Using Auto-Key in Sequencer

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One approach you can take when crafting your cinematics with the Sequencer Editor is to enable the Auto-Key feature to automatically keyframe property changes. There are a few different ways you can manually add keyframes to tracks in Sequencer, however, if you are making several changes to an Actor's property, you may want to enable Auto-Key to keyframe those changes for you.

In this how-to, we illustrate the requirements to use Auto-Key and practice auto-keying the properties of multiple Actors.

Steps

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

  1. Inside your project, from the Main Toolbar, click the Cinematics button and select Add Level Sequence and give it any name.

    AutoKey_01.png

  2. Inside the Sequencer Editor, click the Auto-Key button from the Toolbar.

    AutoKey_02.png

    The Auto-Key button will change to a key icon, indicating that Auto-Key is enabled.

  3. From the Modes panel, drag both a Point Light and a Cube into the Level.

    AutoKey_04.png

    These will be the Actors who we want to Auto-Key property changes for in Sequencer.

  4. Select both the Point Light and Cube, then in Sequencer, click the Track button and select Add Current Selection under Actor To Sequencer.

    AutoKey_05.png

    This will add both Actors to Sequencer so that we can begin to manipulate and control their properties from Sequencer.

  5. Click the Keyframe button for the Tracks highlighted below to add a keyframe for their current values.

    AutoKey_06.png

    In order for Auto-Key to begin tracking and keying properties, at least one keyframe for the Actor's property you want to auto-key must be added.

  6. Move the Timeline to frame 50, then in the Level, move the Cube in any direction.

    AutoKey_07.png

    When moving the Cube, the Transform value is automatically keyframed inside Sequencer.

  7. In the Details panel for the Point Light, change the Intensity and Light Color values.

    AutoKey_08.png

    Sequencer will automatically keyframe whatever results you enter inside the Details panel since both tracks in Sequencer have a keyframe on them already.

  8. Scrub the Timeline ahead to frame 150, then in the Level with the Cube selected, press the R key and scale the size of the cube to any value.

    AutoKey_09.png

    If you expand that Transform track for the Cube in Sequencer, you will notice that only the Scale value had a keyframed applied. This is because, by default, the Auto-Key keyframes only the properties that have changed and not all properties. Since we only changed the Scale value and not the Location or Rotation, only the Scale value was keyframed. You can change this by enabling the Key All Properties option from the Sequencer Toolbar which will add keys for all properties, not just the ones that have changed.

  9. Click the Auto-Key Options button next to the Auto-Key button.

    AutoKey_10.png

    This will change the Auto-Key feature to Key All instead of Key Only Changes.

  10. Scale the Cube in the Level again to any value.

    AutoKey_11.png

    You will notice that even though you are making Scale value changes, the Auto-Key feature will also key Location and Rotation values now.

  11. Select the Point Light track, then in the Details panel for the Point Light, change the Light Color to any value.

    AutoKey_12.png

    Here, even though the Point Light track is selected and Key All is enabled, changing the Light Color property only affects the Light Color Track (a new Intensity keyframe was not added). Sequencer will only apply auto-keys to individual property tracks and not all tracks for a given Actor. For example, Location, Rotation, and Scale are all part of the Transform track which is why they receive keyframes automatically. Intensity and Light Color are two different properties, and therefore, changing the value of the Light Color will not auto-key the Intensity track.

End Result

You should now have an understanding of how to use the Auto-Key feature within Sequencer and the requirements to automatically add keys. Once you add an Actor to a Level Sequence and add a keyframe for a property track, enabling the auto-key option will start to automatically add keys for that property whenever you change them (as seen below).

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