Matinee

MatineeBanner.png

The Matinee example shows how to create highly stylized cinematic sequences using Unreal Engine 4's Matinee Editor. If you do not know what Matinee is, the Matinee Editor (or simply Matinee) is a system which is based on the use of specialized Tracks in which you can place Keyframes and set the values of certain properties for the Actors in your level where you can adjust those values over time.

On this page, we will jump into and discuss each of the different sections inside the Matinee Actor used to create the fight sequence scene and how each of the elements come together to produce the final result shown in the Scene Breakdown section below. With an understanding of how it was constructed, you will be able to modify it and put a different spin on it or take the knowledge, tips-and-tricks learned here and apply them to your own scenes.

You can also head to the Matinee and Cinematics documentation for more details on how to work with and use Matinee.

Scene Breakdown

Before breaking down the scene, you can view the end result below:

  • The scene consists of five characters that interact with one another during the course of the 68 second sequence.

  • Each character uses their own motion captured Animation Sequence.

  • There are six cameras used in the scene (three main cameras for movement and three child cameras for the hand-held "shaky" style movement).

  • The music is comprised of nine different Sound Waves that are each called during specific times of the sequence.

  • Each of the impact sounds, sound effects, grunts, and VO are all added individually via keyframe at the appropriate times in the sequence.

  • Particle Effects are applied to the characters and environments as they interact with one another via keyframing.

  • Lighting is adjusted through primary and secondary lights during the scene (there is not just one set of lights used, but multiple that are adjusted).

  • A Slomo track is used to slow the sequence down at given points and a Fade track is used to fade the scene out at the end.

  • An Event Track is used to set(re-set) multiple Static Meshes (used to simulate tiles breaking off the walls) to simulate physics when called upon.

Opening the Matinee Actor

When going through this page, it will help if you have the project up and the Matinee open so you can follow along and can adjust values in real time.

You can open the Matinee by searching the World Outliner for Matinee:

SceneOutlinerMatinee.png

You can then click on Matinee in the World Outliner and the Details panel will become populated. From here, you can select Open Matinee:

OpenMatinee.png

The Matinee window will then open:

Click the image for full view.

Adjusting the Viewport

While the Matinee window is open, you may notice that the viewport becomes cluttered with lots of colored dotted lines and the screen appears black.

MatineeNonGameView.png

You can easily hide these and other editor related icons by entering Game View by clicking the down arrow in the upper left corner of the viewport:

ToggleGameViewOff.png

From the menu, you can then select the Game View checkbox.

You can also press the G key while in the viewport to toggle this option on/off quickly.

With Game View enabled, you will be able to playback the Matinee sequence from the Matinee Editor window and get an idea of what the final result will look like without the editor icons being displayed.

Game View Off

Game View Om

Inside the Matinee Editor under the menu toolbar View option, you can select Hide All 3D Trajectories which will hide the movement paths but keep all the other editor icons.

As for the screen appearing black, a Fade Track was used to fade in the scene from a black screen.

MatineeFadeTrack.png

If you scrub the Time Bar to any position on or after the second keyframe on the Fade Track, you should see the scene appear in your viewport.

Deconstructing the Matinee Actor

In the sections below, we will deconstruct the Matinee used to generate the Fight Sequence and discuss how it was put together by looking at each of the Tracks and how they were used. We will also look at the Director Group and its related Tracks as well as discuss some of the techniques used by our team here to produce the final result.

We will first start by looking at the meat of the Matinee sequence, the Tracks, starting with the Camera Tracks and working our way down through the list.

Camera Tracks

As noted in the Scene Breakdown section, the camera setup for this scene uses three main cameras and three child cameras. If you search inside the World Outliner for Camera you will see something similar to below.

MatineeCameras.png

For Camera1, Camera2, and Camera3, a second camera (appended as _Shake) was created and placed in the level. Each of these Shake cameras were then made child cameras by dragging-and-dropping them onto their corresponding parent cameras. Wherever the parent camera goes, the child will follow. This allows us to add subtle movement to a camera that is already in motion and moving along a path.

If you open up the Matinee, you will notice that there is a folder called Cameras_Main and Cameras_Shake. While none of the cameras in the Cameras_Main folder are used for shots, they do provide the movement for each of the cameras in the Cameras_Shake folder.

Click the image for full view.

Folders allow you to organize as well as collapse or expand groups that have been assigned to the folder. To create a folder, you can Right-Click in the Tracks window and select Add New Folder. Once a folder has been added, you can Right-Click on the folder and select Move Group Into Folder and choose the group you wish to move into the folder.

In section 1 above, if you scrub through the timeline, you will notice that each of the shots on the Director track are using the child cameras (with the exception of the final shot which does not have the shaky effect applied to the camera). In section 2, Camera1 has several keyframes (red triangles) added to the Movement track that determine the main path of the camera. In section 3 for Camera_Shake1, you will notice there are significantly more keyframes added to its Movement track which allows for the slight movement of the camera creating the hand-held look.

Camera Properties

When a New Camera Group is added to Matinee, you are presented with only the Movement and FOV Angle tracks that can be edited:

NewCameraAdded.png

If you Right-Click on the Camera track and choose Add New Float Property Track from the context menu that appears, you will however be given a list of tracks that can be added and adjusted via float values.

AddFloatPropertyTrack.png CameraFloatProperties.png

While there are several property tracks that can be added and adjusted, the six tracks below for Post Process Settings were added to each of the cameras used in this Matinee:

Property Name Description
DepthOfFieldFocalDistance This is the distance in which the Depth of Field effect should be sharp, in unreal units (cm).
DepthOfFieldFocalRegion The artificial region where all content is in focus, starting after DepthOfFieldFocalDistance, in unreal units (cm).
DepthOfFieldScale BokehDOF only: used to amplify the Depth of Field effect (like aperture). Setting the value to 0 will turn it off.
DepthOfFieldNearBlurSize Gaussian only: this is the maximum size of the Depth of Field blur for near objects (in percent of the view width). Note: performance cost scales with size.
DepthOfFieldFarBlurSize Gaussian only: this is the maximum size of the Depth of Field blur for far objects (in percent of the view width). Note: performance cost scales with size.
DepthOfFieldMaxBokehSize BokehDOF only: the maximum size of the Depth of Field blur (in percent of the view width). Note: performance cost scales with size*size.

Please see the Depth of Field documentation for more information on using Depth Of Field.

The properties above are the same settings that can be adjusted via the Details panel of a Camera Actor under the Depth Of Field section:

DetailsDOF.png

The value of each property can be viewed/changed at each keyframe by Right-Clicking on the keyframe and selecting the Set Value option:

KeyFrameSetValue.png

An input box will appear where you can set the new value to use for the property at the designated keyframe:

KeyFrameNewValue.png

You will also notice that each time the Director track cuts to the camera in use, keyframes for these properties were added and made available for edit:

Click the image for full view.

This was done to make it easier for you to modify the Depth of Field settings (as well as the Movement and FOV Angle) for each camera, on each cut, to create different looks by adjusting the values.

Character Tracks

The Character tracks for this Matinee are fairly straightforward:

  • There is a Trooper_Main track which represents the main character who uses the Trooper_Lead Skeletal Mesh.

  • The Trooper_1, Trooper_2, Trooper_3, and Trooper_4 tracks represent the enemies that fight the main character and use the Trooper Skeletal Mesh.

The Skeletal Meshes can be found in the Game/Character/Trooper/Mesh folder.

Each of the characters use an Anim and Movement track and Troopers 1, 2, and 3 also use a Visibility track which hides them in the scene until they are ready to be displayed and combat the main character.

ActiveCharacter.png

While in the Matinee window, you can click on the Character track or any of the tracks assigned to the character and it will highlight that character in the editor's viewport. This makes it easier to see which character you are working with at any given time in the sequence.

Character Anim Tracks

Each of the characters has their own motion captured Animation Sequence which has been added to each of their respective Anim tracks in the Matinee.

TrooperAnimations.png

Because these sequences are raw, meaning that they have not been trimmed down into shorter sequences and are instead a long cut, it is necessary that the animation start and end times use an offset instead of starting at frame 0.0.

For example, if you take a look at Trooper_1 and click on the keyframe at the 6.30 mark, you will see that the sequence starts at 6.50 and ends at 16.24.

Trooper1Example.png

You can add offsets for the start or end times of an Animation Sequence by Right-Clicking on the keyframe of the sequence you wish to edit and choosing the Set Start Offset or Set End Offset options respectively. An input box will appear in which you can specify the time in the animation you want to start or end at.

If you were to open the Trooper_1 Animation Sequence located in the Game/Character/Trooper/Animation folder, you would see that the character does not start the animation until around the 5.9 second mark of the sequence.

You will also notice that Animation Sequences for each character have been placed throughout the scene regardless of whether or not they are visible during the Matinee sequence.

ExtraAnimSequences.png

Trooper_1 Animation Sequence is added even though the character is not visible yet (character visibility is toggled On by the green bar).

These extra Animation Sequences are in place so that you may edit them and rearrange the shot sequence if you would like. Since the characters are not visible and the timing of each animation is not set, they do not hinder the overall scene but give you an opportunity to have additional options when cutting the final sequence together.

Character Movement Tracks

CharacterMovementTrack.png

The Movement tracks for each character are primarily used to specify a start position or orientation for each character when they enter the scene or to adjust the positioning of each character during the scene. Because the Animation Sequences contain translation in them, movement around the scene is handled by the animation itself. If the animations did not have translation in them, the Movement track would be used to drive the character's movement around in the scene.

Due to the character-to-character interaction in this scene, it is important that if you change one of the character's Movement tracks, you will need to adjust the other characters as well so that they still synch up and play their animations together.

When a keyframe is added to the Movement track, you can specify the desired location of the character at that keyframe by selecting the keyframe in the Matinee window, then moving the character in the viewport to the desired location.

Character Visibility Tracks

CharacterVisibilityTrack.png

The Visibility tracks assigned to Troopers 1, 2, and 3 are simply there to toggle when the character should be visible in the scene. The time the character is visible is denoted by the green bar shown in the image above. You can also look at the keyframes themselves as keyframes pointed downward indicate the character is hidden while keyframes pointed upward indicate the character is set to be shown.

You can Right-Click on a keyframe and "flip" the toggle to the opposite of its current setting by selecting the Flip Toggle option from the context menu.

Character Lighting Tracks

CharacterLightTracks.png

Two SpotLights were added to the scene to provide additional lighting of the characters for each shot. Each of these Spotlights were set to Movable and are positioned using the Movement track. Additionally, the Intensity, LightColor, and Radius for each light is adjusted during the scene depending upon the shot. To better describe what is occurring, take a look at the image below.

When looking at the scene from the editor view and not the Matinee Preview, you can see that lights are being toggled on/off and positioned based on the needs of the shot.

You can disable the Matinee Preview by unchecking the Allow Matinee Preview option from the Viewport Options menu.

Character Light Movement Tracks

CharacterLightsMovement.png

The Movement tracks for both the Primary_Light and Secondary_Light function similar to other Movement (the keyframes tell the light to move to the designated position when the keyframe is reached). You may notice that most of the keyframes on the Movement track are blue and only one keyframe on the Secondary_Light is red.

The color of the keyframes indicate which type of Interp Mode is being used for the movement, and for this scene most keyframes are set to use Constant (meaning the light will not interp to the position but will instead jump to the position). The red keyframe indicates that the Interp Mode is set to use Linear (meaning the light will interpolate smoothly between keyframes and not jump to the position).

You can change the Interp Mode by Right-Clicking on a keyframe, and if the track supports it, selecting the Interp Mode option from the context menu that appears.

Character Light Intensity, LightColor, and Radius

CharacterLightsOtherTracks.png

The Intensity, LightColor, and Radius tracks for each light allow you to modify the light's Intensity, LightColor, or Radius respectively at each placed keyframe.

The Intensity track for this scene also makes use of the Curve Editor which provides finer control of the adjustments made to the lights Intensity value.

IntensityCurveEditor.png

For more on using the Curve Editor, refer to the Curve Editor documentation.

FX Tracks (Troopers)

FX_Troopers.png

For each of the Troopers, you will see a series of Particle Effect Groups (prefixed by P_ something) with a Toggle track for each. These represent the Particle Effects (which can be found in the Game/FX/Particles/Water folder) that are toggled on during the scene and include light and heavy footstep splashes or droplets of water spraying from the characters arms as they interact with one another.

When adding a keyframe for the Toggle track, you are given the option to either set the effect to On, Off, or Trigger (which will play the effect in a one-off fashion until triggered again).

If you look in the World Outliner, you will notice that each of the emitters are parented to each of the Troopers.

CharacterParticleEffects.png

When the emitter is spawned in, Local or World Space is used to control their orientations (a foot splash for example, only the Transform is needed, so the effect would be left in World Space and the FX is authored with the Z axis up).

For more on Particle Effects, refer to the Cascade Particle Systems documentation.

FX Tracks (Takedows and TileBreaks)

FX_TakedowsTileBreaks.png

The remaining FX groups under the FX_Takedowns and FX_TileBreaks folders are used to toggle the bigger effects in the scene such as the bigger water splashes when a character hits the ground, or as the name implies, trigger the tile breaking effect seen when the characters hit the walls.

In order to see the tile breaks, you may need to run the game in the editor and not play it through Matinee as they require physics simulation to occur.

FX Takedowns (Relative Scale 3D Track)

EffectsRelativeScale.png

While the Movement and Toggle tracks have been previously discussed on this page, a new type of track is used in this section, the RelativeScale3D track which is a component of the Vector Property track.

The Vector Property track allows you to modify the value of a vector property of an Actor over time (in this case, the particle effect). Using the Curve Editor you can modify the size of this effect and how it appears in the scene.

FX TileBreaks (Event Track)

The Movement and Toggle tracks used in this section determine when the effect occurs and where, but it is the Event track that is of importance in this section.

EffectsEventTrack.png

This track is used to communicate with the Level Blueprint and fire of scripted events. In this instance, it is used to set several Static Mesh pieces (which make up the fractured pieces of tiles) to enable physics, making them fall to the floor. For each Event added via this track, a scripted event is called inside the Level Blueprint.

You can access the Static Mesh pieces that comprise the wall tiles that break apart in the Game/FX/Meshes folder under Wall_01, Wall_02, and Wall_03.

You can access the Level Blueprint by clicking the Blueprints button from the main Toolbar and selecting Open Level Blueprint.

AccessLevelBlueprint.png

Below is the Level Blueprint used in this scene (for a better view, it is recommended you view the Blueprint inside the editor).

LevelBlueprintFull.png

This Blueprint also handles resetting of the StaticMesh objects when the Matinee loops around to play the sequence again, without this portion of script, the tiles would remain broken on the ground.

For more information on working with Blueprints, refer to the Blueprints Visual Scripting documentation.

Audio Tracks

AudioTracks.png

Each of the Sound tracks inside the Audio folder that are assigned to the different troopers contain several sound assets that are played at different keyframes during the sequence. These are used to produce the majority of the impact sounds, grunts, and VO heard during the sequence.

When a sound asset is added to the Sound track, you can Right-Click on the keyframe to adjust the asset's Volume or Pitch from the context menu.

AudioVolumePitchMenu.png

Most of the sound effects used can be found in the Game/Sound/FightMatinee folder, while VO can be found in the Game/Sound/VO folder and music can be found in the Game/Sound/Music folder. You can also locate a specific asset by choosing the Find in Browser option from the context menu when Right-Clicking on a keyframe as seen in the image above.

Director Group

While the Tracks are the main course of Matinee, the Director Group and its related tracks serve up the dessert and add polish to the scene.

DirectorGroup.png

In short, with the Director Group you have access to special tracks, most importantly the Director Track (which allows you to take over the players view and assign it to different Actors in the scene, such as different cameras). You also have the ability to fade the scene in or out with the Fade Track, increase or decrease the game speed (including playback of the Matinee sequence) with the Slomo Track, control the overall Volume or Pitch of audio in the game with the Audio Master Track, or modify the color of the scene through the Color Scale Track.

For more information on the Tracks available in Matinee, including the Director Group tracks, refer to the Matinee Track Reference documentation.

Director Track

DirectorTrack.png

In this Matinee sequence, the Director track is used mostly to switch between different camera perspectives (mostly designated to using the "shake" cameras which are children of other cameras that control its main movement).

You can add Shots to the Director Track by pressing the Enter key at the desired location in the sequence. When a key is added, you are presented with a context menu which will allow you to select a Group to cut to for the shot (typically these are Camera Actors).

DirectorTrackGroupSelect.png

Slomo Track

SlomoTrack.png

The Slomo Track was used quite frequently throughout this sequence, not just to slow the scene down at times, but also to speed it up. When you Right-Click on a keyframe that has been added to this track, you can choose Set Value to assign the new game speed at that particular time.

A Value of 1 represents the default game speed and anything lower than 1 will slow the scene down while increased numbers will speed the game up. For the majority of the scene, the value hovers between 1 and 1.2 with the occasional sequence where the game speed is slowed down (at the keyframe in the image above for example, game speed was slowed down to 0.2).

Fade Track

FadeTrack.png

The Fade Track is typically only used to fade in the beginning of the scene or fade the scene out at the end (and is the case here). When you Right-Click on a keyframe that has been added on this track, you can choose Set Value to assign the value of the fade at that particular time (similar to the Slomo Track). The Fade Track's default value is 0 which means the scene is not faded out, a value of 1 renders a faded out scene and a black screen.

In this example, the introduction fade in however is using a Constant interpolation whereas the ending fade is using a Linear interpolation between keyframes (you will notice that the intro fade is goes from 0 to 1 rather quickly while the ending fade which goes from 1 to 0 is much smoother and fades the scene out).

Remember, you can Right-Click on a keyframe and choose Interp Mode to set the type of interpolation between keyframes used.

Sound Tracks

Inside the Director Group, you will notice that several additional Sound Tracks have been added which include more sound effects, music and ambient sounds.

DirectorGroupSoundTracks.png

The Sound tracks included in the Director Group could also have been placed and lumped in with the Sound tracks under the Audio folder in the Tracks Window, however for clarity purposes as these effects enhance the audio and may be deemed as polish, they are included here (you could place them in either section however).

One thing to note about this section, the Music is split into two different tracks and does not use a single "master" music track to supply the score but instead uses smaller snippets that are placed to accentuate the scene based on the visuals that are taking place.

Audio Master Track

AudioMasterTrack.png

The Audio Master track included in this scene is there to normalize the audio to a standard volume and pitch (which are set to the default of 1). No other keyframes are placed on this track for this example, however depending upon your needs, you could add keyframes to reduce the overall volume or adjust the pitch if you desired.

You could use this track to fade out any audio that you have in your scene (such as music, sound effects, etc.) by adding two keyframes which interp between the values 1 and 0 for the Volume setting.

Event Track

DirectorGroupEvent.png

The Event track in the Director Group is used to reset the physics objects that are toggled on during the scene (these are the Static Mesh tile pieces that break apart when the characters hit the walls).

If you open the Level Blueprint, the section of script that is executed when this event is called is outlined below (it is recommended that you view the full Blueprint inside the editor).

EventResetBlueprint.png

Matinee Tips and Tricks

In this section, we will cover some of the techniques used to create the fight scene as well as provide some tips and tricks to help generate your own scenes.

Camera Transitions

One of the first Camera tips you will see used quite frequently in this Matinee sequence is in regards to camera movement. If you take a look at the Director track, each time a cut is made to a different camera, on that camera's Movement track you will notice that a keyframe has been placed prior to the cut occurring (see below).

CameraMovementTip.png

While the Director track is calling for Camera_Shake3, remember that its parent camera (Camera_3) will dictate the main movement path, while the view and "shaky" movement is assigned to Camera_Shake3. Placing a keyframe to start movement for Camera_3 before the cut occurs provides a smoother transition into the cut as the camera is already in motion when cut to rather than cutting to the camera and then starting movement.

Locking the Editor View to a Camera

While the Matinee Editor is open, you can click on any of the tracks and it will automatically select the Actor (if the track is attached to an Actor) in the editor's viewport. With the Actor selected, you can then lock the viewports view to that Actor (a camera Actor for example).

Click the image for full view.

In box 1, a keyframe on the Movement track of Camera_1 has been selected. The camera assigned to the Camera_1 group in Matinee, Camera1, is shown as selected in the viewport in box 2 and selected in the World Outliner in box 3.

Inside the viewport, if you click the Viewport Options dropdown menu and uncheck the Allow Matinee Preview options...

LockCamera_DisablePreview.png

Then click the Viewport Options dropdown menu again, you will see the option to Lock Viewport to Actor and the extended window will allow you to select the Actor to lock it to (Camera1 in this case).

EnableLockCamera.png

After selecting to lock the camera, you will see a lock icon in the upper left corner of the viewport indicating that the view is now locked to an Actor.

LockCameraIcon.png

While holding the Right Mouse Button down, you can now use the W, A, S, D keys to fly the camera into the position you would like for your shot at the selected keyframe, viewing it from the camera's perspective.

With the Right Mouse Button held down, you can also press the E key to move the camera up and the Q key to move the camera down.

You will need to re-enable Allow Matinee Preview after moving your camera in order to resume previewing the full Matinee sequence, but this method of locking the viewport to a camera is useful for moving your cameras into your desired positions.

Handheld "Shaky" Camera Tips

The process of adding keyframes to the Movement track to create that shaky handheld look can be quite daunting at first glance, however, this tip may speed up the process.

For the shot that is to utilize this type of movement, first establish the Start and End keyframes of where you want the camera to start and end at for the shot.

ShakyTip_StartAndEnd.png

Next, grab the Time Bar and scrub through the shot, periodically pressing Enter to add a keyframe until you reach the end keyframe. Since this is ambient movement, it does not necessarily need to be evenly spaced out but a general distance between each keyframe is good for clarity.

ShakyTip_EditingKeyFrames.png

Using the method of Locking the Editor View to a Camera described above, you can now select each keyframe and move the camera slightly at each keyframe.

Depending on the level of shake you want, you may need to increase the movement. Generally speaking, subtle movements are better and are not as jarring as big movements (which could be used for impacts like hitting the wall or floor, punching a character, etc.). Also, movement can be as simple as simply rotating the view instead of moving the camera's position. You will have to play with it and scrub through the sequence to get the best result.

Slow Motion Keyframing

There are different ways you can approach adding slow motion sequences in your scene.

You could add three keyframes, where the first keyframe is the normal game speed, the second keyframe is the slow motion target speed, and the third keyframe returns you to the normal game speed again.

SlowMoExample1.png

This is the example used in this sequence, where the first and last keyframes are set to 1 and the keyframe in the middle is set to 0.2. This will blend the game speed down from 1 to 0.2 and back to 1 over the course of the allotted timeframe.

There may be an instance however where you do not want the speed to change during the slow motion sequence but remain constant. In this situation, you could use 4 keyframes where the first two keyframes blend from your normal speed down to your target speed and the last two keyframes blend from your target speed back to normal speed.

SlowMoExample2.png

In this example, the speed between the second and third keyframes will not change and the sequence will play at the same speed over the course of the allotted timeframe.

Helpful Matinee View Options

Inside the Matinee Editor under View from the file menu, there are two options which are useful that you may want to enable.

ViewOption1.png ViewOption2.png
Zoom To Time Cursor Position Allow Keyframe Bar Selection

Both of the options above are off by default and can be enabled from the View menu.

Zoom To Time Cursor Position will allow you to Mouse Wheel up (to zoom in) or down (to zoom out) from the current location of the Time Bar. When scrubbing through your sequence, with this option off, it can be a bit of a nuisance to have to move the scroll bar over to the new location of the Time Bar (this option alleviates that issue).

Allow Keyframe Bar Selection is useful in that it allows you to click on the bar associated with a keyframe to select it rather than having to click on the keyframe itself.

KeyframeBarSelect.png

In the image above, clicking anywhere on the purple bar will select the keyframe associated with this shot whereas with the option off, you would need to click on the actual keyframe itself to select it.

Playback Shortcuts

You can use these keyboard shortcuts to control playback of the Matinee sequence:

Shortcut Description
P This will Play the sequence or Pause the sequence from its current location.
L This will only Play the sequence from its current location.
K This will Stop the sequence at its current location.
J This will play the sequence in Reverse from its current location.

Scene Composition

Here are a few tips to creating more interesting and cohesive scene compositions, keep these in mind when setting up your shots and finalizing your sequence:

Screen Direction

Be aware of Screen Direction. If you establish a character that appears on the left side of the screen and an enemy appears on the right, it is important to maintain that fidelity and not have them switch side during a camera cut. You can have them switch sides, but you may want to showcase them switching before cutting.

Rule of Thirds

Try to make use of the Rule of Thirds in some of your shots. This is a general photography guideline that proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.

RuleofThirdsMatinee.png
Center Shot vs. Rule of Thirds Shot Matinee Example

Framing Your Shots

Framing your shots, or drawing attention to the subject of the shot by blocking other parts of the shot with something else in the scene, can give your shots more context and add a sense of depth or layers to the shot.

Take for instance the shot below:

FramingShots1.png

Notice the shot is framed by the pipes connected to the wall and the dead body on the floor.

This could have easily been shot in a much tighter shot, cropping those elements out and keeping the characters in full view, however the scene is not as visually interesting.

FramingShots2b.png

Leading Lines

Another photography based practice that you can use in your shots is Leading Lines, which lead your eyes to a character or object in your scenes.

Take for instance the shot below:

LeadingLines1.png

The pipes along the wall and floor move in a direction that leads your eyes to the characters in the scene.

Another example would be the sequence below:

LeadingLines2.png

This shot, although it does not have a character in it, setups up the next shot:

LeadingLines2b.png

Make It Your Own (Editing the Matinee)

This section will show you how you can start modifying the scene with a few examples to make it your own remixed version.

Getting Started

First thing you will want to do is save the MatineeFightScene level as a new level to preserve the original version.

You can do that by selecting SaveAs from the File menu (or by pressing Control+Shift+S), then save the map by giving it a new name.

You could also create a Template using this project for new projects. Refer to the Converting a Project to a Template documentation for more info.

Editing Example

Below is an example remix of the original sequence:

As you can see from the video, there a number of different things you can do to modify the scene. In the video above, the following modifications were used:

  • New camera angles were used in some shots.

  • New shaky camera movement was added and bigger impact shaky cameras were used in some shots.

  • New first person perspective was used in a couple shots by adjusting keyframes on the camera's Movement tracks.

  • For each camera used in the scene, under the Film settings for each, the Saturation and Contrast values were set to 0.0 to produce the black-and-white feel.

  • All sound was stripped and replaced with a single music score.

  • The majority of the scene was played at a game speed of 0.7 (with the exception of the slowmo sequences which were set to 0.08).

  • A new cut-away shot was added of the skull on the main stairwell.

You could also try rearranging the cuts in the sequence or repositioning the characters in the scene (or using a different scene entirely), adding different particle or sound effects, adjusting the Depth of Field or Character Lighting or other settings to make it your own!