Sequence Recorder

Starting with version 0.6 Carbon now is able to record a fixture’s properties for playback using UE4’s built-in Sequencer and Take Recorder.

Carbon fixtures use a custom track to capture and record a fixture’s state as keyframes in the Sequencer. Carbon’s fixture tracks are fully operational with all Sequencer tools and features. (NOTE: While Carbon fixtures are fully compliant, they do not offer granular control of a fixture’s parameters due to their complexity. To control a fixture for recording you must still use a DMX source like Artnet. The track simply captures the fixture’s state.)

UE4 Sequencer overview:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/en-US/Engine/Sequencer/Overview/index.html

Our recommended tool for recording fixtures is the UE4 Take Recorder. Take Recorder should be enabled automatically whenever Carbon is installed in a project.

Take Recorder overview:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/en-US/Engine/Sequencer/Workflow/TakeRecorder/UsingTR/index.html

To open the Take Recorder panel in the menu bar go to: Window > Cinematics > Take Recorder

(Take recorder panel)

 

The Take Recorder is a powerful tool that allows you to easily record the motion and properties of actors in a scene by simply dragging and dropping actors from the World Outliner into its panel. We will cover a basic sample workflow for manually recording fixtures here, more advanced features of the Take Recorder can be learned from the UE4 official documentation.

  1. To get started, open the Take Recorder and set your Slate label and Take number; as these will generate the filename of the recorded sequence.
  2. Next, select the fixtures you wish to record and open the actor Details panel.
  3. Under the “Simulation” section ensure that the “Simulation Source” is set to the appropriate data source of DMX data that you wish to record from (i.e. “Live” for Artnet or other DMX control), and check the box labeled “Enable for Recording.” (NOTE: The “Recorded” option under “Simulation Source” is for playing back previously recorded data in the sequencer, you should not choose this option if you are recording a new sequence, selecting “Recorded” will disable the “Enable for Recording” checkbox.)
  4. Drag the fixtures prepared in step 3 from the World Outliner into the Take Recorder, drop them in the highlighted box with the dashed outline. (NOTE: You cannot drag fixtures from the Patch panel in the Carbon UI). You may also add fixtures to the panel by using the “+ Source” dropdown in the panel, choosing “From Actor”, and locating the fixture you would like to record.
  5. Select all the newly added fixtures in the Take Recorder and in the properties panel that appears at the bottom of the Take Recorder ensure that “Record Type” is set to “Possessable.” (“Project Default” tends not to default to “Possessable” so it’s best to set this explicitly for all fixtures being recorded, or you will end up spawning duplicate fixtures and beams in the runtime.)
  6. For added efficiency expand the “Recorded Properties” tree and deselect all properties except “fixtureSerializedState” as it is the only property we need to record to ensure we capture all of the motion and effects of the fixture. All other properties are redundant and may add extra computational overhead during the recording process.
  7. Play the scene and verify that your DMX data is driving the scene properly.
  8. Click the red circle Record button on the top right of the Take Recorder to start the recording.
  9. Drive your fixtures using your DMX console as you normally would.
  10. When done, stop the recording with the same button on the top right of the Take Recorder (now a square “stop” button).
  11. The recording will be stored in the Content > Cinematics > Takes > [recording date] directory in the Content Browser. You can also open the Takes folder by clicking on the folder icon near the top right of the Take Recorder panel.

Playback Tips:

(REMINDER: To playback the sequence you should change the “Simulation Source” in the details panel of the fixture to “Recorded” so the fixtures are driven from the UE4 Sequencer and not live DMX data from Artnet or another external source.)

  • You can open a recorded sequence in the UE4 Sequencer from the Content Browser by double clicking it to view the recorded sequence and play it back.
  • Playback controls are shown on the bottom left bar of the Sequencer panel.
  • By default the Take Recorder captures all actors as separate sequences, and combines them together into a main sequence with each fixture on a different track. (The individual sequences containing the actual keyframes are stored in the “<slate_take #>_Subscenes” folder).
  • For best performance, “Enable for Recording” should be deselected when not recording the fixture.
  • Playback only works in runtime (play) mode. Playing back the sequence in edit mode will not control the fixtures.