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Camera setup question

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Mike MacKenzie
Camera setup question
on May 6, 2014 at 8:43:18 pm

Hey everyone...this seems pretty basic, but I am having trouble making it happen. Any help is greatly appreciated.

My goal is to have a camera follow the path of a stylized race track. I created a 3000x3000 Illustrator file, which contains the vector art for my track, which is essentially a long path with rounded corners; think of a figure-8 but more complex and with right angles. Along the way we will encounter blocks of copy. This is a style frame of what I am trying to accomplish.


So I bring my AI file into AE, make it 3D and add a camera. I go back to my AI file and copy the original path, then back in AE I add a position keyframe to my camera and hit paste. I get a lot of roving keyframes and it seems to line up with my path, although I did have to raise the path in y-space in order to enter the camera's field of vision.

I have only done pretty basic stuff with cameras within AE, and I am having a hard time getting the results I want. What I could really use is some advice on what camera settings would be best to accomplish my goal of following along this path. My knowledge of camera options is pretty shaky, so I'm sure I could be managing this a lot better. I have muddled through figuring out that it should be a single-node camera, set to auto-orient along the path, but I'm really not seeing what I want, which is a smooth flowing motion along this track. I suspect the corners of my camera path are a little too tight for one thing, but I'm sure things like focus distance and other options I am shaky on are what is really hurting me.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, although I understand if what I am asking does not have any simple answers. All tips & advice are welcome. Thanks!

Motion Graphics Designer / Art Director
Boston, MA

System:
Mountain Lion on SSD
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800
18 GB RAM


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James Huenergardt
Re: Camera setup question
on May 6, 2014 at 10:08:57 pm

One thing I always do is control the camera using a null object.

What I do is create a null, make it 3D, then parent the camera to the null.

Then, I move the null around and the camera, of course, follows.

You may try that as it might help you get the desired results.

Hope this helps some.

Reel Inspirations - http://www.reelinspirations.com
Commercials, Dramas, Image Pieces, Documentaries, Motion Graphics


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Mike MacKenzie
Re: Camera setup question
on May 8, 2014 at 12:53:08 pm

Thank you!

Motion Graphics Designer / Art Director
Boston, MA

System:
Mountain Lion on SSD
2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800
18 GB RAM


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