequences to play from the details area of this source. Playback of sequences only is supported during recording within gameplay or simulation sessions.

Level Visibility

The Level visibility source will record the visibility states of all Levels at the start of the recording. It does not record any changes during the recording session.

Live Link

Live Link will connect to any currently active Live Link sessions. The Live Link session must be specified in the Subject Name details field. You can shortcut to selecting a session directly by navigating to + Source > From Live Link.

take recorder live link details

Microphone Audio

Selecting Microphone Audio will allow your device's microphone to be recorded during the recording session. A sound file will be created upon completion containing your recorded audio. The details area contains settings for audio recording, track name, and the recording directory.

take recorder microphone details

Nearby Spawned Actors

The Nearby Spawned Actors source will record all spawned Actors located within a specified radius from the player's location to the take. The details panel includes options for defining the range and specifying filters. If you are using filters, then only the filtered Actors will be added to the take. Only Actors that spawn during a gameplay session are added. Actors that have already spawned are not affected by this.

take recorder spawned actors details

Player

Selecting the Player source records the Player Actor. Using this source might be useful if your player is dynamically spawned and does not exist as an Actor in the Level until gameplay starts.

World

If World is added as a source, everything in the Level will be recorded. Particles that are created using Spawn Emitter functions can only be captured when using this source.

Your source list can also be saved as a preset and can be reused later. To do this, click the Presets button and select Save As Preset. Any saved presets will be listed in the Presets menu.

take recorder preset

You can remove all sources from the list or revert to your preset's selection by clicking the Revert button.

take recorder revert sources

Details

The details area of Take Recorder contains project properties and settings for your sources as well as the Take Recorder. It can be enabled by clicking the Settings button in the toolbar.

You can specify default settings for sources here which will propagate to the source. However, individual sources can still be customized from the project.

take recorder project details

Other project related settings are:

Name

Description

Root Take Save Dir

The root directory in which to save recorded takes. Supports any of the following format tokens that will be substituted when a take is recorded:

Take Save Dir

A sub-directory relative to the root to further organize saved takes.

Default Slate

The project's default name for slates when opening Take Recorder.

Start at Current Timecode

If enabled, recording will begin at the current date's timecode depicted in your slate. Otherwise, the recording will begin at time 0.

Record Timecode

If enabled, this will write timecode metadata into every track section for every Actor. This information can be viewed by right-clicking a track section and navigating to Properties > Section > Section Range Start/End.

Record Sources Into Sub Sequences

If enabled, records each actor into their own subscene track, allowing for swapping of different takes per actor. If this property is disabled, all actors will record into a single sequence.

Record to Possessable

If enabled, records all Actors to possessable type tracks instead of spawnables. This can be overwritten per actor source.

Default Tracks

Specify Actor classes and their components so that those components will always be captured during a recording session.

Movie Scene Take Settings

Specify your project's names for Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Frames, Sub Frames, and Slates. This will also affect the names of tracks created in the Takes Track for your Actors.

Maximize Viewport

Enables Immersive Mode during a recording.

Countdown

The time in seconds the take recorder will count down to before starting the recording session after the Record button is pressed.

Engine Time Dilation

The amount of time dilation to apply to the recording session.

Stop at Playback End

The recording will stop upon reaching the end time of the sequence. On new sequences the end time defaults to 5 seconds.

Remove Redundant Tracks

By default, Take Recorder records all possible tracks from sources. When this option is enabled, only tracks with changes will be kept by the recording.

Reduce Keys Tolerance

Tolerance to use when reducing keyframes created during a recording. Higher numbers will cause more keyframes to be removed if they contain values differences within the tolerance.

Save Recorded Assets

Automatically saves recorded sequences and subscenes upon completing a recording. These assets will be lost if they are not saved.

Auto Lock

Locks the take to prevent editing after the recording session ends. The take can be unlocked by toggling the lock button in the Sequencer Toolbar

Auto Serialize

Stores capture data as it's recorded, as opposed to all at once at the end of the recording. This is an experimental feature and should be used at your own risk, as it has not been tested fully.

Preset Save Location

The directory in which to save source preset files to.

Tokens

Token Name

Description

{year}

The year of the timestamp at the start of the recording

{month}

The month of the timestamp at the start of the recording

{day}

The day of the timestamp at the start of the recording

{hour}

The hour of the timestamp at the start of the recording

{minute}

The minute of the timestamp at the start of the recording

{second}

The second of the timestamp at the start of the recording

{take}

The Take number from the Slate section

{slate}

The Slate name from the Slate section

Recording Example

Take Recorder can be used to record from various sources in both editor and gameplay contexts. The examples below illustrate how you can record your actions in Take Recorder.

Editor

Take Recorder can be used to record your manipulation of Actors in the editor viewport.

First, you will need to add the object you want to record to the Sources list. Select the Actor in the viewport and click + Source > From Actor > Add ‘Sphere'.

take recorder add actor source

Next, press the red Record button. A countdown and notification will appear. When it reaches 0, the sequence will start to record.

Select your Actor in the viewport and move it around to capture its editor motion. When finished, click the Stop button.

take recorder editor manipulation

Click the Review Last Recording button to view the recording.

review last recording

Click Play in Sequencer to observe your recorded editor movements on the Actor.

take recorder editor play

You may see a duplicate Actor performing the actions instead of the editor object. This is because the record type for the Actor was set to record as a Spawnable. You can change this on the source object or globally on the project by changing the Record to Possessable property in the Take Recorder details. If you record to a possessable, then you will only see the original Actor animate.

Gameplay

Take Recorder can also be used to record Gameplay actions such as the player's movement and animation in a Level.

From the Take Recorder, select + Source > Player to add the Player to the Sources list.

take recorder player source

Next, click the Play button in the Unreal Engine toolbar to start a Play in Editor session.

play in editor

Once the session has started, click the red Record button. A countdown will appear in your viewport. When it reaches 0, the sequence will start to record.

Move the character around your Level to capture its animation. When finished, click the Stop button or press Esc.

take recorder game recording

Click the Review Last Recording button to view the recording.

review last recording

Click Play in Sequencer to preview your recorded player's animation.

take recorder review gameplay recording

Reviewing Subscenes and Assets

You can double-click the subscene section to open an Actor's sequence and view its recorded keyframes. Here you can see timecode keyframes for this Actor.

take recorder subscene

Clicking the Take Browser button will open a Content Browser from which you can navigate to your saved takes and subscenes.

take recorder save folder

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