Lining up Audio & Visual to Build Cutscenes in Unity

We already know that cutscenes are almost always animated before and added to the scene to create the perception that the actual game characters are being animating. In order to create this perception, we need to make sure that our game scene before the animation fits perfectly to the animation.

For instance, think of a game where you need to pass the security guards to reach to your objective. Before starting the objective, the game will inform you regarding your path and goal with a cutscene. What would you think if the guards were standing within a line?

Doesn’t look so realistic, does it?

In order to make the scene fit the animation, we would be better to arrange the positions of the game objects as good as we can; starting with the cameras of course.

Director’s document for the scene — implementing the position of guardsg

Likewise, players should not be see the animating characters teleported from one location to another. Thus, it is crucial to place the game object in a way that fits with the animation.

As long as you make sure that you are placing the cameras to the right places, placing the game objects should not be a huge struggle for us. However, we need to make sure that the objects in the animations are also fitting to our scene.

For instance, despite the fact that the rope in the game is placed rightly, we realize that the main character stands at the air when it should have been on the floor.

In order to avoid these type of mistakes, we need to make sure that our game objects are also placed correctly for the full length animations.

Adding Audio Tracks to Timeline

Likewise, the audio should be in sync with the animation that is being played. We would not want to hear something different from the scene that is playing, right?

It’s actually pretty easy to handle once we first made sure that we are visually prepared for the cutscene, with desired animations.

Here’s my attempt to visually fit the virtual cameras and game objects according to the animation. The length of each animation were hardly a guess. As you can observe, the animation length and my arrangements did not fit and even if it did (just drag and change its length, eh ?:) ) it is not hard to guess that there is no way that 14 animation will be in sync with the audio without making an arrangement accordingly.

Before the Adjustment

In order to sync it, we first need to find a way to add the voice tracks to the Timeline.

Just like the way we add the animations, we can also add Audio to our cutscene by using Timeline; simply click add and select Audio Track. Then, simply drag and drop the game object with the Audio Source to the Audio Track field. We can manipulate the audio clips within the Timeline.

Then, simply drag and drop the game object with audio source and the audio track to the Timeline.

Now, we are ready to test and arrange the placement of the animations so that it would fit to the audio. Despite it is not possible to preview the Audio components with the preview button within the Timeline component, it allows us to make changes in the Play mode. So, the changes we made on the Play mode stays after we exit the Play mode.

And all left is just making the adjustments :)

After the Adjustment

Unity Developer