multiple camera shot animations

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  11 November 2012
multiple camera shot animations

Hi all,
hoping this is simple for someone. I need to do a series of camera pans and dolly animations in a single scene and I was wondering if it is possible to delete the motion path between shots.

So, I set up one camera move, come to resting position at an end keyframe. then the next frame (1 frame later) I start the camera back at a fresh new position and compose a separate camera move. Dealing with the motion path ends up complicating things with interpolation types between the end of one shot and the start of the next a single frame later. Is there an easy way to freeze the end points of a keyframe before jumping to the next shot (1 frame later) and setting a new keyframe? or maybe stopping the motion path and starting again? I don't want the previous keyframe's interpolation handles to influence the start of the next sequence

hope that's clear. all this has to be done in a single camera and baked out for export.
Many thanks
  11 November 2012
I am not sure exactly what you are after but using the camera and keyframing it are usually not the best way to use cameras in any 3D application.

With R14 there is the camera morph tool which is pretty fantastic to be honest. It does a terrific job of blending camera positions. In the viewport now you get an animated change of position when flipping from camera to camera, which is incredibly useful when it comes to checking your positions and whether you need another camera to blend between. Also the speed of the blend is determined by a spline so you can pause at a point if you need to, or simply keyframe your camera blend.

Another way is to animate cameras along splines using align to spline. Think of the spline as your camera path. If you have 2 cameras use 2 paths. You can use arcs or hand draw the spline. You can also use target objects with your cameras to position them so they look in the right direction. You could then cut between the cameras over a single frame. Steady Cam Pro enables you to take a few different camera moves and coalesce them into a single camera which can then be baked out.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Last edited by rsquires : 11 November 2012 at 03:47 AM.
  11 November 2012
Hey Rsquires,
thanks for this useful information. Good to know how it's done in the current version. Unfortunately I'm using version 9.5 and trying to match camera moves from previous movie footage. this has to be exported as a single camera to keep the scene simple for another user. I'm happy enough with the way keyframing is working except for the cuts between camera positions. Placing the next shot's start keyframe a single frame from the resting position of the last shot's end keyframe makes a little wonky bend in the animation path that affects the end of the previous sequence.

I'll have to muddle my way through this. thanks for the input.
  11 November 2012
Have you tried using a single step keyframe after the camera move? Its probably the default spline interpolation thats causing the problems- so try experimenting with step and linear types- If you didn't have to bake and export the camera move using the stage object and multiple cameras would be the most elegant solution.
M dot Strange
Independent CG Filmmaker & Game Developer
M dot Strange dot CoM
  11 November 2012
additional to what Ryonosuke wrote, keep in mind that the interpolation method of a keyframe in Cinema is only affecting the time after the keyframe NOT the time before (opposed to After Effects). So if you change the "out" key of every camera shot to linear you would still have spline interpolation in the camera movement but no overshoot between the shots, which is what you want.
  11 November 2012
thank you Ryonosuke and Doppel...those are helpful tips. It seems to me that EasyCam would produce more appealing shots and may be something I can make work. the only unknown with that approach is that many of the shots involve more than one camera move, i.e. camera sweeps in, then pans across, then pull back and around. I was trying some tests to see how if I could keyframe the easy cam to compose multiple moves in one shot. Doesn't seem to work for me so far.

Have any of you achieved this kind of thing with EasyCam before?
  11 November 2012
I recently wanted to achieve the same thing and, as it turns out, it's remarklebly easy although it takes some preparation. Simply do all the animations with seperate cameras on the frames that they're needed. Then take a new camera and create an Xpresso that links the new cam's (let's call it "rendercam") global position and rotation to the first camera. Now copy that tag for each of the cams. All you need to do then, is to animate the "enable" parameter for each of the tags at the appropriate frames. Seeing that the "enable" parameter is a bool, it can only be on or off and as a result, you end up with, what is essentially, step animation for the camera. In your case, all that you will have to do afterwards, is to bake the animation of the rendercam, delete the xpresso tags and the other cameras and voila.

I can't remember if baking was available in R9.5 so just check before you start so as not to waste your time.
Software Used:
3D: Cinema 4D, MotionBuilder
Finished Work:
  11 November 2012
Doesn't "Break tangents" work here? Gives you control of the left and right tangents independent of the other.
Making googlie eyes for over twenty years.
Wes Ware Creative
  11 November 2012
Hi all,
Wesware - I thought that kind of thing should work also. I tried step interpolation and break tangents. For me at least it still seemed to cause a few frames of transitional camera movement that looked weird instead of a sharp cut.

Uncle Ox - that is a fantastic solution and one I hope to put to use. Not used to thinking in Xpresso so wouldn't usually consider it in trying to find a solution. makes perfect sense here though. Thanks for chiming in, I really appreciate your input.

big hug to all you helpful souls.Thanks,
  11 November 2012
rodney, you should use the object called STAGE
put the cameras inside it, animate them individually then use the STAGE oject to set the frames when the active camera changes from one to another.

hope it helps.
1berto Rodrigues
  11 November 2012
Olirgpin, that's exactly what I ended up doing but thanks for piping in. I ended up exporting 13 different cameras with their separate moves controlled with the stage object. Just glad my 9.5 had this feature as I thought it might be a newer feature. thanks all so very much. I like the variety of approaches mentioned here.
  11 November 2012
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