How I Created a Music Video in a Game Engine (Unreal Engine Cinematic)

We Feel It Too — YagmanX Music Video

Filming Within a Game Engine

  • Creative Direction
  • Preparing Art for a Digital Environment
  • Developing the Video within Unreal Engine 4
  • Final Touches in Premiere Pro

Step 1: Creative Direction

Music Video Narrative

Know Your Limitations

  1. Limitation: I could not 3D model
    Workaround: I worked with Concept Artist Braden May and used some assets from the UE marketplace.
  2. Limitation: The Concept Artist had limited time to work on the project and 3D modelling was not their primary stength.
    Workaround: We worked together to limit the complexity and amount of 3D models needed for the project to make sure the work was manageable and attainable for them.
  3. Limitation: I have no 3D animation ability
    Workaround: I had to find an alternative option for adding movement into the 3D scene through my other skills which are tech design (more on that later)
  4. Limitation: I have a tendency to strive for ‘perfection’
    Workaround: I gave myself a soft deadline of 2 months to get this music video completed, so that I had a goal to reach to hold me accountable.
  • A low poly 3D square bedroom and individual assets from my Concept Artist which have one material per model to keep it simple for them.
  • Walls and individual items must be separate models so that I could hide / show them independently during the video to allow free movement of the camera without worry of it clipping through objects.
  • Low poly 3D outdoor assets from the Unreal Engine marketplace that I could use to create a city view outside of the bedroom window.
  • Sprite animations for including movement into the video.
  • Include elements of my real bedroom as textures within the 3D room (e.g. journal entries, pictures, etc)

Document a Clear Vision (Especially if working with others)

  • The music video narrative and intent
  • The colour palette that I would reference when making materials
  • The reference images for the 3D models that had inspired my vision (mainly cute isometric bedroom concept art and lofi art work)
  • A detailed list of 3D assets that I needed from the Concept Artist
  • Links for tutorials that would be useful for me during the development process (e.g. lighting tutorials, material tutorials, blueprint tutorials)
  • A to-do list for the development process that I would tick off as I worked on it

Step 2: Preparing Art for a Digital Environment

3D Modelling

Including the Musician

Making it Personal

Make Use Of The Unreal Marketplace

Step 3: Developing the Video in Unreal Engine 4

The Game Dev Part

  • Actor: An actor is any object within the UE4 editor.
  • Material: The texture of an Actor.
  • Mesh: The 3D modelled object.
  • Blueprint: A visual scripted asset that allows for bespoke gameplay functionality.
  • Variable: Properties that hold a value or reference an Object or Actor in the world and are used within Blueprints.
  • Sequencer: The cinematic editor within UE4 that gives the ability to create cinematics with a multi-track editor, allowing the user to use keyframes to determine the content for the scene, controlling things like transformations (moving things around), media, audio and more.

Lighting

Light IES Texture
Light Function Material
Light Function Material
Light Blueprint Construction Script
Light Blueprint Timeline
Light Blueprint Event Graph
Unitless Light (Uncheck Use Inverse Squared Falloff)

Widgets and Animations

Laptop Blueprint with Widget Component
Laptop in Level
Phone in Level
Widget Blueprint Animation Timeline

Using a Video Image Sequence for the In-Engine Video

Img Media Source
Sequencer with Media Track
  • The Media Player dictates what should play ( which in my case was the Img Media Source).
Media Player
  • The Media Player is referenced by the Media Texture.
Media Texture
  • The Media Texture is referenced by the Media Material.
Media Material
  • The Media Material is referenced by whatever object is playing it within the scene.
Widget Blueprint

Sequencer Events

Level Blueprint

Rendering the Final Video

Step 4: Final Touches in Premiere Pro

Video Tutorial

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Driven by Creativity, Inspired by Technology. YouTuber, Game Lover, Maker of silly creations with Code and Film! https://www.youtube.com/user/yagmanx

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Yasmin Curren

Yasmin Curren

Driven by Creativity, Inspired by Technology. YouTuber, Game Lover, Maker of silly creations with Code and Film! https://www.youtube.com/user/yagmanx

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