Making the camera move like a hand held.


I’ve seen quite a few videos lately that have the camera moving in a hand held camera sort of way, like in some shots in 50% grey.
What exactly is the secret to getting this effect?


I was curious about this myself, especially after visiting Daniel Martinez Lara website and downloading his “Marine” animation

As in most cases, there is often more than one solution. This may or may not be the easiest or the best, but give it a shot if no one replies with one simpler.

I was thinking of using MAX’s camera tracking utility. Just shoot the scene in real life with a video camera and trackable markers. Then use that “real-life” video to derive the your 3D camera motion in the MAX scene.

I can’t say that I’ve ever tried it but I think it’s worth giving a shot.


Cool idea, it sounds feasible.


u could probably get that effect if you just animate a free camera by hand


I checked out the apache-fly_bye sample file that comes with MAX. it has a hand held feeling that was accomplished by animating the target of a target camera. then combined that with an animated FOV, and a little bit of motion on the camera itself.


Just did a quick 5 min test. using the above tech, it turned out rather well, and was easy to control. I included a sample animation and the scene so that you can check it out:

SAMPLE FILE and animation approx: 300k

Animation only


The tracking thing works pretty cool and is not that difficult to do, I used tennis balls and yard sticks to demo the technology when it first came to max. If you want the Daniel Martinez Lara look, then definately track it as johnny_riptide suggested.

BTW - A tuned Noise Controller can produce interesting results, linking to a dummy will enable secondary motioion.

See Andy Murdock’s work for great examples of this approach.



Hee hee. The movies on that site were great.
I forget how exactly this is done, because it has been a while since I tried it. There is an expression or controller or something that will capture the movements of your mouse for animation purposes. I used it to try and get a handheld camera look by just jiggling my mouse around. If anyone knows what I am talking about you can probably clarify it better than I have. It might be a couple days before I am able to use MAX again, otherwise I would start it up and find out what it was that I did.


the only problem I’ve seen with this type of camera useage is that when moving a target the camera pivots in its exact lens (type of thing) position to track, where as a handheld would pivot from your hand…
This is a major flaw I have seen in several good “home movies” made with max etc. The camera will look down but pivot at the exact location of the lens, where it should pivot from somewhere behind.


Gilgamesh, that is anything(position,rotation…) motion capture controller. Then go to Utilities and Motion Capture. You define there the capture range etc…
It’s very nice for that kind of things

Terminal:just link the target and camera itself to a dummy thing behind the lenses and do the motion capture to the position rotation of it


Excellent, thanks a lot everyone I’m gonna start messing around now with these ideas.


This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.