Shooting from a Camera Rig Rail

An example of how to set up and shoot from the Camera Rig Rail.

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The Camera Rig Rail Actor can be used to produce fly-through, 360 degree, or any other moving shots by attaching a camera to a rail to move along. The path for the rail can be defined using a Spline Component and in Sequencer, you can keyframe the position along the rail where the camera should be at any given time.

In this how-to we create a 360 degree rail where the attached camera stays focused on our character.

Steps

For this how-to, we are using the Blueprint Third Person Template project with Starter Content enabled.

  1. In your project on the Modes panel under Cinematic, drag a Camera Rig Rail asset into the level.

    CameraRig_01.png

  2. Also from the Modes panel under Cinematic, drag in a Cine Camera Actor.

    CameraRig_02.png

  3. In the World Outliner, drag-and-drop the CineCameraActor onto the CameraRig_Rail to attach it.

    CameraRig_03.png

  4. In the Details panel for the CineCameraActor, set the XYZ for Location to 0, 0, 60.

    CameraRig_04.png

    This will push the camera up slightly off the ground for our shot.

  5. Select the CameraRigRail in the level, then select and move the end point so the rail moves to the left of the character.

    CameraRig_05.png

  6. With the end point still selected, hold Alt then drag out another point as shown below.

    CameraRig_06.png

  7. Select and move the red tangents to bend the rail to produce a curved shape.

    CameraRig_07.png

  8. Hold Alt and drag out additional points, adjusting the tangents until you form a circle shape around the character.

    CameraRig_08.png

  9. From the Main Toolbar, click Cinematics then select Add Level Sequence.

    CameraRig_09.png

  10. Select the Camera Rig Rail and Cine Camera Actor in the Level, then click the Track button and add both to Sequencer.

    CameraRig_10.png

  11. Add a key for the current Transform on the CineCameraActor.

    CameraRig_11.png

  12. On the CameraRig_Rail, click the + Track button and add Current Position on Rail and a keyframe for the initial value.

    CameraRig_12.png

    This value represents the position of the attached camera where 0 is at the start of the rail and 1 is the end of the rail.

  13. Move the Timeline marker to the end of the Sequence (frame 150).

  14. With the Camera Rig Rail selected, in the Details panel set the Current Position on Rail to 1.0 then add a keyframe.

    CameraRig_13.png

  15. For the Cine Camera Actor, check Enable Look at Tracking for the ThirdPersonCharacter with a Z offset of 45.0.

    CameraRig_14.png
    Here we are setting our camera to always follow the location of the Actor to Track, in this case the ThirdPersonCharacter.

  16. Lock the viewport to the Camera Cut Track then click the preview play button.

End Result

You should have something similar to below where the camera pans 360 degrees around the character.

You could also use the Camera Rig Rail as a fly-through of your game Levels or to highlight something important in the Level. 

There is an advanced method you can use to work with the Camera Rig Rail asset in Sequencer that will automate several of the steps from this how-to. Please see the Workflow Shortcuts section for more information.

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