Unreal Engine 4 Camera Director Tutorial

December 02, 2017

UE4 Version: 4.18.3

Github Link: https://github.com/Harrison1/unrealcpp/tree/master/CameraDirector

For this tutorial we are using the standard first person C++ template with starter content. If you don't know how to add a new actor class to your project, please visit the Add C++ Actor Class post.

This is a walkthrough tutorial for Epic's Game-Controlled Camers tutorial.

Create a new actor called CameraDirector. Then add three variables to the header file. Add two camera actors that inherent from the actor class. Make the UPROPERTY EditAnywhere so we can add in actors in the editor. These two camers will be the actors our view will switch between. Add a float variable so I can use it in the .cpp file. Below is the header file.

CameraDirector.h

#pragma once

#include "CoreMinimal.h"
#include "GameFramework/Actor.h"
#include "CameraDirector.generated.h"

UCLASS()
class UNREALCPP_API ACameraDirector : public AActor
{
	GENERATED_BODY()
	
public:	
	// Sets default values for this actor's properties
	ACameraDirector();

protected:
	// Called when the game starts or when spawned
	virtual void BeginPlay() override;

public:	
	// Called every frame
	virtual void Tick(float DeltaTime) override;

	// declare variables
	UPROPERTY(EditAnywhere)
	AActor* CameraOne;

	UPROPERTY(EditAnywhere)
	AActor* CameraTwo;

	float TimeToNextCameraChange;
	
};

First we want to add in the Kismet/GameplayStatics.h script to allow us to access the player controller.

#include "CameraDirector.h"
// include Kismet/GameplayStatics.h
#include "Kismet/GameplayStatics.h"

The rest of the logic for this actor will be added to Tick function. Declare two float variables. These two float variables will manage the time between camera changes and the amount of time to smootly blend between views.

add float variables

void ACameraDirector::Tick(float DeltaTime)
{
	Super::Tick(DeltaTime);

	const float TimeBetweenCameraChanges = 2.0f;
    const float SmoothBlendTime = 0.75f;

}

Next, remove DeltaTime from the float variable we declared in our header file, TimeToNextCameraChange.

subtract DeltaTime from TimeToNextCameraChange

// Called every frame
void ACameraDirector::Tick(float DeltaTime)
{
    Super::Tick(DeltaTime);
    
	const float TimeBetweenCameraChanges = 2.0f;
    const float SmoothBlendTime = 0.75f;
	TimeToNextCameraChange -= DeltaTime;

}

Aftwards, we want to check if TimeToNextCameraChange is less than or equal to 0. If true set TimeToNextCameraChange back to 2 seconds by adding TimeBetweenCameraChanges to it. Get the PlayerController by using the UGameplayStatics method GetPlayerController. By getting the PlayerController, we can set its view target. We check if the view target is CameraOne and depedning on our result will switch cameras appropriately.

GetPlayerController

APlayerController* OurPlayerController = UGameplayStatics::GetPlayerController(this, 0);

SetTargetWithBlend

OurPlayerController->SetViewTargetWithBlend(CameraTwo, SmoothBlendTime);

SetViewTargert

OurPlayerController->SetViewTarget(CameraOne);

Below is the full .cpp file.

CameraDirector.cpp

// Called every frame
void ACameraDirector::Tick(float DeltaTime)
{
	Super::Tick(DeltaTime);

	const float TimeBetweenCameraChanges = 2.0f;
    const float SmoothBlendTime = 0.75f;
	TimeToNextCameraChange -= DeltaTime;
	
    if (TimeToNextCameraChange <= 0.0f)
    {
        TimeToNextCameraChange += TimeBetweenCameraChanges;

        //Find the actor that handles control for the local player.
        APlayerController* OurPlayerController = UGameplayStatics::GetPlayerController(this, 0);
        if (OurPlayerController)
        {
            if (CameraTwo && (OurPlayerController->GetViewTarget() == CameraOne))
            {
                //Blend smoothly to camera two.
                OurPlayerController->SetViewTargetWithBlend(CameraTwo, SmoothBlendTime);
            }
            else if (CameraOne)
            {
                //Cut instantly to camera one.
                OurPlayerController->SetViewTarget(CameraOne);
            }
        }
    }

}

Drag and drop the CameraDirector actor into the scene. Drag in two cameras (or any actors) into the scene and set them as CameraOne and CameraTwo. Now push play and see your view target go from one camera to the other.


Author

Harrison McGuire

Harrison McGuire