Sequencer for Linear Animation Workflows | SIGGRAPH 2019 | Unreal Engine

Sequencer for Linear Animation Workflows | SIGGRAPH 2019 | Unreal Engine


>>So, this morning we are
going to talk about Sequencer and linear animation
workflows. Hope you have had
a good SIGGRAPH so far. Let me play you a little
sequence that I have made, talk about workflows
in Sequencer. And for those of you
who are not familiar, Sequencer is a tool
that is embedded inside of Unreal Engine. It is freely available
like everything else inside of Unreal Engine, and if you are not familiar
with Sequencer, Unreal Engine
is a non-linear environment where you can basically build
and play games, and also you can do
all kinds of things, as we can discover
about the Engine. But Sequencer,
very specifically, is a linear animation
workflow tool, but you can also sequence just about anything
inside of Sequencer. And one of the really
powerful things is that as a workflow tool, it is being used very
extensively now in Hollywood for making all types
of experiences, because you can do anything
in sort of a linear timeline. And if you are experienced
with working in After Effects or any type of,
you know, Avid systems where you have got
an animation workflow, you are going to be
very familiar with these types of tools. So, today what we are
going to focus on primarily is workflows behind using this. So, let us roll the
experience that I have built, so that you can sort of
see it run through. And what I have got here is a camera moving
through an environment, and then our hero character
appears in the space. And then the environment
begins to change a little bit. And then everything changes, and he has got
to get out of there. So, it is not a very
complicated environment, but the first thing
I want to point out is that this
is not a movie, this is a live environment
that I can scrub through, and if I eject from my camera, you can actually see that this
is actually a real-time scene, and that I can scrub
through it, and that all the things that
are occurring in this space are actually happening
in real-time. So, this weather change
that is occurring, and the environmental effects
are all happening, and I have full control
over how they happen, and when they happen. So, the time of changes and the effects changes
that are occurring are things that I am driving
in the environment. And I want to show you
how I am doing this, and how you can do it as well.
So, what you see here below, if you are not familiar
with Sequencer, is the actual
Sequencer panel. And I can actually
pull this panel off and have it float in space
here anywhere I want, or dock it anywhere,
and this is basically Sequencer. And if you have never
really worked with Sequencer, you can access Sequencer
in any couple of different ways. We have got a cinematics
dropdown in our toolbar where you can create
a Level Sequence or a Master Sequence,
or you can anywhere down here in the content browser
right-click and through the animations tab,
create a new Level Sequence. And that is basically
what I have done. I have created a couple
of level sequences, and I have nested them
in this Master Sequence. I will go ahead
and dock Sequencer again here next
to my content browser, because it gives me a nice,
wide view of it. And I will sort of break down what I have done
in my Master Sequence. The very first track
is my camera cuts track, and this is where
I actually manage my cameras. And what I am going to do is
turn off my fade track down here just by coming down
and deactivating it so it does not fade anymore, and you can see all of
the cameras that I am using, shot for shot.
And now, one of the most powerful
things about Unreal Engine is that it is a
physically-based engine, and all of my cameras
are physically-based cameras. And so we will talk about them
a little bit later, because I actually
have full film backs and lens kits that I can drive,
full depth of field, and I can actually use f-stops,
and all the things that, if you are familiar
with photography, or working in Hollywood
with real-world cameras, you will totally understand as you are working
inside of Sequencer. But the next scene here
is the sub scenes track, and inside of my sub
scenes track is a really powerful
and important workflow, because I have created
these sub scenes, and inside of them, I have basically nested
a character track and an effects track. And I can burrow down
in each one of these. The first one is
my character anim track. And you can see
as I double-click it, and I hit the home key to put it
inside of my play area, this is where the character
is moving through the space. And I can scrub through
my character animation, and you can see here that there is a couple
of different workflows that you can use
inside of Sequencer. You can use a spawnable workflow
or a possessable workflow. And the difference is, is that when you are using
a possessable workflow, I can place my character
inside of the environment, and then Sequencer
can actually grab him, and then do whatever
I want to within Sequencer while it is loaded.
So, in this case, I have actually placed the
character in the environment. And if I step
outside of Sequencer, I can find him and see that
he just exists in the world. But then the minute
I step into my timeline, you can see that
Sequencer grabs him, and then assigns him
whatever animations that I put inside
of the timeline. In this case, I have assigned
him a loop walk animation. So, he starts walking
through the space, and then he transitions
to a whole separate animation. And this is very easy
to do and very powerful, because we have the ability
to align animations end to end and then blend them over time. So, in this case, he transitions
from a walk animation to a jog animation. And I have full control over
how these animations blend. I can go to my options, and you can see that I can blend
these animations in a variety of different ways, if I want them to ease in,
or ease out, or blend in a variety
of different ways, I have got full control
over that. So, in this particular sequence, I am looping
from a walk to a jog, all the way to a run. And if I wanted to add
another animation to the end, I totally could.
And one of the cool things, if I decide to delete my run
animation here in the end, you can see that now all of a
sudden he runs out of animation. He is no longer animating. So, I can decide to bring
in another animation right here in the end by choosing
from my animation library. And these are all the animations
that are available to me, and these are basically
small motion-capture animations that I have got in
the library available to me, and I can go
and find any one of them. And if I come up to my animation
library for my character, these are all freely available, as is this environment
from the Unreal Engine learn tab or the Marketplace.
And I can see that I have got basically all of these
animations available to me. And this is the run animation. And what I have done
is I have now launched the animation editor
inside of Unreal Engine, and this is all the animations
that are available. And I can browse through
all of them. I can either choose
run in place, or I can choose run and stop. So, let us say that I wanted
to change the animation, he is running
and stopping all of a sudden. So, I can come back
into Sequencer and say, well,
let us choose run, or let us choose run,
run to stand. So now as he is moving
through the space, he runs, and then he stops.
Now, what you see also is that I have got
a transformation track above, and I have keyed his location
over time and space. So, I would have to change
that animation. So, for now,
let us get rid of this one and just drop
run back into place, and let us see how
that interpolation works. So, I will just run back in here
and grab my run animation, and as he moves through
the space, there is running, but you see that
that run animation is actually pretty short.
If I wanted to extend it, all I need to do
is just drag it out, and I have run all the way
to the end of the cycle. And if I want to interpolate it,
all I need to do is, just like most editing
software, just drag it over, and it automatically transitions
from jog to run, and it will blend between
the two animations. So, as I zoom out,
and if I wanted him to run all the way
to the end of the sequence, he will continue
to run indefinitely until the sequence runs out. So, very easy
to stack animations end to end and get a result like this one. Let me show you
another variation of this so you get the idea
of how it works. If I go into my Animation
Character Level Sequences, here I have another variation
that we can take a look at. In this case,
the character is running. And let us zoom
over to the other side so we can see it
from a different angle. And he walks,
and he goes into his jog cycle, and then he stops,
he looks around a little bit, and then he continues his jog
and heads off screen. Now, one of the really
amazing workflows is that I can have an animator
working on these blends in a sub scene
like this, completely separate. And so my animator can be
working on these sub sequences while a completely
different Sequencer artist is working on
a Master Sequence, or a completely different artist
is working on the effects track. So, let us open up
the environment track, and this particular
artist is working on changing
the environmental effects. So, in this case, this is a completely
different Level Sequence. And in this Level Sequence,
what I have done is I have taken all the elements
that create the sky, here I have got
my directional light, and I am going to hit the G key,
so I am no longer in game mode. And you can see now that I have got
my directional light selected, and I have selected
all the elements that I want to animate
inside of Sequencer. In this case,
I have got my intensity, my light color,
my temperature, I also have
volumetric scattering, my light shaft occlusion
and bloom. I also have my Sky Light.
My Sky Light is responsible for all the ambient light
in the environment. And I have all the streetlights
in the environment as well. Every one of these streetlights has been brought
inside of Sequencer. So, all the illumination in the
environment is accounted for. Now, if I wanted to bring in
anything inside of Sequencer, all I need to do is say,
maybe I want a new light, I can say I want
this point light, or this, well, I do not want
a new directional light. Let us bring in a new point
light into the scene. If I wanted this new light to be
brought inside of Sequencer, all I need to do is say,
let us have this light as well. So, I can go to
my tracks button here, and just say,
add a point light. And now it is available
to me as well. And any animatable parameter, which is any one of these
little tick-box elements, is now available for me
to animate inside of Sequencer. I do not need it,
so I will get rid of that guy. So, that is how I got
all of my lights inside of here. Now, some of the other elements
that I brought in are my fog. This is my exponential
height fog, and I am going to
change that over time. I am also going to change
my atmospheric fog, and I am also going
to change the clouds. I want the clouds over time to start broiling much more
violently across the sky. I also want to change
the post process. I want to change the global
exposure in the scene, and I also want
to change the intensity of basically all the mood,
my contrast in the scene, and use a lookup table to basically make everything
much more moody. And finally, I want
to bring in some clouds. So, as the time rolls
and the rain starts to happen, I have got some clouds
that roll into the space. And then finally, one of
the most powerful tools that is available to me is that I can take all the
Materials on all the buildings, and all the Meshes
in the world, and take all the scaler
values that drive roughness, and take a little
Material function, and make everything
become wet. And not only wet,
but I can take all the drips that I use a normal map
to effect, and watch this. If I zoom in close
to this corner, over time, everything starts
to accumulate water. And watch the street here.
It begins nice and dry, but because I can actually,
within Sequencer, reach in and talk to every
Material in the environment, I can actually change
the sidewalk from nice, dry, ashy sunny day to a nice,
moist and rainy effected. So, if we watch
this whole thing play out without the camera authoring, the whole environment changes
from a nice dry day to a very overcast sunny day with the vapor
lights kicking on. Let me hit the G key again so you can watch it
from a distance. As all the weather
systems kick in at once. Now, the rain,
how is the rain happening? Okay, so the rain is actually
just a particle system. Actually, a series
of particle systems. There is a whole bunch
of them in the environment, and they are always there. I have got to stand
in the light, because the film guys told
me not to stand there. And so the rain is always there, but I am actually
reaching in within Sequencer and telling the Texture
not to show up at the beginning
of the scene, right? So, there is always
a texture map there, and the rain is always falling, and actually,
I can prove it to you. Let me select the rain.
I can go into my World Outliner and find all of the rain
in the scene. Here is all my rainstorm stuff. And even when I scrub all
the way to the very beginning, there it still is. Even if I hit escape
and De-select it all, look, the rain is still there,
even if you cannot see it. Why? Because I have taken the Texture
that is the raindrops and made them invisible.
So, what have I done? I cheated. Sue me, right?
That is what we do in real-time. We cheat a lot. And it is okay.
It is okay if you cheat. Actually making
things run really, really fast is an exercise in learning to cheat really,
really well. So, if I play this over time, you can just watch it transition
nice and slowly. And everything kicks in,
and the fog starts to change. The light begins to change. The clouds come in, they start
to broil more intently. The streetlights kick in. All the surfaces
begin to change, and it becomes a moody day now.
For those of you who have watched
The Weather Channel, this is how they are doing
all the storms, and this is how basically a lot
of those effects are being done. This is a more
simplified version, but a lot of that happens
in this linear-type workflow. Now, this is once again
one Level Sequence. Let us talk about how all of it
gets assembled as a Master Sequence. If I go back to my master
sequence here and I open that up, what I was just showing you
is now sitting right here. And I can bring in any one
of these as a sub scene track. So, if I click on
my sub scene track, these are all
the level sequences that I have created,
and one of the powerful things about the workflow
of using sub scene tracks is that I can now move these
anywhere along the timeline. So, if I want my Character
to move at a different pace, I can just move this track.
I have locked it at the moment, so if I unlock it,
I can move my Character along any way I want.
I am going to undo that, because it will
break my cameras, but then I can lock it. so, if I have done something,
and I do not want somebody to mess up my timing
for my cameras, I can always lock my tracks,
so that things work as planned. So, I have created
two different tracks, for maybe I had a couple
of different artists. I had the effects artists
working on one level track, and I had my animators
working on another level track, and now I am the Sequencer
artist reassembling all this. And now I give it to layout,
and I say, let us create an experience,
let us create some cameras. You can bring
all of this together now in a Master Sequence.
And one of the workflows, you saw how all of this stuff
is being possessed by Sequencer. Now, the other workflow
is to be spawned by Sequencer. These cameras do not exist
in this environment. Sequencer is actually going to
spawn these cameras on the fly. And you can do this with all of
the elements that I showed you, because that is one of the great
powers of Sequencer, is that it actually can spawn
all the elements that it needs, use them as it needs it, and then flush them
out of memory. So, in this case, all of
these cameras are created, and if I needed
to create another camera, I am going to lock
through my camera cutscene. You can see that my cameras have
been moved through the space. And let us say I wanted
to create a new camera. Let us say right about here, I want to transition
to a new camera. I can always spawn a new camera
right at this location, and I can do that just
by clicking on this new camera. And it is going to create
a new camera, and it created one that I do not
like the naming of, so I will delete that one
and create a new one, and it created a new camera that
I do not like the naming of. So, I will try it one more time.
There we go. And all I need to do
is now move this new camera to where I want it.
So, let us– you can see that I am
in pilot mode for that camera, so I can decide to move
that camera maybe down to this angle,
catch a nice, low angle of my Character
running through the space, and I have got
all of these controls, because our cinematic cameras
have full film backs that all conform
to Hollywood standards. And they also have lens kits that conform
to Hollywood standards. And they all have accurate
aperture settings, so if I really wanted
a great depth of field, and I wanted to
pull my camera back, really get a nice blur
in my foreground element here, so this was nice
and blurry as he ran by, I can get all that control
right here in my camera. And then I have got the ability
to use this eyedropper to focus directly
on my Character, and then I can
actually use this plane to decide exactly where
I am focusing my attention. And I can turn that guy off. And now I can assign
that to my camera cuts. So, I can bind
this new camera in place, and you can see it
creates a new cut there. So, as I am moving
through my scene, as the Character runs by,
it swaps to the new camera, and maybe right about there, I am going to swap back
to the original camera, which I believe is camera ten. And we get a new cut right
in place as he runs by there. So, now let us play
the whole thing. We will re-enable
our fade track, and let us play it all back
and see how it runs before they kick me off stage.
I am going to hit F11 so we can watch the whole thing
in full screen mode. You can see the depth
of field kicking in. You can see that I have got
all my burn-ins in the bottom. When I render this out, all my burn-ins
are available to me. There is my new camera. There you have it. It is very simple,
very powerful, and from a workflow perspective, you can divide the work
across many different animators, many different effects artists,
start to layer your cameras. One of the other
powerful things is that you have got
a visibility track, so you can actually segment
all the different layers inside of a level so that
you can make visibility tracks. So, if you have got
different lighting, you can turn lighting
on and off for completely different
looks and feels, and have whole
different environments exposed and unexposed. So, I hope that was
informative and helpful. Sequencer is an
incredibly powerful tool, that is only getting
powerful each version. In version 4.23, there is
a whole host of new features that are even going to
make it more amazing. So, hope you guys have
a great rest of your SIGGRAPH, and stay tuned for some
next presentations that are also going
to be great. Thank you very much.

7 thoughts to “Sequencer for Linear Animation Workflows | SIGGRAPH 2019 | Unreal Engine”

  1. hey bro can you make a tutorial on horror kit and buy it -19.99usd=1,438.33 Indian Rupee from the unreal marketplace -(https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/en-US/slug/low-poly-horror-kit) and give the link for free download

    please

  2. Great video.
    Is there any full tutorial over creating sub level sequence? Such as creating walk to run animation blend and making a master sequencer?

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