Using the Timeline editor in Unity

The Timeline editor was added to Unity with version 2017 and it gave us the ability to easily put together a sequence of events. This feature can be very useful for example when creating a cutscene. Below I will go over the steps to use Timeline to make a quick cutscene with a landing spaceship.

First, open the Timeline window (Window-Sequencing-Timeline) and dock it on the bottom of the screen:

Create an empty GameObject which will be use to hold the director component. Name it something suitable:

To add the director component, select the new game object and in the Timeline window click Create. Name the Timeline file (.playable) something suitable and save it. By default, an animator component gets added to the object. We will not need this at the moment, so just remove it:

Select the Timeline file and remove the animation track which was linked to the Animator component we just removed:

To start animating an object, add an animation track and drag in that object. Select “Create Animator on component”:

To make it easier to see how much time has passed you can change from frames to seconds:

To start animating an object, click on record and then move it slightly to create the first frame. Drag the object to the next position and adjust rotation for the next frame and continue until you are happy with the result:

With Timeline you can also handle the activation of objects. For the scene below I deactivated the thruster at the back of the ship when it comes in for landing, and switched on the thrusters underneath instead:

The Timeline can be used for many more objects in the same sequence. Below I animated objects in the background in a similar manner:

You can find additional information here:
https://learn.unity.com/tutorial/timeline

Good Luck!

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