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Camera Rig

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Mike CharalCamera Rig
by on Jan 30, 2012 at 5:09:58 am

I have searched far and wide to try and resolve my issue, I promise the answer isn't buried somewhere in the forums (if it is, I'm sincerely sorry).

I want to create specific fly-through style animations which involve the camera BODY orbiting around a null object, but also looking at a point-of-interest which ISN'T the same as the null object. I've been at it for hours now and I can't seem to find a solution. Initially, I created an expression that just mapped the POI x/y/z position to a 3D null's separated x/y/z positions, but because the camera is orbiting (read: parented to) a different null, the POI moves with the orbiting camera (as if it's parented to the camera) rather than following the POI null.

I hope I'm clear, describing this stuff aptly is a nightmare. Basically, I want a camera rig where the camera orbits a 3D animatable point, but also LOOKS at a different 3D animatable point.

Is this possible? Thanks for any suggestions! Maybe I could work out some math to reverse any effect the "orbit" null has on the POI, leaving the POI to be controlled independently?

- Mike

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Michael SzalapskiRe: Camera Rig
by on Jan 30, 2012 at 2:44:01 pm

Don't parent the camera to anything.
Parent a null object instead and then add an expression to the camera's position to follow the child null's position. Now, keep in mind, you can't pickwhip to the position, because the position of the child is now relative to the parent, you'd need to use something like this:
c = this_comp.layer("child");

Of course, "child" needs to be changed to the name of your child null.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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Mike CharalRe: Camera Rig
by on Jan 30, 2012 at 8:37:48 pm

Thanks Michael, I was trying to use this yesterday but I was running into other problems. I'm sorry you've had to post this response multiple times! I ended up using a few "toWorld" layer space transforms. With a few more expressions, I came up with a pretty functional and robust camera rig! I created that fake "POI" I was talking about by having the camera "lookAt" a 'POI' null. Focal distance was calculated using "length" from camera position to a 'focal point' null.

Thanks for your help, as well as Dan Ebberts', who posted some other very useful layer space transform expressions elsewhere!

- Mike

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