Easiest way to do make the camera circle?

OK. so I’ve had some hard times getting the camera to do quality circular pans around an object. I know how to lock it to a nothing so it is always pointing a the object but i cant get it to move in a circle. It normally ends up as a round box with odd accelerations and what not because i keyframe it at four points around it. Anybody have a way that works well for them?

Parent the camera to the empty and animate the empties rotation. Not the camera.

ive got a question on this, how should i make my keyframes, just 2, one of them aobut halfway but a little offset so i no it rotates in the right direction and the second one in the start location?

Heres a Blend that you can use to see how its done.


I set the first rot key and then jump 10 frames (up arrow) and set the next for direction. After that set extended extrapolation in the IPO window, and you’ve got a camera spinning around the empty.


Add a bezier circle. Scale it to the size you want, and set it around the object you want the camera to circle. Apply scale and rotation. Set the Path len to the number of frames desired (default is 100, or 4 seconds per revolution) and press the CurvePath button in the Curve and Surface Panel.

Give the Camera a Follow Path Constraint, with the Target OB the name of the bezier circle (default is CurveCircle). Move the camera to the beginning control point on the CurveCircle (There will be a dotted line connecting the camera to this point if the camera isn’t on it already.)

Give the Camera a Track To Constraint to point it at the object you want to circle, or point the camera at an empty in the same general location. Set the Up and Align axis buttons so the camera points at the object.

The bezier circle shows up in the render, so either put it on a layer you aren’t going to render, or give it a material and make the material transparent and turn off all the default rendering options in the Render Pipeline panel and the Shader panel.

The camera will now follow the perfectly circular path in frames 1 to 100. You can use the same technique with a bezier curve to get the camera to follow an arbitrary path.

[edit] pappy’s way is simpler, this way gives you more control over the path.[/edit]

Can some please explain how pappy’s camera rotation technique is done in detail…I would like to learn how to re-create this technique and how it works.


  1. Select object to “camera rotate”
  2. Shift “S” cursor to selection
  3. Top view - “Space bar” add empty
    Note: (you may want to scale up the empty’s “display” (size in “editing” buttons)
    Note 2: top view not neccessary in latest SVN builds.
    Note 3: If empty added from other views, clear rotation "Alt “R”)
  4. Select camera - shift select empty
  5. Ctrl “P” make parent (test rotate empty in “z” - “it lives!!”)
  6. Select empty (if needed) and insert rotation key.
  7. Go forward 10 frames (up arrow)
  8. Using the rotation manipulator rotate the empty in “Z” a small amount in the direction you want the camera to go.
  9. Set another rotation key.
  10. Open an IPO window with the empty selected.
  11. Select the “Z Rot” curve and set its extend mode to interpolation.
  12. Edit the “y” value of the second key to determine the speed of rotation.
    Note: Make the “Y” value + or - to edit direction of rotation.


Lots of steps, but it only takes a minutes work to do.


Thanks for taking the time to write a step by step on how to do this…I appreciate it



download lighting rigs from wiki. ring is on unseletected layer. camera does a ring around the sphere, 100 frames i think.