What is Cinemachine and Timeline?- Game Dev Series 169

S.J. Jason Liu
3 min readJun 24, 2022

Objective: quick introduce Cinemachine and Timeline from Unity.

Example provided by Unity.com

When playing AAA games including storytelling element, cutscene is quite big matter to present the whole story. To present a good cutscene, you might need to reanimated the story clip outside the game engine for a professional presentation of animation. There are tons of good example of good cutscene, there is even a game with cutscene last for nearly 71 minutes to present a whole story.

As known as having the longest cutscene: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

In Unity, if you need to create a cutscene, you might need tons of script to record how your characters would move, how the weather would change, or how the objects would explode during the cutscene. Even think about it, this is such a nightmare!

Fortunately, there are tools in Unity can help us done it soon and easy: Cinemachine & Timeline.

The powerful tools

Cinemachine is a tool that allows user to create and switch camera view easily between multi cameras in game scene, without changing transform multiple times on single camera.

Even more, you can define the type of camera easily from its preset of cameras. It also contains the function that can allow you to locate/follow a specific target easily, no need to take times to write a script.

Types of camera you can choose with Cinemachine.

For timeline, it is another great tool which is pretty much the same as media editing software. You would become director of your game work, even think about it as a movie, you can control nearly anything in your game(movie) scene. Such as characters, props, lighting, sound, cameras, and even special effect.

Example provided by Unity Documentation

If you open the media editing software such as Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve, you would realize how similar the interface of Timeline with these software.

And the same purpose as these software, the timeline of Unity is used to create animation clip from your game.


If Cinemachine can make multiple angle to present the perfect sides of your game work, then timeline is your solid planner to present these beautiful frames under your control.

With these two powerful tools, Unity would be no longer a simply game engine, it could become a perfect animation creator if you can handle it properly.

Now you would no longer just a game developer, you will be a director, cinemagraphor, film editor, and a VFX supervisor while holding these tools.

In the next article, let’s jump in the first step of using Cinemachine.



S.J. Jason Liu

A passionate gamer whose goal is to work in video game development.