I want to code a real time cutscene editor in my engine but I couldn't find any pdf documents or websites explaining it in detail. Is the cinematic scene file loaded with instructions like Camera::Up() for example?

And how then do real time seamless no cut gameplay to cutscene editors work? I heard for God of War 4 they used handheld cameras so I'm wondering how they imported that data into the engine and then used in a gameplay to cutscene.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What would be the difference between a cutscene animation and any other kind of animation, as far as the engine is concerned? It's just a series of curves to use to update various object properties like position and rotation, according to a time index. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Feb 7 at 1:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory But how is my question? do you have a link to a pdf explaining that? or link to code? or any sources? im not going to be able to implement anything using that? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 7 at 2:05
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It's not clear to me what specifically you need help understanding. Can you edit your question to walk us through what you understand about animation, and where you're confused? We won't be able to explain how to build an entire animation system from first principles in one answer, but we can help you one step at a time if you can narrow down what step you need help with first. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Feb 7 at 3:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory the part im confused about is how the camera movement data and the scene data get handled into the engine? because i dont know if theyre is a library to load camera data, let alone getting it handled \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 7 at 22:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a performance capture studio to capture physical movements of a handheld camera? If not, then that's not a problem you need to solve. Scene data can be exported in standard 3D model formats from DCC tools like 3ds Max, Maya, Blender, etc. Which tools are you using to create your animations? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Feb 7 at 22:49

1 Answer 1


The simplest set of steps when a in-engine cutscene triggers is:

  1. disable player control
  2. move the camera to where it needs to be
  3. start playing all the required animations and sound files. These are likely custom animations for that cutscene and would have the same format as any other animation used for gameplay like the walk and run cycles, except they only run once.
  4. after the cutscene is done revert back to normal gameplay controls.

For doing a handheld camera you would use some kind of motion tracking system (which game studios will have access to, and you can DIY with a basic VR setup) and in the cutscene replay the tracked motion on a invisible object and mount the camera to it.

You might need to do some smoothing on the motion, either by using a heavy prop for the camera stand-in used in the motion tracking studio, or in a post processing step.


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