Using Storyboards as Reference in Cinemachine

Calum Slee
3 min readJul 20, 2022

Yesterday, we started looking at different Virtual Camera Extensions. Another useful one is the Storyboard. This allows us to superimpose reference images over our camera to capture the intended view — whether it be from a concept, or an artist’s full design, to a blocked out cutscene.

I’ve been playing Horizon recently, and found this image online. We can use this to block out a simple scene as a form of prototype.

Adding the image to our Assets folder, allows us to pass it in to the Storyboard extension. From here, we can use the usual image manipulation parameters to set it up. But the important one is the Alpha channel, as this allows us to fade the image over top of our camera, and work with a silhouette of sorts.

Firstly, we can see that the shot is angled, with the ground sloping to the left. To achieve this, we can apply Dutch.

With our ground plane matching the reference image, we can add our player in. We’re simply using a prototyped capsule for now. Even with such a basic shape, we can get our Field Of View and position set appropriately, to achieve a similar scale.

There’s a lot going on in the background of this image, but for this exercise, we are only going to add the main tallneck (giant robot), as this and the player are our two focal points.

Again, I’ve used basic shapes, but we can very easily determine the right sense of scale when using our reference image.

To further confirm our work, we can adjust the Alpha channel to fade in and out, looking for any discrepancies.

Additionally, we can use the Split View slider, to capture a side-by-side view of our reference compared to our scene!