THAÍS ALVARENGA


THAÍS ALVARENGA 

Creative Technologist  |  Narrative Designer  |  Environmental Designer  |  
7/02/2023

CREATING DOLLY TRACKS AND ADDING USER CHOICE





Summary: Added an Xbox controller option for the camera. Changed the camera path library and replaced it with the Cinemachine package. This package allows me to create dolly track and control how and when to change the cameras of the game. I also added UI elements whose buttons activate specific dolly tracks so that the user can choose were to go in the scene.




Added XBox input system



I want the experience of my capstone to be controllable using an XBox controller. I booked one for the IM lab and have used it throughout this week.



The implemenation of the controller helped me foresee some prospective issues with the Camera Path library that I was using. Basically, the path components locks the camera, so it does not allow you to look at other areas in the environment, which is not what I want.

Once I switched to the Cinemachine Package (process mentioned below), I was able to create a script that allowed me to rotate the Virtual Camera of a dolly cart, so the carts follows the dolly track but the user is able to look around by using the controller.

The script I used is as follows:
 public float speed = 50f; // Update is called once per frame
 void Update()
{
 float horizontal = Input.GetAxis("Horizontal"); //rotate the camera con its horizontal
 transform.Rotate(Vector3.up, horizontal * speed * Time.deltaTime); 
}
On the other hand, this subsided my concerns regarding the input system of a controller in my unity build. Basically I can use the in-built input system in unity, modify it to my needs so that it matches the XBox controller better without having to remove the keyboard commands that I use to test.


Dolly Tracks with Cinemachine



During the weekend, I went through a series of tutorials about how to use the Cinemachine package in Unity to create dolly shots and to manage them using the Cinemachine Brain component.

The change to the Cinemachine cameras was recommended by Prof Slavica, as I was having issues making transitions between different paths. The Cinemachine Brain does the transition between cameras by default but also allows me to create specific transitions.

The packages is really facilitating the development of the branch system for the game as it has a lot of in-built components that can control the cameras, which in turn lets me manage branches of the narrative by modifying the components.





Branching Tracks with User Input



I create a simple Canvas UI in my Unity project to control the virtual camera being used as the main camera. This was done using the Cinemachine Brain, which transitions between virtual cameras and connects their output to the main camera of the game view.

In the Canvas, I simply added button elements that are activated and deactivated in certain trigger areas. Each button connects to a dolly camera track, which allows the user to choose were to go in the environment. The UI elements will be changed later to change the aesthetic, but its implementation was necessary to establish a branch management system in the project and start making its interactivity.


For next time



  • Be able to select the buttons with the controller instead of the mouse.
  • Revise the final draft of the script of my capstone.
  • Finish the branches (dolly camera tracks) of the story. There are a total of 14 scenes, which means 14 cameras.
  • Create a script that can be applied across all virtual cameras and UI buttons to make the development faster. This might require a bit of thinking to optimize, but the basic blocks were already implements in the current project.
  • Record audio and trigger it.

Feel free to reach out to me for more work inquiries or to chat!


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