Using Cine Camera Actors

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The Cine Camera Actor is a specialized Camera Actor with additional camera settings that are found in most real-world cameras today. The ability to adjust Filmback, Lens, or Focus settings gives content creators more tools than the standard Camera Actor in producing more cinematic looking shots. There is also the ability to track a specified Actor in a scene automatically as well as auto-focus on that Actor which makes shooting shots even easier than before.

In this how-to we enable look at tracking of an Actor, adjust filmback, lens, and focus settings to produce a cinematic shot.

Steps

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

  1. From the Main Tool bar, click Cinematics then select Add Level Sequence.

    CineCamera1.png

  2. From the Modes panel under Cinematic, drag a Cine Camera Actor into the level and position as shown below.

    CineCamera2.png

    See Manipulating Actors for controls on how to move, rotate, and scale Actors in a level.

  3. In Sequencer, click the Add button and add the Cine Camera Actor to the Level Sequence.

    CineCamera3.png

  4. With the CineCameraActor selected, press S to add a keyframe for the current Transform. This lets Sequencer know the starting position of the camera and where to start moving from.

    CineCamera4.png

  5. In Sequencer, move the Timeline to the end of the Level Sequence (frame 150).

  6. In the level, move the camera up and forward as shown below then press S to add a keyframe at the desired position. This will give us some camera movement during our scene.

    CineCamera5.png

  7. In the Details panel for the CineCameraActor, set the Look at Tracking Settings below. We used the following settings :

    • Enable Look at Tracking - check this option as it will allow the camera to track an Actor.

    • Draw Debug Look at Tracking Position - check this option as it will allow us to see where the camera is looking at.

    • Actor to Track - set this to ThirdPersonCharacter as we want to track this character for our shot.

    • Relative Offset - set the Z to 60 to raise the tracking position slightly from its default tracking position.

    CineCamera6.png

    You should see a yellow box near the head of the character indicating where the tracking position is.

    CineCamera6b.png

  8. Also in the Details panel for the CineCameraActor, set the Filmback Settings to use Super 16mm. The Filmback Settings provide different formats that you can experiment with to get different aspect ratios.

    CineCamera7.png

  9. Expand the Lens Settings section and set the Min Focal Length to 50.0mm and Max Focal Length to 1000.0mm. The Min/Max Focal Length settings will affect the range in which we can apply Focal Length in mm which we will set in a moment. You can select different Lens Settings from the drop-down menu which are some of the standard settings used with real-world cameras today or you can use your own custom settings.

    CineCamera8.png

  10. Expand the Focus Settings section and change the Focus Method to Tracking.

  11. Next to Actor to Track, click the Eye Dropper icon.

    CineCamera9.png

  12. Move the Eye Dropper over the character in the level, then left-click to select it. This will ensure that the focus will always track the Actor we've selected.

    CineCamera10.png

  13. Move the Timeline back to frame 0, then for Current Focal Length add another keyframe. Our Focal Length of 50.0mm will be used to start the scene, and we will change this value over time.

    CineCamera11.png

  14. Move the Timeline to the end of the Sequence (frame 150) and set the Current Focal Length to 75.0 and keyframe it. This will cause the camera to zoom in slightly during the course of the shot.

    CineCamera12.png

  15. In the level select the ThirdPersonCharacter then hold Alt and drag out a copy and position slightly behind the first. Our camera will pan around and up to reveal the character standing behind our tracked character.

    CineCamera13.png

  16. In Sequencer, click the Add button and add a Camera Cut Track.

    CineCamera14.png

  17. Move the Timeline back to 0, then click the + Camera button and select the CineCameraActor. This will ensure that this sequence will use the camera we have added to shoot the scene from.

    CineCamera15.png

  18. Click the Preview Play button.

End Result

You should have something similar to below where the camera pans up and around to shoot our characters. Below, we turned off the debug tracking, enabled Game View (G key in the viewport) and locked the camera to our Camera Cuts Track.

Experiment with each of the settings under Current Camera Settings of a Cine Camera Actor to produce different looks for your shots!

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