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Tracker is a keyframe-based tool for creating sequences animated over time, which allows for adding dynamic gameplay elements or making in-game cinematic cutscenes. It gives developers ability to:
- Easily create key frames for all nodes in the world, as well as in-game cameras and render settings.
- Set up day-night shift and weather conditions change.
- Switch between the cameras, change field-of-view on the fly and play sounds for creating stunning cinematics.
- Animate interactive objects in the game, for example, lights, doors and platforms.
- Apply post-processing effects such as depth of field, HDR, motion blur and color filtering. All these effects can be fine-tuned for each camera view.
- And much more.
Moreover, Tracker interface supports for saving and loading of created tracks, custom loop ranges, key cloning and snapping, as well as playback speed control. Creating a key is as easy as a single mouse click, after the node has been manipulated in the editor.
Key Frame Animation
Tracker animations consist of a number of tracks and each track indicates how some parameter changes over the specified time. It can control some render effect or it can be bound to a node in the world. If more properties need to be animated for one node at the same time, simply a number of tracks are created for it. For example, with tracks you can create animations that:
- Move nodes, toggle skinned animation, control emission of particles, etc.
- Change any of material settings and modify properties for various changeable effects. For example, you can change the texture and material reflectivity to create the effect of rain.
- Alter rendering settings: change background color, apply post-process effects, control stereo and much more.
- Set up cameras.
Track is composed of key frames, which are snapshots of the parameter at a certain time during the animation. Each key frame stores a time and the parameter change (new value for the parameter or whether is enabled or disabled). For example, for node position track, a key frame sets new position of the node along one of the axes; for node enabling track, a key can indicate that a node is disabled for rendering.
This parameter value set in the key frame is applied between the current keyframe and the next one. Depending on the transition mode, the key frame values can be switched abruptly or smoothly interpolated:
- Linear interpolation can be used, for instance, for a node scale track.
- Bezier interpolation will provide a smooth curve for position track.
How To Use Tracker
|Add an animation track. In case of a simple track (for example, node enabling one), only a track line would be available. If the track controls parameter with values, key frames will also be present on the graph.|
|Remove the selected animation track.|
|Clone the selected animation track.|
|Move the selected animation track up the list.|
|Move the selected animation track down the list.|
|Save parameter value from the Editor into the track. (It is available only when the track is disabled.) See more details.|
|Load||Load the saved file with tracks (*.track).|
|Save||Save all current tracks into *.track file.|
|Clear||Delete all current tracks from Tracker.|
|Enabled or disables the track (turns its animation on and off).|
|Shows or hides a graph for the track (not available for simple tracks).|
Graph Arrange Modes
|Scale the graph horizontally in such way that the whole animation line fits into view.
|Scale the graph vertically in such way that the lowest and the highest key frames fit into view.
|Scale the graph so that all key frames fit into view.
Key Frames and Transition Modes
|Remove selected key frames.|
|Constant mode (no transition). Key frame value remains constant up to the next key frame, where it abruptly changes.
|Linear interpolation. Key frame value is linearly interpolated between neighbouring key frames.
|Smooth interpolation by Bezier spline. There are two control points available for each keyframe.
|Interpolation by Bezier triangle. Sharp transition between key frame values can be created. There are two control points available for each keyframe.
|Automatic interpolation by Bezier spline. No control points are available as the curve is smoothed automatically.
|Snapping mode for key frames. When a key frame is dragged along the tracker line, this mode pulls a keyframe into alignment with another key frames (on the same or other tracks). It can also be enabled by holding ALT.|
|Time||Time of the selected key frame. It controls when the key is used during track animation.|
|Value||Parameter value in the selected key frame. It controls when the key is played during track animation.|
|Duration and playback speed for all tracks. See details above.|
|From||The time to start tracks playback from. It is used to limit the playback to a specified range.|
|To||The time to stop tracks playback on. It is used to limit the playback to a specified range.|
|Time||The current animation track time.|
|Go to the previous key frame.|
|Play all enabled tracks once.|
|Play all enabled tracks in a loop.|
|Go to the next key frame.|