Timelines in Unity (Game Dev Day 51)
Cutscenes have been a staple in video games for over thirty years, whether rendered in engine or not. However, creating cutscenes is a far cry from creating gameplay. Fortunately, Unity offers some simple and powerful tools to create cutscenes with minimal experience.
The master tool of this process is the Unity Timeline.
Simply put, the Timeline is a visual canvas for you to place and organize all changes to a scene. You can swap between cameras (using Cinemachine), have fade ins/outs, and play animations at key moments. You can even disable or enable gameobjects to give the appearance of picking something up!
Timeline can be access through Window>Sequencing>Timeline
Once opened, you need to create a track for your cutscene. The Timeline window will notify you of this requirement and once you have selected a gameobject you can begin working on the track (it is a good idea to make each cutscene its own empty gameobject and place the track on the empty parent).
In Timeline, you can make as many tracks as you want to create your cutscene. Tracks can overlap, so you have have multiple animations or object changes going on at once!
The tool kit is simple but the power of it is determined purely by your own ingenuity!