LW>B: view FROM a spotlight?

Is it possible in Blender to use a spotlight as a viewport camera?

(Something I miss A LOT from LW.)

Select the spot and hit ctrl+0(numpad).
This is the command ‘Set Active as Camera’ and can be used for all objects not only lights.

If you want to move the light/object when you see through it, you can activate ‘Lock Camera to View’ and just navigate the view.

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Small addendum: to quickly return to your camera(s) view, click the green camera icon in the Outliner. A bit quicker than selecting the camera and hitting the ctrl-0 key.

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It helps a bit, but… meh. --The big problem with “Set Active As Camera” is it actually changes the Camera, rather than a notional “viewpoint camera”.

IMO Blender and C4D both suffer from this “the Camera is an afterthought” syndrome, whereas I know for a fact (from personal conversation) that Alan Hastings thought of LW from the beginning as something to make “movies” with. Other s/w seems to rooted in more of a CAD aesthetic, and don’t treat the Camera as anything particularly special. It is literally impossible to have a LW scene with zero cameras, which Is As It Should Be.

In my world, the camera is THE POINT of doing all this work.

But thanks for the tip.

I wholeheartedly disagree. :stuck_out_tongue:

Either app provides a quick method to switch to a specific camera: in Blender a click on the camera icon in the outliner, in LightWave use the Scene Editor. Both one click (I very much dislike that drop-down menu in Layout to switch views).

Both apps provide a way to view the scene from the viewpoint of any other object (lights). I don’t know what is meant by a “notational” viewport camera. The effect is the same.

Perhaps you mean that in Lightwave each view can have its own camera viewpoint set? In Blender you open the View settings in the sidebar, and activate the Local Camera option. It is then also possible to use a light as the local camera, and it becomes “notational” viewport camera (it will not render, unless you happen to hover over that viewport!).

But I have to express here that the way Layout works with its viewport in camera view is just very, very frustrating to me (and I am not alone in this). I never liked it much, even at times in my life when LightWave was my main tool.

In Blender I can just simply lock the camera or a view seen from any other object to the viewport controls (or not). In LightWave, I cannot. Sure, it is possible to aim it a null object to create a passable manipulable camera, or use the match view command. But viewport controls are locked when entering a camera view in Layout. 2019 finally introduced additional navigation options, but it is still extremely awkward to work with the main camera views in my opinion.

I understand that LightWave’s mimics a real-world camera on a tripod. It is one of the single-most frustrating things that I had to deal with when I switched back to LightWave after C4d years ago.

At least Blender gives the user a choice: work with the free-floating camera (like just about any other 3d app), or use the bundled dolly or crane camera rig for a “real-world camera” control experience. And the dolly camera rig works better than Layout’s camera anyway (I recall Jason Steen’s camera rig for LW, which was nice).

Unless the user has only been exposed to LightWave’s camera system, most users familiar with 3d software find Layout’s camera approach rather odd and awkward to work with in my experience. My thinking is that the camera system in Layout is quite alien to users of other 3d software - a bit like pre-2.8 Blender’s insistence on using the right mouse button to select.

This same topic came up at the Newtek forums a few times in the past, and even die-hard LW users agree the camera system needs improvements.

Ton Roosendaal’s vision for Blender matches Alan Hasting’s vision. Ton always said Blender was created foremost with film makers in mind.

The scene system in Blender, for example, underscores his vision. Create multiple scenes, link cameras, link objects, link external scenes, combine it all in the compositor and video editor.

The beauty of this scene system is that the outliner allows us to display multiple scene trees, and it becomes a doddle to switch between cameras of different scenes.

This is not possible in LightWave. And in LightWave the singular scene approach meant the render resolution is tied to the camera itself - which is a pretty bad legacy design decision, in my experience. In Blender the render resolution is tied to the scene instead, and this provides a less fragile workflow. (And let’s not mention how the lack of a true camera in Modeler stifles the workflow.)

Anyway, sorry for the rant. The cameras in Layout have always frustrated me no end. And still do whenever I open an old scene in Layout.

But I do agree that LightWave’s camera object is much nicer looking in the 3d view (even if the younger generation probably wouldn’t recognize the film roll cartridges… :slight_smile:

That’s because you are thinking of them as ‘cameras’ – they’re just VIEWPORTS.

The gaffer and asst director are not the camera on a set, even though they have view points.

IMO the Camera is a special entity, and needs special handling. I hate the way CAD-ish programs, Blender and C4D, seem to treat it as an afterthought: it’s the whole freekin’ point.

And, in general, Ton’s ideas don’t particularly impress me. However, the price is right.