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is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???

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Nick Natteau
is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???
on Mar 8, 2012 at 1:50:12 pm

In my 3D scene, I have a map of the U.S. with text layers (L.A., Denver, Chicago, Boston) that I have placed on my map. The text layers are sitting upright on the map 90 degrees perpendicular to the map.

I want my camera to dolly in from the map as a whole to each city name and then fly from one text layer to another. I tried using Sure Target after viewing video co-pilot's Sure Target tutorial multiple times, but I'm not getting the results I'm hoping for. Even though "Auto Rotate" is turned on and the targets are selected, Sure Target always seems to throw everything way off target and doesn't rotate to the targeted layer. If the targeted layer is 90 degrees perpendicular to the map, the ST camera doesn't rotate to end up facing the target but instead simply dollies in to the target even though auto rotate is turned on.

Is there an easier way than Sure Target to achieve this?


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John Cuevas
Re: is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???
on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:27:38 pm

Some Camera Rig tutorials:

Creative Cow series, details the reasons why pretty good:
http://library.creativecow.net/devis_andrew/Animating-a-Camera-1/1

http://library.creativecow.net/devis_andrew/Animating-a-Camera-2/1

http://library.creativecow.net/devis_andrew/Animating-a-Camera-3/1

Maltaannon tutorial(less about the problems, more about the solution):

http://maltaannon.com/articles/after-effects/simple-camera-rig/

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???
on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:08:23 pm

All of the above suggestions are great- maltaannon's camera rig is very useful.
One other method I use is to use a series of Nulls to animate from one position to the next- from initial position to first city name use Null1, then pick up from there with Null2... and so on. The trick that helps me is to have Null1 at the top, all other Nulls linked to it in order, with the camera at the bottom.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Chris Buttacoli
Re: is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???
on Mar 9, 2012 at 2:25:03 am

Also, if you separate the xyz parameters, which is a preset in one of the animation preset folders, it makes it a whole lot easier.


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Nick Natteau
Re: is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???
on Mar 9, 2012 at 2:59:13 am

Thanks very much everybody. Ted, can you elaborate a little more on your method?

Are you using only Nulls to do that? No cameras at all? I didn't know you could do it without any cameras.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???
on Mar 9, 2012 at 8:02:55 am

"One other method I use is to use a series of Nulls to animate from one position to the next- from initial position to first city name use Null1, then pick up from there with Null2... and so on. The trick that helps me is to have Null1 at the top, all other Nulls linked to it in order, with the camera at the bottom."

The camera is at the bottom of the parenting chain- so basically I am moving the camera using a Null for each segment of my animation- thing is, you have to plan all of it at the very beginning, knowing how many segments you will have and thus determining the number of Nulls you will use.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Nick Natteau
Re: is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???
on Mar 9, 2012 at 2:13:15 pm

Thanks so much Ted, your method turned out to be the most efficient and easiest of them all!


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: is there an easier way than Sure Target to dolly in on elements in a 3D scene???
on Mar 9, 2012 at 4:45:04 pm

Glad I could help!

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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