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Animating the After Effects Camera

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Mike TosettoAnimating the After Effects Camera
by on Nov 13, 2011 at 12:56:10 am

Hi guys

I know this is a topic that's been covered many times but please bear with me as I've been doing lots of research over the last couple of weeks on a quest to adopt the 'best' method for animating cameras in After Effects.

I'd like to start off saying I have a thorough understanding of After Effects and working with the camera. What I'm attempting to achieve is more advanced camera moves. By this I mean creating beautiful organic camera moves that speed quickly to new positions then drift slowly before flying off to a new position. Think of some of the great infographics animations currently floating around the web where the camera never stops and every camera movement is super fluid. That's what I'm trying to achieve.

Now I've done the Toolfarm Camera training where Rob talks about parenting the camera to a null. I've purchased one of Cassidy Bisher's Drop Drop templates to see how he works and he seems to use the 'Separate XYX' animation preset on the parent null. I've also seen numerous rigs for camera control, such as Motionworks rig, Maltannon's rig and Hypoly's rig, which all use multiple nulls in a hierarchy.

To be honest, I'm just a bit confused by it all. I really want to adopt a method and then run with it and practice, practice, practice. I know there's no right or wrong way but I just see so many different techniques and I just thought yawl might like to share how you guys do it? And maybe some reasons why you've chosen your particular method?

I've been relying on VCP's Sure Target over the last couple of years but it's actually quite limiting for the type of camera moves I'm now wanting to do.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks for reading.

Mike

miketosetto dot com | bestiacollective dot com


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Walter SoykaRe: Animating the After Effects Camera
by on Nov 14, 2011 at 6:28:24 pm

[Mike Tosetto] "I really want to adopt a method and then run with it and practice, practice, practice. I know there's no right or wrong way but I just see so many different techniques and I just thought yawl might like to share how you guys do it? And maybe some reasons why you've chosen your particular method?"

I don't think you can pick just one rig for all situations. Different rigs make different kinds of moves easier. You should pick your rig according to what controls you need to animate.

If you want to get a feel for how different rigs work, maybe you could build a 3D scene and try to fly the a few of the same camera moves through the scene with each rig you've seen.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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