Animate Gameobjects Using Timeline

Esteban Ibarra
3 min readJun 1, 2021


Today I watched a short lesson that basically reinforced what we’ve been learning this week and that’s using the timeline to animate all the things! From timing the camera's shots and movement to animating objects on the canvas, which will be today's short topic.

The timeline can basically animate anything. If it’s on the screen or it has an option in the inspector, you can keyframe it.

We already know how to animate cameras, so let’s focus on how we can animate a way to fade from and to black. It’s amazingly simple!

We already have an organized cutscene, all we need to do is just add a UI/Image by right-clicking and adding.

We’ll want this image to scale to any size so we change the canvas scalers UI Scale Mode to ‘Scale with Screen Size’, and match it to .5 for extra assurance things will scale perfectly at any screen resolution.

Now let’s go back to the image, change it to black, and select the stretch option in the anchor presets, and 0 out everything to fill the screen.

Let’s rename the image Fade_Black. The Cutscene already has a timeline attached to it so all we’ll need to do is attach an animation timeline and then drag the Fade_Black image into it. As with any object that hasn’t been animated, it will suggest to put an animator on the object. Go ahead and do it.

We’re now ready to fade from black! Hit the record button, be sure the timeline’s scrubbed to frame 0, and then select Fade_Black and go to the color option and move the alpha from 255 down to any number and back to 255 again so it will set a keyframe.

Then go ahead up to around the ’30 mark and open up FadeBlack’s color option again and this time slide the alpha all the way to 0 so it’s completely invisible. hit the record button to finish and you’ve now animated a UI object to fade from black!

It’s amazing how straightforward animating in Unity is once you know how it works. During the past few days, we’ve already learned quite a bit and we actually now know how to animate cameras and make cuts and fade ins/outs to make our cut-scenes look professional! These tools are so good, they’ve already been used in the movie, “Ready Player One” and Unity is also becoming a tool to produce animation as well so learning these tools will bring multiple perks being a student of animation as well!

Tomorrow we’ll get into aligning the scenes with audio!



Esteban Ibarra

cartoonist, game artist, and wanabe gamedev.