Animating a scene

am new to animation and learning as I go here… I have created 3 animals, and have them in a scene in the back yard of a house… going to walk them around the house to the front…and then out of the front yard through the picket fence gate…
Is there a way to follow the animals as they move around the house and out the gate and then along the sidewalk…does Camera tracking do this? or do I need to create each side of the house and then along the sidewalk in separate animated scenes and them put them all together… In other words… have them walk across the back yard to the side of the house and then change and do the walking along the side yard in separate scene… then put the two together? Right now that is what am doing but not sure if something like camera tracking would follow the three animals going around the house and out the gate all in one scene or not…
appreciate any help… or suggestions…


Camera tracking is for tracking points inside a movie clip or video. There is a TRACK_TO constraint that is often applied to a camera object to cause the camera to continually point at one object, like your animals. Many people also create a curve to define the exact path a camera will travel along. The TRACK_TO and FOLLOW_PATH constraints are often used together on a single camera to cause it to move along a path and look at a specific object.

I rarely use either of those constraints in my camera work, however, instead favoring direct placement of the camera overtime.

Blender supports a camera ‘fly’ mode but you have to enable it in the User Preferences. Click the Input TAB and change Viewport Navigation from Walk to Fly. Close the preferences window. Now move your mouse into the 3D view and press SHIFT-F to activate fly mode. A bracket will appear in the center of the screen. When you move your mouse, the camera will ‘drift’ in that direction. The mouse wheel will accelerate you into and out of the scene. Left-Click will lock in your new location, Right-Click or ESC will abandon the current move.

Thanks Atom… appreciate your reply… will play around with this ‘Fly’ operation and see what I can do with it… Right now, been creating each scene with a number of frames till I’m out of camera view,… then create new scene starting where they left the camera view… thought I would put all scenes together then to create one … will play with this other to see what I can do with it…
have good day…

Camera can be animated as well as any other object, that’s what Atom meant when he pointed towards those constraints (and when mentioned “direct placement of camera over time”). The position, rotation of camera, even its lens parameters can be keyframed or driven, so when animation is played, it would appear to be moving just like e.g. a movie’s operator camera would move on a dolly, or zooming in and out. Only it being virtual camera, it doesn’t suffer physical limitations like length of the rail or inability to go through walls or rotate to weird angles.

Fly mode or just dragging/rotating camera in 3D view will help with placing the camera at appropriate angle on a given frame, but it’s the actual animation (keyframes/drivers) that would make it move with time.

Thanks Stan, I got to playing with the Fly function and didn’t do too good with that… a bit strange for me… I tried Camera tracking but that definitely didn’t work… when I tried to use the camera track to, it created a problem with the dog… so was reading through some information and found the animating the camera with keyframes… just tested it and this will work… I set the camera view I needed for the back yard and then set the keyframe… when the view needs to change, I changed the view and set the keyframe… had to critique one of the keyframes to keep it from changing too much as the frames progressed… but this will work for what I need to do… thanks so much for your reply… appreciate the help… am learning …
have a good day :slight_smile:

You may not need multiple scenes either. Blender can switch automatically between a series of cameras over time. This is really useful if you just want a series of shots from a single scene or environment.

Here is a quick tip video on how to bind cameras to timeline markers for automatic camera switching.

A better way to approach it, I think, is to closely follow what actual movie-makers do: they shoot a scene from several cameras, from several points-of-view, and later they edit the various pieces of footage to create what you actually see. Use the “OpenGL Render” feature of Blender (on the lower right side of the 3D window) to quickly do the same thing, then use (say) VSE to edit the footage. After you have determined the footage that you’ll actually use in the shot, go back and detail-render just those frames.

(“OpenGL render” can render a frame in nearly-real-time, producing an output file that will exactly match the “real, final” shot. They’re perfect stand-ins, but they can be produced quickly and cheaply enough to be considered “throw-away.” Furthermore, OpenGL is quite good, and can sometimes be used to produce the “final version,” or a very-useful portion thereof.)

(Although you can program Blender to “switch cameras,” it’s usually more practical to shoot separate shots, which you can easily do using “Scenes.” First, go shoot “lots and lots of (cheap, throw-away) film.” Then, make something of it. Finally, go back and produce (only) what you picked.)

“How to use the camera” is the entire subject called “cinematography.” The camera can be stationary, or it can move … on a track, on a dolly, on a dolly on a track, or in the camera operator’s hand. The “lock to” or “point to” constraints allow you to cause the camera to always point to a precise spot in space (usually designated by an invisible “empty” parented to the object-of-interest) as you animate it, say along a path.

Next time you watch TV, pay attention to all those “cuts” that occur … that occur constantly … throughout every minute of the episode. If the editor did his or her job well, you don’t really “notice” them … until you do. Now that you want to create footage and shows yourself, you need to start noticing. Look at the “visual storytelling” that’s being done both by the cinematographer and the editor. Blender enables you to do both, and you will need to do both.