Unity3D: Intro to Timeline!

What is Timeline, and what can it do? Today is your lucky day! Come on in, please! Have a seat.

Timeline

Timeline in Unity is an animation track that allows you to add an animate sequence of events!

It allows us to direct a scene in many ways, like a director. We can add many cameras to go from one to another, called shots. We can animate the cameras so they can dolly, pan, and move in a direction. We can also use the activation track to enable and disable game objects at a certain time.

Timeline window with objects in place to create a sequence of events seen on the gif image above.

It is a powerful tool to create amazing AAA cutscenes seen in video games and movies!

  1. Select the game object you wish to add a timeline event. In my case, I selected the SleepingGaurd game object, which has the actors rigged and animated.

2. Open the timeline, we must first go to Window > Timeline.

The timeline window will pop up.

For a productive usage of the timeline, it is wise to set up your Unity developer layout like the image below. It will make directing much easier!

3. From there, with the game object selected, we click on the “Create” button to add a “Playable Director” component to the object.

4. You can now add different tracks for your timeline event sequence by clicking on the “Add” button.

There are six tracks to choose from. Seven if you have cinemachine installed.

  • Track Group: Lets you make a collection of tracks.
  • Activation Track: This allows us to disable or enable game objects during a particular time.
  • Animation Track: This allows us to import existing animation clips or create an animation from scratch directly within the Timeline.
  • Audio Track: This allows us to import existing audio clips and make edits.
  • Control Track: Lets us take control of time-related elements of a Game Object, such as a Playable Director or a Particle System.
  • Playable Track: This allows us to trigger other Timeline events.
  • Cinemachine Track: This allows us to control Cinemachine cameras within Timeline.

5. Once you have created some tracks and added game objects to them, you can adjust them in the Timeline.

You can also add more game objects to the existing track if needed.

6. You can preview your Timeline by enabling the “Preview” button.

That is all for an introduction to Unity’s Timeline! Short and sweet, but more information desirably needed, I would say!

So, here’s the documentation to the Timeline that you can check out! There is a lot of info to soak up!

Using the Timeline is user-friendly and very intuitive! It makes it easier to direct any form of cutscenes you can think of with ease!

That is all for today. Thank you for passing by!

Gabriel

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Gabriel Perez

Gabriel Perez

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Hello everyone, My name is Gabriel Perez, I am a Unity Developer and a creator who is always learning and experimenting.