Camera to follow text moving along a bezier curve

I have created a bezier curve and a text of 2 words. Now the text shall move along the curve and a camera shall move with the text on the same trajectory pointing at the text always at the same angle. Just like a figure on a roller coaster being filmed at a close angle.
The text has a wave modifier targeted to the curve with deformation axis x. I have moved the text to the start of the curve inserting a key frame and then to the end of the curve inserting another key frame. I have added an empty with a constraint Child Of Text. The camera has a constraint Track To Empty To -z Up Y. All this results in text moving along the curve with Empty moving on the X-axis and camera not moving but just rotating around its y-axis. I have tried a number of different combinations but I can not get it to work as described above. I am using Blender 2.5. Help will be deeply appreciated. Thanks.

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if you parent the camera to the text, it should follow like you want it to (if i understand you correctly that is).

I have deleted the Empty and set Text constraint Child of camera as you suggested. Now text moves normally along the curve, but the camera does not move at all.


i’m not sure if i undertand you correctly, but didn’t mean a constraint, but parenting.
you select the camera, then shift-select the text, press ctrl-P and confirm. the camera should now follow the text whereever it moves.

Thanks Josef. I selected camera and text and hit ctrlP. Now camera follows text, but it loses the sight of text. I experimented with constraints on camera such as clamp to, damped, track to, follow path etc, but could not find the right combination. The camera sees the text in the beginning but later it loses it. Any suggestions?

yeah. don’t use any contraints on the camera after you parented it to the text. if it’s pointing at the text, it will do so then always, no matter where you move the text.

Done exactly so. But camera moves only along x-axis. Thus when the text goes in y direction camera can not see it. Further suggestions. Due to time difference between Europe and US I have to leave now. I shall work on any input tomorrow.

again, i’m not sure what’s going on in your scene, but if your camera follows it’s parent only on the x axis, you have either some further constraints on it or it’s not actually parented.

if it’s not working out, you should explain better or post an example blend file here. without that it’s just guessing.

As Jo5ef said you should really include a blend file. I assume you have your text following the curve by using a curve modifier on the text and then moving the text along the x-axis (for example). Unfortunately if you do this although the text follows the curve its object centre does not (yellow dot moves in a straight line); therefore as far as I know (and I could be wrong) if you parent or constrain anything to the text it will follow the object centre and not the text. One way around this is to add an empty and add a follow path constraint; add a copy location constraint to the camera and select the empty; keyframe the movement of the empty (offset of the constraint) and the movement of the text separately.
I have just used a cube on the blend file but it should be the same for text.
camera_follow.blend (460 KB)

Thanks to both of you. As AlanK says the text follows the curve but its object center just goes in a straight line parallel to the X-axis. Camera or any other object parented or constrained to the text also follows this center. Now I am going try the method suggested by AlanK. I shall report back the result.

Here is the result as suggested by AlanK. The camera still moves on a straight line.


TextMoveCurve00TS.blend (399 KB)

You should look at the blend file I posted. You should not keyframe the movement of the empty; you animate it by keyframing the offset of the follow path constraint (see pic). To do this put the cursor over the Offset box and press I to insert a keyframe. You also need to change the forward motion of then offset to Y. You should also have the object centres for the curve, empty and text at the beginning of the curve.

Here is your file cleaned up.

TextMoveCurve01TS.blend (426 KB)

OK Thanks to both of you. I just changed the key frames inserted for empty on Follow Text Offset. Now the camera moves as it should. The problem is solved.