Can cameras in blender do this?

hi all… I am fairly new to blender and was wondering if there is a way to do something specific using camera views…

I want to create a bunch of cameras (around 6) and have them all positioned in the same location but each camera has a different rotation on the Z axis (and possibly some Y axis) to mimic a camera on a tripod facing different directions… then id like some way to transition between each camera view so it looks like real footage that is panning without an immediate skip… the caveat is i think i need to do this without using the timeline playback and just update the preview in the main window…

what im ultimately trying to do is create a mockup of a live venue and mimic what a PTZ camera sees in the venue… PTZ cameras store presets of their different positions then each time you change presets the camera pans/tilts/zooms to the new preset from any position its currently in… if i had 6 presets in a PTZ camera i think that means there would be around 30 different ways it could move from any one preset to another (assuming my math is correct)… so i didnt think there was a way to do this by creating all the combinations on the timeline and jumping between them ?

so far using 6 cameras in blender mimics the preset positions of the PTZ nicely but i need to change between them (in any combination) without the immediate skip so it looks like a live camera panning…

Id also like to do this using OSC input… i installed routes and have got the connection working, but im yet to work out how to switch between cameras like how you manually change cameras in the outliner… my aim with the OSC controller is to have 6 buttons and each time i press one it moves between cameras using a slow pan (this would mimic the presets of the PTZ)… i dont need a high detail render although it would be cool if that was possible, just the view of the main editor window is probably OK… im mainly trying to get a feel for distance and how it looks when i put the PTZ camera in different locations inside the venue…

is there any way to do this ? appreciate any help…

Welcone :tada:
I may don’t understand you completely… but you can animate mostly every setting of the camera from position, rotation to POV, focal lense… so i don’t understan (yet) why you think you need six cameras… AFAIK you want to… oh i might get it now… you want to build the transitions between ever camera setting… :thinking: uhh there are multiple ideas/solutions about using multiple cameras and switching between them or rendering them all at the same time… i guess you really have to make a key frame for every camera setting and then build up every animation between this (copied keyframed) positions to get all transitions… seperate them and then use them in your wanted PTZ camera mockup…
And yes 6 positions → 15 path with 2 directions = 30 possibilities… or:

Blender can be used for everything :wink:

thanks for the help… as i will be looking to have around 5-6 presets in the PTZ camera my initial thought was to just recreate those camera positions in blender and then find a way to transition between them… i also thought if i have buttons on an OSC layout it would be easy to press each button to switch between camera views…

i could probably just send absolute values over OSC for blenders X/Y rotation and use one camera ? but it still wouldn’t pan between the value changes like a real world camera, sending absolute values to blender would jump immediately to the new setting, which is the same problem as transitioning between different camera views…

In theory you could probably script the OSC to increment a transition between locations but that is probably beyond my powers… keen to hear any other ideas how to do this easily ?

Because you mentioned something to use buttons to control this… i think any game engine would be more suitable to do such interactive camera controls… the animation is simple move from the actual camera position to wanted camera pos… but what do this help you doing it in the blender editor…?

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You can set markers on the timeline, and bind each marker to a different camera’s base position, in order. That way they’ll be easy to select from the timeline, and you can set the keyframes for their transitions in between the markers. Very simple.

Ignore that the cameras are only covering 180 degrees; that’s because some people (I am not naming any names!) can’t divide 360 by 6 when there are 12 cubes on the field. ^sigh^. Anyway. Simple. You can pick each camera view by selecting the marker in the timeline.

And yes, undoubtedly all this could be scripted. Not by me though.

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ahh… just noticed the timeline can play backwards… im new to blender so wasnt expecting that… that might make it possible but i have two questions…

say i currently have camera 6 selected… then i select camera 1 wont it just jump directly to that camera position ? wouldnt i need to select the marker and then select play backwards also ? is there anyway to select a marker/camera and blender know to play either forward or backwards to the marker you have selected ?

if it turns out i need to select the marker first and then decide which play directions, i think this is still possible from my planned OSC controller but it would be much easier if i could just select the marker number and blender plays the direction needed to move to it…

also is there a way to select markers using OSC/routes ? currently i right click on a value and select “create realtime route” to set up OSC control in other blender settings… thats been working OK but i couldnt see anyway to select markers with routes ?

It’s not obvious to me what you are trying to do, since you apparently want to animate the transition between the different views but you also mention not being able to use the timeline (for what reason?). If you need to control a Blender camera in real time to match a real camera on set, you’re in the wrong program : something like Touch Designer is better suited.
If you “just” want to output an offline render of this panorama, then you can have either six cameras (with timeline markers to switch from one to the next) or just one camera with toggle-able constraints that move and orient it around to match the six views.
Is the sequence between views fixed or do you aim to be able to go from any view to any other view?


If you select camera 1 in the outliner or the viewport, no, it won’t jump to that position on the timeline. It stays where it last was.

Backwards automatically? Umm. I thought I understood what you wanted to do but now I’m thinking I probably don’t understand enough. Sorry! Why do you want to go backwards?

Alas my knowledge here is very thin; I just learned about markers two days ago myself, and I have no idea what an OSC/route is (does your project have anything to do with this:

Hopefully somebody more knowledgeable comes along.

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thanks all for the help…

I initially thought the timeline wouldnt work (or at least work easily) because if you have 6 presets on a PTZ camera, then from any one preset you have 5 other presets you can change to… this adds up to around 30 different combinations that can occur… ie: 1->2, 1->3, 1->4, 1->5, 1->6, 2->1, 2->3… etc

at first i thought the timeline was only able to play forwards… which (i think) means you would need to create all 30 switching combinations which would be long winded to say the least…

now i see the timeline can play both directions so it may be easier to achieve… for example i could bind 6x cameras to 6x markers and have 6x OSC buttons corresponding to jump to those cameras… now say I have camera 1 selected on the timeline… then i press button 6 on my OSC controller to move to camera 6… blender would need to play forwards on the timeline until it stops at camera 6… then if i press button 1 on the controller while im paused on camera 6 blender has to play backwards from camera 6 on the timeline to camera 1… given the timeline can play both directions this means it could potentially work without needing to create 30 forward only combinations… (hope that makes sense)

the question though is if im trying to do this via OSC, then i sorta need blender to just know which direction to play the timeline when you select the camera number from the OSC button… it becomes lot more complex trying to script the OSC controller to first choose the marker and then choose which direction blender would need to play…

cool… ive had a basic look at touch designer previously if i cant get what i need to work only in blender i will check it out again…

i need to go from any view to any other view… trying to mimic the exact way the PTZ works…

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I don’t fully understand your goal but I’m pretty sure you’re making this way more complicated for yourself than it needs to be. I think you should download the RBF Nodes addon (google it) and make 30 “poses” tied to one simple input, something like an Empty’s rotation or position. Or, you can step up a notch and break it down further - use six empties, six RBF node setups, 5 poses each. Either way, this will be a lot easier with the RBF nodes

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What does the OSC input look like? can you connect it up to anything in Blender? if yes then you should try constraints. You could have it control the orientation of the camera in a setup like this one :
camera_positions_constraints.blend (922.2 KB)
(see properties editor on the left)

I believe it would be helpful if you could describe the purpose of what you are trying to do.

For me it’s still not clear why you want to have control over a camera movement. Is that for a game? For some interactive visualization? Cause all you said doesn’t make sense to render an animation, so probably knowing the purpose of your project could help our friends here to understand what you really want to achieve.

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One thing I was thinking. Why not to create an armature and parent the camera to an “arm”?
That way you could use poses to set the positions. I have no idea if that’s possible, but I think it could worth a try. Maybe pose library, now asset browser further could help with that. I don’t know, just an idea.

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im trying to make a basic 3D model of a venue with a stage… then im trying to use blender camera to let me visualize what the images received from a PTZ camera would look like if it were in the venue doing a live stream… im not looking to output a detailed render really so perhaps the way im trying to use blender is not what is typical ? i just want it to accept input from OSC controller and switch between camera views in realtime to show me roughly what a PTZ camera images would show in the venue…

the goal of this is so i can get an idea of distance and how the PTZ footage would look when facing various directions…

I think what i might do is use one camera in blender, make a note of X/Z rotational positions for six different locations which can mimic the PTZ presets… then try and find a way to send a string of OSC to blender that moves between the different X/Z positions for the single camera… the same as if you manually drag Z rotation with your mouse and the camera pans across the screen…

thanks for the ideas… as i say im new to blender, i’ll also look into all that has been mentioned and hopefully find something that works…

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still trying to work that out, routes looks like it connects to most blender settings although im yet to find a way to switch between markers with it… i can currently get it to change the rotational axis values which is largely what i need, hence i was thinking i could possibly get the OSC device to send a stream of OSC values that transitions Z rotation from say 10 to 70 degrees which pans the camera…

There are blender based game engines out there you know… so it would be

so – a realtime game engine… like



Yeah do what @Okidoki said and do this in a game engine, now that you’ve described your use case I can confidently say Blender is not the tool you’re looking for. Another option is Godot, in addition to the mentioned ones :slight_smile:


I see. The things you can connect it to are hardcoded, if I understand correctly ? you can’t just create a custom property in Blender and have it be controlled through OSC ?

Agree, Godot is pretty easy to set up, that could work… provided it’s able to listen to your signal.

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I would shoot the scene from each camera in turn and then use the film editor to stitch it all together.

One convenient way to do this is to build a “base scene,” then create a linked scene for each camera. You can per-scene select which camera is active and specify a distinct output directory. (At this point, the props can be correctly-sized geometric shapes. Do everything to scale.)

You can have as many scenes as you like. If you think about making some change, make a new scene and keep both versions. (You can make your final choice during the edit.)

Initially, use a “fast” render algorithm such as “Workbench,” and “stamp” the frames with file-name and frame number. Shoot more “film” than you think you’ll need: shoot both before and after the segment that you think you’ll use.

Then, take this to the video editor to “tweak” the show just the way you want it. Finally, go back and do “real renders” of exactly the frames that you now know that you need. (The stamp information will tell you.) And drop them in to replace the temporaries. The show is now finished.

You’ll actually be surprised at how much “tweaking” you do during the video editing process, to get the “rhythm” of the show just right. This is exactly how “real” filmmakers do it. The final show is constructed in the editor, while on-set they shoot alternatives to choose from. Commonly, an on-set editing team is initially sorting through the shots as fast as they come off the [digital …] cameras.

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Or like an interactive video DVD… press a number/arrow on the remote and according to the actual position a little movie scene will be played… but completely difital on computer…

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