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Advice on camera moves


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#1 Guest_PlayingKarrde_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 06:48 PM

Can anyone offer some useful tips on making camera moves more fluid and natural looking, or just some good techniques for other camera moves? I feel like I need to work a lot on my camera movement and would like to know how others approach it.

Also, are there any online resources for such a thing?

By the way, I'm not really talking composition within the camera here, just camera movement.

Thanks.

#2 Guest_tim.bowman_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 06:55 PM

My first move is usually to turn orienting off for the camera. That makes it a bit easier (for me) to separate the aiming of the camera from it's movement.

Also, fluid is not always what you want when trying to simulate camera moves. Look at lots of films and pay close attention to how the camera moves.

#3 Guest_Tread_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 07:00 PM

start with two keyframes, and try as hard as you can to get your camera to do what you want it to do via velocity and the position path, with out adding more keyframes. You'd be surprised how much you can do with very few keyframes. The more keyframes you have, the messier, and rougher it's gonna get.

#4 Guest_silatix_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 07:17 PM

i agree with ted.. less key frames the better.. or atleast get the 2 key frames started and then maybe add one in the middle if you have to.

also parenting your point of interest to your position seems to help me a lot. and enable depth of field

#5 Guest_Beaver_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:13 PM

I like to make a null a distance away from the camera and parent the camera to it. This makes matrix-like moves much easier than trying to keyframe the camera itself. Just rotate the null and boom. In fact, I cant remember the last time I actually keyframed a camera.

#6 Guest_scofield_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:19 PM

what tread said, push those curves around till you get it the way you want. the fewer keyframes the better.

i also do the null parent like beaver a good bit, just depending on what kind motion your going for.

#7 Guest_Feniks_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:27 PM

film it, track it, apply it.

that is if you have the equipment.

#8 Guest_Some Dude_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 10:25 PM

Upgrade to After Effects 7, then use the graph editor. Follow the advice of the people above when doing your moves, especially the fewer key-frames the better. But after you get the camera paths/movement you want. Go into your graph editor and adjust the velocity in the graphs. This will allow you to ease in and out more precisely and to join frmae to makes seemless movements. You can ease in and out or make things linear and jagged, but the idea is that you can see it graphed and then adjust it fom there.

#9 Guest_PlayingKarrde_*

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 11:37 PM

Thanks guys. I currently do use very few keyframes and use graph editor et al to work it, but the null object is a great idea. I'll also try turning off orient for it too, I think that might be one of the reasons I'm not liking my camera stuff.

Thanks again all.

#10 Guest_edamame_*

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:39 AM

i usually alt-click the POI stopwatch and pickwhip it to the position attribute
so POI follows the position, then parent the camera to a null at the origin which i use for rotation.

but now i'm thinking thats the same as turning off the orient option :-/

i like to add a lil wiggle expression to my z rotation and my position as well

#11 Guest_tim.bowman_*

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:26 PM

Upgrade to After Effects 7, then use the graph editor.



The graph editor is the one thing in 7 that I just can't come to grips with. I used to rock the sh!t out of the twirl-downs in 6.5 but something changed in 7 and now nothing makes sense anymore. I do find myself re-evaluaing when and how much I screw with keyframes now and to what effect, though. So maybe it's a mixed blessing.

#12 Guest_Phil_*

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:28 PM

Null objects all the way - I usually have a null for every axis the camera has to move on if I have to get anal with the accuracy. It just makes it easier (for me) when attaching expressions etc to various axis.

And as Feniks said - if I read it correctly - camera track footage from a hand held camera and then use the tracked virtual camera data for your own 3D/2D camera in AE/3ds max/Maya... works a treat.

Edited by Phil, 31 May 2006 - 01:44 PM.


#13 Guest_Self_90_*

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 01:26 PM

God i'm dumb! Thanks guys this is worth millions.

Transfer this to the tutorial section!

#14 Guest_bennett_*

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 05:27 PM

Other members have mentioned the use of parenting the AE camera to nulls before.

Here's mankeroo's response:

When I use cameras in 3D (former Lightwave user, now Cinema4D, but the idea still applies across the board) as well as After Effects, before I create any keyframes for the camera, I create 2 nulls in the exact position of the camera. The first null is my master camera null. The second is my camera movement null. The camera movement null is the child of the camera master null, and the camera itself is a child of the camera movement null. The rules i enforce on myself is to only create ROTATION keyframes on the camera itself, and do all of my POSITIONAL keys with the Camera Movement null...I reserve any last minute adjustments or effects for the camera master (like camera shakes, or whatever). If you use this setup your animations will be much more fluid. I've only recently started doing this, and its made a huge difference. I actually end up setting a lot less keys in the long run which is always good. It may seem like a waste of time at first, but keep doing it, and eventually you'll swear by it like i do now...

#15 Guest_ghekkomanic_*

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 11:58 PM

This is gold.

I'm just finishing a project where I've used a camera parented to different nulls (for x,y position, another for z, can't even remember what the other one is for) but this seems like a better way of doing it. Christ, do I have time to re-do it?

Hell no.

I remember reading a post on Creative Cow by Chris Smith that sounded like a very sensible way of setting up a 3D camera. Will post the link if I have time.

#16 Guest_No.4_*

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 01:42 AM

start with two keyframes, and try as hard as you can to get your camera to do what you want it to do via velocity and the position path, with out adding more keyframes. You'd be surprised how much you can do with very few keyframes. The more keyframes you have, the messier, and rougher it's gonna get.



so ted when you say to start with 2 keyframes, are you refering to the position? or the point of intrest? or both?

#17 Guest_mofresh_*

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 01:51 AM

Woa this is dope, so many handy tips -i cant cope! :o

thanks for the gold

#18 Guest_CALTD_*

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 05:45 AM

After reading all this business about nulls, I'm left wondering why you'd add more stuff to make things smoother. As Tread said, fewer keyframes do more fluid movements make. [Yoda-fied. Sorry, Tread. :D ;)]

How does adding elements to the equation create any smoother motion for you? When it all comes down to the elements, aren't you manipulating keyframes either way? And by splitting animators up in to nulls instead of using the camera properties, aren't you just mucking up your comp with lots of extra layers which require keystrokes/clicks to modify?

The one instance I might be able to understand is parenting rotation/orientation to nulls, but that still just adds stuff and seems like a hack around utilizing the camera properties correctly.

Please clarify?

#19 Guest_Tread_*

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 06:37 AM

so ted when you say to start with 2 keyframes, are you refering to the position? or the point of intrest? or both?


well, first of all, I would turn the orientation of the camera to off, so you aren't messing with a point of interest. It's not much use, i think. At least I never use it. And when I say start with two keyframes, it really pertains to anything you are animating. Start small, and then add keyframes only when you absolutely must. This advice is more relevant to position however.

#20 Guest_superegophobia_*

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 06:57 AM

don't forget u can also use roving keyframes to hit certain positions w/o messing up your overall camera move




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