A Brief Introduction to Cinemachine and Timeline in Unity
You might be wondering what both of those things are, so let’s talk about what each one does, and how they can work individually or together.
Saying that Cinemachine is an amazing tool would be an understatement. Before cinemachine, it was commonplace to use lots of scripting to control your cameras. If you wanted some quality camera shake, a player follow camera, or cinematic cuts, you were going to be neck deep in camera scripting trying to get the movement and placement just right. Cinemachine will attach a cinemachine brain script to your main camera, and give you loads of customization options in the inspector. Basically, it takes the coding work out of your cinematography work, and streamlines typical camera work flows for the user to easily manipulate. If you want to get started with cinemachine in your project, you can find if for free in the Unity Package Manager.
If you have ever engineered music in a DAW like Pro Tools or Reaper, or have worked on video content in After Effects or Premiere, the concept of Timeine should be a familiar one. Timeline is a useful tool for organizing cinematic events in a linear fashion. If you have a 30 second cinematic shot for instance, Timeline can be used to control what will be seen and heard over the course of the cut scene. You can use Timeline to start an audio clip at a given point in time, play an animation, turn game objects on and off, switch between virtual cameras and more.
While Cinemachine and Timeline are both very powerful tools on their own merits, you can see how using the camera functionality of cinemachine and organization of timeline events can be a powerful workflow together. Well what are you waiting for? Go get started on your real-time cinematic productions today!