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Sequencer Documentation Update

Hi all, I have recently completed a reorganization and update to the Cinematic section of our documentation. Many pages are reorganized and updated, some highlights:

  • A more dedicated “starter” section for new users, or cinematic-curious users.
  • Pages that better match the editor experience (I see Material Parameter Collection track, so should be able to find that).
  • Restructured layout with (hopefully) more intuitive categories.

Feel free to take a look at the updated pages here:

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Excellent improvements to Sequencer documents. Covers much more of the process. Congratulations.

Still missing some info (I think, may have missed it) such as how to fix broken links (one of the most common questions), how to use attach and the modes for each, path attachments, more emphasis on Edit modes, and what that means when creating a cinematic sequence, etc.

Thanks Scott, Can you elaborate on the following:

  • How to fix broken links. What is this referring to? When actors are bound/unbound to tracks?
  • Edit Modes? Are you referring to a sequencer tool, or the Modes button in the main editor toolbar?

Note I haven’t tested 4.27 to see if it handles these issues better.

Broken links - When you add actors to a level sequence and at some point, you rename the level or duplicate it (causing an appended number), etc then your actor tracks names will turn red since the link to the level itself is broken. Playback no longer works for those actors. This isn’t obvious to users and is not mentioned in documents.
To fix go to Tool icon → Advanced → Fix Actor References
or select track with the broken link, right-click, assign an actor

Note that if you have an attachment or a path that breaks its link, they will not indicate they are broken (at least in 4.26) but they require fixing properties.

Sequencer Pencil icon allows different edit modes.
By Default it sets to Allow All Edits
If you’re working on a series of shots (level sequences) in a map/level , if you change anything for a specific shot that will affect all other sequences for that level. Allow Sequencer Edits Only mode makes sure changes to other level sequence are localized to just that particular level sequence.

That concept is importqant for cinematics but tends to be brushed through in the documentation./

Other items not covered in the documents that I’m aware of:
Add Attach track to an actor. There are 4 modes that are easy to overlook in the Attach popup menu that make a big difference. I don’t think these are covered. None of them do a true attach without changing the relationship unfortuantely.

Transforms
Click on Transform +Section provides 4 options. Naming and what they do is confusing and not documented. Being able to layer transforms can be useful if you wish to have an actor vary a bit from a path it’s following. (like adding floating to an flying vehicle)

Spawnable versus posessable is also confusing to users. Explaining the differences and suggestions on where/when and what type of actors to use for one versus the other woudl be good in the documents.

Another frequent confusion for new users when scrubbing beyond start or end and seeing objects suddently jump or disappear when spawnable.

Another common issue is the confusion of which camera is being used. If you have multiple cameras or have set up a sequence of camera cuts if the shot proterties are not boudn to the right camera what you’re previewing in sequencer may be wrong or may be wrong when being rendered.

You have addressed some of the confisioon between master sequence/level sequence concepts in the new documents.

Okay, I believe this subject is talked about on this page here, can you confirm this answers your questions?

Regarding your question around the bindings being broken if the level is renamed. Can you confirm that is still occurring in 4.27? In most cases, the binding is a hard reference, so I don’t know how versatile it can be in handling when big changes to a level occurs, or if the sequence is referenced in another level

A possible workaround is to use Spawnables instead, which are actors that are temporarily spawned for the sequence. You can learn more about them here:

This subject is talked about here:

Attach and Path tracks are something I’m intending to document. So yes, I agree there is a hole here.

In Sequencer, all keyframes reside within sections, so the Transform Track does not exclusively have the ability to have additive, override, etc sections. Sections are documented on the following page:

You cover binding well but not the common problem when the binding fails, why it does, and how to fix that.
Maybe that can be a tips thing.

Can you confirm that is still occurring in 4.27?
A simple rename seems to maintain the binding properly.

Potentially a duplicated level could update references. It’s common you’re making iterations or versions on a level

I know what Spawnables are. That should be an optional choice.

Yes, thank you. Much improved when going over the toolbar. And technically correct.
The only thing I would add to help clarify the implications of these settings is any level changes under Allow All Edits will affect all other level sequences that references this level. (i.e global change)
Allow Sequencer Edits Only - any level changes will only affect the current level sequence (local)

Attach and Path tracks are something I’m intending to document. So yes, I agree there is a hole here.

Great!

Your new document does cover additive, relative, etc. Thanks.
My only note is sometimes the wording can be difficult to convert to real-world applications
Example: Relative - Applies this value as a sum total of all other additives and the initial value before animation.
Another sentence or simple example would make this easy to fully understand.

Not exactly. If the thing you are changing in the level has NOT been added as a track/section in Sequencer, then yes, it will change in Sequencer too because Sequencer is not driving that property. (If I’m understanding you correctly).

However, if a track for a certain property, such as transform or light intensity, is added to Sequencer, then Sequencer will maintain that property’s value regardless of what occurs in the level in the “background”.

Yes, I’d like to overhaul the Tips and Tricks page to include examples like this. “What context would you want to use Additive, Relative, Additive from Base.”

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Regarding edits: This mode control is only mentioned in passing at most in the various Unreal videos and very lightly in 4.26 documents.

For example, if you have a sequence of shots in the same level but showing the passage of time, especially using something like Ultra Sky, the number of controls and amount of time to make sure each of those parameters has been added is daunting. Also, a real problem if you start making changes for an individual shot and realize not all parameters had been added. The edit modes relieve the user of those types of issues but they’re frequently overlooked.