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Unity Unite Now Live Q&A -Cinemachine: Powerful Camera Tools for Games and Film

Discussion in 'Cinemachine' started by AskCarol, May 8, 2020.

  1. AskCarol

    AskCarol

    Unity Technologies

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    Feel free to post your questions before, after and during the session.


    Unite Now Session

    Cinemachine is a suite of powerful camera modules useful in games and in film. We’ll chat directly with advanced users leveraging Cinemachine in both forms, discuss the future of the product, and then have a live Q&A session with these creators and the Unity Cinemachine team.


    When
    Thu, May 28, 9:00 AM PT


    Where
    You can watch the session here!
    Make sure to sign up to get access to all Unite Now content.


    ______________________


    A team of product experts from across Unity will be available during and after the session. Our Community team will continue to field questions to foster an ongoing discussion with the community. Please feel free to ask your questions in this thread.


    Some basic rules

    • Only questions related to the topics of the session are permitted.


    • All questions will be fielded by our Community Managers (@LeonhardP and @AskCarol)
      • Replies will have to be approved by the moderators to show up in the thread.


      • Once approved, the questions will be forwarded to the relevant experts.

    We really look forward to hearing from the community.

    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
    mandisaw likes this.
  2. Livealot

    Livealot

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    For all the new stuff, please share live demos of how to use it. For example, you mentioned Impulse Cam as you showed a teaser video of the result, but no detail on how to take advantage of it.

    I think Cinemachine has a ton of great, but unused, features because there is no content showing how to use any of it. The last video of Cinemachine + Timeline that I can find seems to be 3 years old.
     
  3. marc_tanenbaum

    marc_tanenbaum

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi Livealot! All the examples we showed in the presentation (and more!) are available through the samples we provide via Package Manager. :)
    • Create a project.
    • Install Cinemachine (2.6 in this case) via Package Manager
    • STILL in Package Manager, scroll down and click the Samples button. This will import all the samples into your project.
    You can now see the Impulse feature, along with all the others and examples of how to use them.

    [EDIT] Oh, and I should mention that we are indeed working on some new tutorial content/ [/EDIT]
     
    mandisaw likes this.
  4. Livealot

    Livealot

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    That's great to hear. I'd encourage you to take a look at the videos @peeweekVFX is doing. It's one thing to have a nice, completed example of a bonfire in a repo somewhere. And it's a totally different thing to watch a power user go through the mechanics, choices, trade-offs and nooks and crannies of the interface that you would have never seen by just opening up the completed project.

    For Cinemachine, I was really hoping this Unite livestream was going to be something like that. The feature set and possibilities are so vast, I think you could do a weekly show and not run out of content for a year.
     
    marc_tanenbaum likes this.
  5. sinjinn

    sinjinn

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    I thought this would be more busier. Cinemachine is awesome, and when I say awesome, I mean awesome. I'm just struggling to make content worthy enough to use it.

    I actually did think this was going to be a tutorial of some sort though. Like, I thought that this was a "Lets study together" type of thing. I agree with Livealot. This tool is amazing.
     
    marc_tanenbaum likes this.
  6. marc_tanenbaum

    marc_tanenbaum

    Unity Technologies

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    Thanks @sinjinn!

    We had a lively discussion at the event, but that hasn't translated to as many questions here as I might have expected. I'm glad to hear you're excited by Cinemachine. Make sure you post any questions you have in this forum and we'll do our level best to answer them. And we do have educational content in the works. Always so much to do! Never enough time!
     
    mandisaw likes this.
  7. transat

    transat

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    May 5, 2018
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    Hi. First of all I'd like to say that Cinemachine rocks - it's definitely one of the best features of Unity. I'd even go so far as to say that non Cinemachine cameras should be deprecated.

    Question: I'm setting up a state driven rig at the moment - do the states have to be Animator states or can they be entirely custom-coded ?
     
  8. Gregoryl

    Gregoryl

    Unity Technologies

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    States have to be Animator states in order to use StateDrivenCamera. However, it's quite possible to write a custom vcam switcher that is driven by other input. Can you elaborate a little on what you's like to do?
     
  9. transat

    transat

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    What I'd like is for my custom character states to show up as options in the existing StateDrivenCamera camera rig. Ideally it would be as simple as adding an interface to my states, or something like that. Creating a custom vcam switcher would also work I suppose, though would require a bit more effort for amateur coders such as myself.

    My issue is that I'm not using the Animator to drive my animations. I'm using the excellent MxM Motion Matching from the asset store.
     
  10. Gregoryl

    Gregoryl

    Unity Technologies

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    A custom script that polls your character state and associates vcams with specific states, activating the one corresponding to the current character state, sounds like the right approach.
     
    transat likes this.
  11. mandisaw

    mandisaw

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    People tend to have more questions in the moment, during the talk, than afterwards. Or they have questions/issues way down the line, when working in their project, and don't want to resurrect a necro'd thread.

    But I'm happy to post a question/suggestion we didn't have time for at the Live:

    Cinemachine tends to describe its features in film/TV production terminology (Pan/Tilt, Dolly, Follow, Shot Framing, etc). But game developers, especially indies and/or newcomers, are often not versed in that lingo at all. Gamers think in terms of "First Person" vs "Third Person" vs "Top Down" Cameras (and of course many variants thereof).

    I have a foot in both communities, so I've experienced first-hand that glassed-over look when you speak the wrong lingo at the wrong meetup :oops:

    The mini-tutorials that already exist are still pretty good, but the way search works, you have to use the right terms. Perhaps some kind of "translation table" could be set up with both TV/film & game terms for each common camera technique/effect, pointing to mini-tutorials & corresponding samples/docs.

    For instance, this bit of combat in Breath of the Wild:
    Gamer/GameDev would say: "Third-person, over the shoulder, multiple-target -> single-target"
    TV/Film Camera Op/Produer would say: "Extra Wide-angle & Pan to frame all combatants -> Tighter angle & Follow-cam on Link"
     
    gaborkb likes this.
  12. marc_tanenbaum

    marc_tanenbaum

    Unity Technologies

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    Hi @mandisaw. Thanks for the comment. The only reason I didn't respond more promptly is that you're hitting on something important (and difficult), which I discussed with the team. As you correctly point out, naming is hard, especially when different domains come into play. We've talked a lot about how we can work on naming...maybe even renaming parts of the tool...for the future. But getting that naming to then be queryable in code, in samples, in documentation, etc, in a way that speaks to different audiences is a big task. I guess I can't give you an answer per se, but I can tell you it's something we're thinking a lot about.
     
    mandisaw likes this.
  13. mandisaw

    mandisaw

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    Thanks for the frank response @marc_tanenbaum :) I honestly wouldn't attempt - or even suggest! - renaming the various Cinemachine elements/features. Besides the considerable logistical & SEO challenges, to my mind naming a *cinematic* tool with Film/TV-first terminology is quite appropriate.

    The easier, and IMO "stickier" approach would be to focus on educating Game-centric creators on the terms that describe the visuals they are already familiar with from both games & movies.

    That allows devs to not only better use Cinemachine, but also seek out further information/tutorials that can only make them better at interactive audiovisual storytelling.

    Renaming the CM toolset versus teaching game devs how to speak an increasingly game-adjacent "language" is akin to that "teach a man to fish" adage.

    Thanks for listening - looking forward to whatever the team comes up with.
     
    gaborkb and marc_tanenbaum like this.
  14. adammarcwilliams

    adammarcwilliams

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    Any news on the app to control Virtual Cameras with your phone that Adam mentioned was heavily into production? Or the techno crane?

    Would love functionality similar to Unreal's Virtual Camera plugin so I can use an ARKit enabled app to have 6DoF control of my camera and record takes.
     
  15. Post-StructuralistCybernetics

    Post-StructuralistCybernetics

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    I'm a film and media student at KU in Lawrence Kansas. I got introduced to unity in a game theory class and designed a game and decided to commit my capstone project to a UNITY hybrid design film in which I want to use AR and unity control for animation sequences in mars unity. This January I was excited to take a course by circuit stream that was hopefully focused on the unpacking of HDRP/VFX graph/cinemachine and unity pipeline with new tools for VR sculpting--it has been unfortunately cancelled. I have been looking at other classes such as LA FILM school for animation rigging in unity. I want a film directed education to merge into unity uses not a game direction to merge into animation, meaning to day most of the schools that teach unity want unity as a game engine that can be used for animations. New unity domains and disciplines in film design principles are much needed disambiguation for new entrants into the unity developer space. Besides the obvious c# issues of learning how to think about cameras with code and challenges in a design principle with XR development for AR, the many inputs between real time AR design for spaces (filming locations) to film in real time need packages that allow camera designers such as z-cam to have android capability to upload an AR game for filming on a z-cam or other android compatible camera that focuses on shaders and raw footage. The decisive reason I want unity for film is the GPU and processing in real time for previzzing a space and the options to build with mars unity for markers and onTrigger events in animations. I want to bystep the Maya pipeline and use vr masterpiece/motion and occulus medium for design and have a way to work between medium/masterpeice and unity. I feel I am innovating a pipeline process that is in an emergent space of development. Most academic institutions dont offer film unity classes. Many online tutorials lack cohesive pipeline managment and for me I feel a studio envinroment is the only place where problems are being solved in a real time space for getting an aesthetic quality to a film where new technology is required. Unity this year should make the effort to prevent the "segregated thinking," that animation for film in unity and game design animations in unity require a domain approach that colleges and universities have to decide which it is in a career path. Meaning, I dont want to dedicated right now to a game design goal but rather a film design goal that can work within a game design application. I want a game to distribute my film that has a UI for AR overlay and then scenes of film that move through a three act structure (onTrigger/Marker events) then have UI events with xr interactable for interaction with characters and animation. And finally a AR scene where the characters can be interacted with. All that said, where is the root of the best education in film uses of UNITY right now that offer classes? I feel the online tutorials lack a modular and expansive means for a cohesive project. Paying per hour to unity fails to provide a certificate program. I would no be in opposed to pay for 1:1 unity learning to focus a projects VFX graph and HDRP with specific pipeline development for my project but will 1:1 learning with unity instructors at a hourly basis be able to provide me with the skills I need to persist in my project? Please let me know where UNITY certified classes for 3d graphics uses of unity and top academic institutions are currently developing UNITY FOR FILM classes that focus on the aesthetics of a film domain based unity language and largely that focuses on the cinematography for AR interpolated spaces with occlusion and unity mars. I really want to find a academic program that wants to work developers with camera technology for AR capture that can develop for z-cam and other camera technologies that have aesthetic goals with raw footage. I am sure as I get going down this line of reasoning I will find many alternatives to cameras for AR android based operations to capture footage with mars unity and AR onTrigger (in camera footage capture -lighting shading ) events and markers in unity mars to construct scenes based on locations. Yet for now I feel the issues are that, unity lacks the FILM DIRECTED learning uses of unity. I accept that for a film maker using unity, issues like match moving footage and other interpolations processes will emerge as new packages are created by each industry seeking to exploit the real time rendering engines of the HDRP and other cinemachine aspects of unity tools for film. Any links would be appreciated for unity certified class's that teach a film based approach to UNITY and XR development specifically that focus on cinematography and camera development for real time occlusion using unity mars. I see a market for people to have filming done with higher quality and develop specific scene location based animations as a real time space for film makers and I feel tat unity is bridging this industrial domain space but needs to support the space with an exciting camera technology for android operating systems on high end cameras.
     
  16. marc_tanenbaum

    marc_tanenbaum

    Unity Technologies

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    Unity for film is an emerging use case/business/market. While many studios are using us in this capacity, I'm not aware of any certified education programs at this time. That doesn't mean such things may not exist...I'm simply speaking of what I know about.

    We have a decent course in Animation with Unity that goes fairly in-depth on how to use our tools for film-making, and there will be new tools and tech coming down the road in this area, though I can't speak to details at this time.
     
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