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Mastering the camera

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andrew donaldson
Mastering the camera
on Oct 25, 2011 at 4:02:38 pm

Hey guys.

Something that I have been meaning to ask for a while is do you know of any tips or pointers on how to really master animating AE's camera?

Im not a newbie, i understand keyframing and easy easing (etc), i understand when to use linear and bezier points, etc. But i always find myself struggling to get my camera animations super smooth. And I often find myself using a workaround and avoiding the moves that i want with alternative shots.

Again, its not a RTFM question, i want to know if you guys can always master the move you want to do and what your secret is!
Any links to tutorials or similar welcome...



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John Cuevas
Re: Mastering the camera
on Oct 25, 2011 at 4:51:43 pm

Check out the VideoCopilot tutorials on SureTarget. It's a free plugin they developed that moves between different targets/locations. Really handy and they have some good tuts on it's usage.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Mastering the camera
on Oct 25, 2011 at 5:40:27 pm

Another great resource is the camera rig tutorial you can find at the link below. This (or a slightly more complex version) is what I use to animate my cameras and I am very happy with it:

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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ben g unguren
Re: Mastering the camera
on Oct 25, 2011 at 8:04:09 pm

I like video copilot's stuff, but I recommend understanding rigging for a camera, and come up with something that works well for you....

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing

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Brian Charles
Re: Mastering the camera
on Oct 25, 2011 at 11:57:46 pm

Ben is right, there are 3 tutorials here on the Cow by Andrew Devis that can help:

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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Mastering the camera
on Oct 26, 2011 at 5:59:33 am

Sure Target is good but like others have chimed in, it's not an ideal tool to use if you're learning how to use AE's Camera.

I use different camera rigs, from complex ones to no rig at all. It all depends on the type of camera moves I want. Further, it is indeed more difficult to animate a camera than other layers. This is to be expected and you should be cognizant of this fact. Hence, it is OK to spend more time on it - IOW don't be disheartened if you're not getting it right the first few times.

I think I'm decently experienced with the Camera but there are times when I really have to tweak and finesse (that's a lot of undo's and redo's) my way about to get what I want.

Learn to use multiple viewports, it is a necessity when you need to accurately set up layers in 3D space and/or to move the camera. Use AE's Look At menu items should you get lost. Then re-orientate yourself by either moving selected layers or the camera or both.

You will also have to be really good with the Graph Tools if you want to be a good 'cameraman'. This is the part that oftentimes make your moves really work. Sometimes, all it takes is a sweet ease or a quick zip-in to get the camera move looking great.


Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer

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andrew donaldson
Re: Mastering the camera
on Oct 26, 2011 at 8:42:59 am

Thanks for the replies folks, heaps of good info there.

Im a bit ashamed that I didn't know anything about camera rigs, but they look well helpful.
I have checked out VC's stuff in the past and its cool, but I agree with the feeling that its good to learn how/why these things work properly (to really free your creativity, etc, etc).

Im gonna get right in about that Maltannon Camera Rig, it looks great.

And I actually cant wait to master those moves i always shyed away from!

Cheers again guys...

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