Camera tips?

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Jkoseattle
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Camera tips?

Post by Jkoseattle » Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:47 am

I'm really extraordinarily crummy at animating camera movement. I understand how the tools work, it's just that I can never get anything to look decent unless it's very simple. Camera movement is really hard to get right, as it turns out. I'm hoping people can maybe pass along some tips and tricks to getting camera movement to look good?

My current example, though this is by no means the only instance of my troubles, is this: I am focusing on a box you can imagine maybe 4x4 feet. I then need to rather quickly zoom out and pan over to take in some mountains on the horizon and then a cloud next to those mountains, and zoom back in on this cloud. so it's a deft combo of big zooms and tracking. It would be simple to do this with an actual camera, but maybe it's the fact that it's split into a tracking tool and a zoom tool is what makes it so hard. I move keyframes around and around but no matter what I do the camera movement looks utterly unnatural. Zooming causes things to fall out of the frame, and then I try to compensate with the tracking tool, but that looks really weird, and I can't make it look smooth no matter what do. How is this done well?
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slowtiger
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Re: Camera tips?

Post by slowtiger » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:45 am

Have a look at life action films: they simply wouldn't do it that way. They would place the camera in a way they could just pan from box to cloud while following focus.

As a general rule, don't do camera movements which contain both in an out zooming in the same scene - that's something reserved for very fast comic effects.
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hayasidist
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Re: Camera tips?

Post by hayasidist » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:38 am

It sounds to me as though you have smooth (or some other ease-in/out) interpolation mode on the camera keys. Try linear. If it's not linear, adding keys will slow/speed up the transition around the new keys.
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Jkoseattle
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Re: Camera tips?

Post by Jkoseattle » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:19 pm

slowtiger wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:45 am
Have a look at life action films: they simply wouldn't do it that way. They would place the camera in a way they could just pan from box to cloud while following focus.

As a general rule, don't do camera movements which contain both in an out zooming in the same scene - that's something reserved for very fast comic effects.
Yeah, this is a very fast comic effect. Anyway, I've made the destination objects a lot smaller so I don't have to zoom much at all. Not perfect, but better; I can live with it. Thanks all!
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Lukas
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Re: Camera tips?

Post by Lukas » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:34 am

I only ever use the "Track Camera" tool. So when I 'zoom' in or out, I actually translate the camera on the z-axis. (Hold <alt/option> while dragging).

Also, for multi plane stuff, don't be afraid to fake it and move BG pieces around instead. In some situations that's just fine. (In other situations, it will get you into a heap of trouble)

If stuff gets really complex, I prefer compositing in After Effects or in Maya or Blender.
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Greenlaw
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Re: Camera tips?

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:45 pm

Lukas wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:34 am
I only ever use the "Track Camera" tool. So when I 'zoom' in or out, I actually translate the camera on the z-axis. (Hold <alt/option> while dragging).
To add to Lukas' comments: note that when you have a multplane setup in Moho, you will not see a parallax effect when zooming. The parallax effect occurs only when the camera is being translated (just like with a real camera.) Because of this that I generally prefer moving the camera vs. animating the lens.

On the other hand, zooming is great when I don't want to translate the camera (like when it's mounted on a tripod,) and I don't want to see the parallax effect because it might reveal 'unfinished' gaps in my backgrounds.

Just remember, a zoom effect is essentially the same as scaling the picture vs. moving into it.
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Greenlaw
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Re: Camera tips?

Post by Greenlaw » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:59 pm

Also, I agree with slowtiger about using both zooming and camera moves at the same time: don't do it unless you really know what you're doing because it can get messy and look weird. It's fine when you're intentionally simulating the POV of a camera looking out from or attached to a moving vehicle but it's usually not a good look. (I've done plenty of these camera moves for low-budget action movies. It's a good way to hide stuff you don't want the audience to see.) :)

I started making a list of tips last night but it started getting a bit deep for a forum post. I'll add this on the list of tutorials to make.
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Jkoseattle
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Re: Camera tips?

Post by Jkoseattle » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:12 pm

Well, here's what I ended up with. In hindsight I should have just moved the backgrounds. Ah well, moving on....
https://youtu.be/WEDyM1goGW4
Most of the time I'm doing music stuff. Check me out at http://www.jimofseattle.com/music.

Thing I did for work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgFYGqifLYw
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