Cutscenes In Unity, Part 1: Creating The Scene

What is the first thing a cutscene needs? Content to show! Let’s set up the world that the cutscene will showcase.

Real name changed to protect the identity of those involved. 😉Lol nope, it’s totally John’s fault.

Today’s Objective: Set up the scene with content for the cutscene.

The Process:

Before creating a cutscene, we need to establish what it will show. In my case, I have a convenient director’s brief detailing the plan.

This cutscene will show a thief, “Darren”, sneaking up to John, stealing his security keycard while John sleeps on the job, and then looking at John with an expression of mocking satisfaction.

The cutscene will include multiple camera angles, transitions, and panning/rotation.

This is also just a guide, and I will be making some slight alterations which you may notice later.

The Scene:

While the player is playing in the level, John exists at his desk.

In this case, he just sleeps. But he could be doing anything during gameplay. You don’t know John’s life!

Moving on… During the cutscene, John MUST just sleep while Darren steals his card. To ensure this (and this is more often used on more complex scenes) we will substitute “gameplay-John” for “cutscene-John” to do the cutscene work.

Like a stunt double!

Of a sleeping man!

…Yes.

I have a prefab already which contains animations for John and Darren ready for the cutscene. When the cutscene starts, I will disable gameplay-John and gameplay-Darren, then enable the prefab containing cutscene-John and cutscene-Darren, have the cutscene play out, then reverse the enabling/disabling.

This seperation of actors means that I can decide which cutscene changes affect the gameplay scene. I can also make the cutscene a higher quality if I wanted to (as many games do).

Position the cutscene actors in place and disable the cutscene prefab object:

Now the scene is set up with environment and actors, it is ready for the camera setup. Check my next post for that!

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Unity game developer / C# Programmer / Gamer. Australian (Tasmanian) indie games developer for 10+ years. Currently looking for games industry employment.

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Vincent Taylor

Vincent Taylor

Unity game developer / C# Programmer / Gamer. Australian (Tasmanian) indie games developer for 10+ years. Currently looking for games industry employment.

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