Cameras and character development for high-end-animation

September 9, 2021 Ellen Grogan

Bring your characters to life, animate, and design shots for them faster and more fluidly than ever before.

Ellen Grogan, September 9, 2021

Creating animated projects in real-time allows everyone working on your film to get immediate feedback over every creative decision. Nowhere is this more useful than in animating the characters and the camera moves.

With the high-definition render pipeline capabilities in the Unity real-time 3D platform, your CG characters become more than just cartoons. Instead, your artists can stylize them realistically, with expressive nuances rendered in high detail - and make characters feel alive and responsive while artists continue to iterate.

Creating with Cameras

Just as in live action films, when you’re using Unity for animation, the camera’s settings and lens make all the difference.

With Unity’s highly sophisticated physical cameras, you can control the same parameters you would in real world cinematography such as lens length, aperture, and ISO - allowing your team to easily adapt and transfer over their professional knowledge of how cameras work.

What’s more, all of these settings can be modified directly in the scene, letting you see the result immediately and quickly create better shots.

The animation power duo

The key to nearly any animated sequence you’ll make in Unity is the combination of Timeline and Cinemamachine. These tools are what allow you to control the most sophisticated camera animation, shot choices, and targeting – dynamically and in real-time.

From pan, tilt, dolly, and zoom, to triggering an angle change or following the action, these two powerful tools of the trade are your fundamentals for creating seamless real-time animation.

Unity’s Cinemachine is an Emmy-award winning suite of powerful and dynamic creative tools for cinematic creators. It is fully procedural and customizable, allowing camera animation to adapt and seamlessly follow characters even as blocking and layout changes.

Controlling character moves

Unity’s Timeline feature allows you to visually manipulate tracks, handle audio, animations, programmatic behaviours, and more. These features are key in helping both in the Previsualization phase while blocking our shots and in the Animation phase while composing, redesigning, and blending between keyframe animations.

Animation artists can edit the keyframes of a single animation directly in Timeline. Because of Unity’s dynamic tooling, you don’t have to re-do camera animation every time you make changes to character animation.

When it comes to adding both subtle nuances and sweeping moves, riggers can use Animation Rigging, which gives you support for skeletal rig visualization and dynamic modification of keyframed animation from DCC tools.

This means artists can adjust poses and bone positions dynamically and procedurally in the Unity editor in real-time, saving the hassle of having to go back to the DCC tool to modify keyframe animation.

The award-winning short film WiNDUP is proof: telling stories through character and camera animation is what makes all the difference in real-time. Using Unity’s powerful creative tools for cinematic creators, your studio can bring your story to life with high fidelity, faster than ever.

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Download Unity Pro to access the same tools used out-of-the-box in the award-winning film WiNDUP. Want to learn more about using Unity for high-end animation projects in your studio? Just contact us to set up a conversation with one of our real-time animation experts.

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