|Please note that this is a BETA version of the document. All information presented is correct but we are working on improving the details
Back to Cameras Control Board
In this article, we will discuss how to create virtual camera movement paths with virtual cam compounds.
You can read more about virtual cam compounds here.
You will see that in the name of some virtual cam compounds, you can find A-B-C.
By default, with each compound, you can set a starting (A) and endpoint (B) to the camera movement path.
With A-B-C compounds you can set a starting (A) a mid- (B), and an endpoint (C) to the camera movement path.
You can also define completely arbitrary camera paths with the Camera Sequencer compound. To use it, please follow this article.
All of the settings below can be found on the CAMERAS control board. More on this control board here.
In the example below we will use the following compound:[Common_Studio]:Camera\VirtualCam\VirtualCam_3-Cam.xcomp
Play, Pause, and Stop Camera Movements
In Play mode, to Play, Pause, or Stop the camera movement, select the corresponding button in the Camera and Render Setup panel.
By selecting the numbers between 1-16 you can either define camera paths or select already defined ones.
Select the SEQ icon if you would like to use the Camera Sequencer to create special camera paths.
Use the smooth icon if you want a smooth transition when changing between the camera paths.
NOTE: The smooth icon is by default turned off, meaning that switching between camera paths happens as a cut/jump to the newly selected path's starting point.
You can refer to the External Control Mode documentation to learn how you can change between cameras and camera paths using external control methods.
After selecting a CAMERA # PATH panel, you will find the following settings in the Pin Values window
The default value is 0.5.
You can set a general speed for all virtual camera movements. The higher the number, the faster the movement will be.
NOTE: The lowest value will multiply all Path Durations by 10 (making their duration longer in time, and slower in speed) and the highest value will divide them by 10 (shorter duration, faster speed).
NOTE: We recommend setting the duration for each path instead of changing this setting.
Path # Duration
The time (in seconds) it takes for the camera movement to complete its path (A->B), but only if Master Speed is set to 0.5.
The time in seconds it takes for a smooth transition between camera paths to happen. (Valid if all Smooth Path values are 1).
The default value is 1.
Path # Smooth
The time in seconds it takes for a smooth transition to happen when changing to the # number camera path. (Valid if Master Smooth value is 1).
The default value is 1.
Edit Camera Path
This panel is used to edit camera paths.
Play Camera Path
This is the default setting if you would like to see the render camera move according to the path you define.
Camera Path Points
When you click any of the two letters, the camera will change to Edit mode (signaled by an overlay in the Preview output). This will let you choose a starting (A) and an end (B) point to the camera path.
Copy the current properties of the camera, such as position, rotation, and FOV in Edit mode.
Paste in the copied properties of the camera in Edit mode.
Delete the copied properties of the camera in Edit mode.
Turn on to loop the camera path.
Plays A->B | A->B | A-> B looped.
The camera path will play back - and - forth: A->B->A in Play mode.
Reverses the camera path in Play mode.
As the virtual camera moves between the points, the speed of the movement will be linear. This will create a hard stop at the start and end points of the camera movement. If looped, the camera movement will look bouncy.
Ease-in & Ease-out
This will create a more natural camera path by slowing down the movement toward the start and end points.
The path will start at a normal speed and slow down towards the end of the movement.
How to Create a Custom Virtual Camera Path
In this example, we will create a camera path with two points, A and B. A is the starting point and B is the ending point of the camera movement.
NOTE: The workflow is the same for a 3-point camera path, where B will be the middle point and C is the endpoint.
On the CAMERA # PATH panel select the path number you would like to assign the new camera path to.
We will add the path to Virtual Camera 1 (CAM 1) and assign the path to number 2.
Click the A icon on the Edit Camera Path panel.
This will turn On the Edit Camera Mode on all outputs. You can use the Camera Mover Mouse Control on any output to position the virtual camera to the starting point of the camera movement.
NOTE: You can use the Copy camera location icon () to copy the position of the camera. After clicking the B icon, you can use the Paste () icon to paste in the copied location, saving you time and effort.
After you have positioned the camera to the starting point, click the B icon. (The starting position\rotation is saved automatically).
Now, just like with point A, position the virtual camera to where you want the ending point of the camera path to be.
When you have positioned the camera to where you want the ending point to be, click the Play icon to play the camera path you have created.
Tips & Tricks for Virtual Camera Paths
You should always keep the virtual camera's perspective as close to the studio camera's perspective as possible. If the two differ too much, the talent can get noticeably distorted, which will give a very unusual look to your production.
Example of an extreme camera position:
Example of a close-to-studio camera position:
We also recommend matching the height of the virtual camera to the height of the studio camera the input is coming from. If these differ too much the talent's feet (if visible in the shot) will look very unnatural.
Example of correct height:
Example of improper height:
NOTE: Here you can see, that it looks as if the talent is floating above the virtual floor.
Also, try to set smooth and slow camera movements on the camera paths, since you would do the same with a studio camera as well.