Making a Camera Follow a Path, why so difficult?

I’m coming from 15 years of Maya experience, so doing this is easy in Maya, for me. And banking around turns is an option.

I’m trying to learn how to do this on Blender now. But, like a dozen other things I am trying to do on Blender with limited to no success, this one simple thing is proving to be frustrating.

I draw a Bezier curve on the grid. I select the camera, add a Follow Path constraint, select the curve, check the follow curve option and animate path, but it doesn’t follow the path. Instead, I get a blue dotted line that extends from the camera object , the end of which moves along the path curve. I’ve been scratching my head for two nights on this. I tried playing with the axis options both forward and up, and nothing happens other than the camera flipping.
Why is it so hard to do this simple process, which should take no more than 8 seconds to set up as is the case when I did this in Maya. Why doesn’t it work as expected on 2.91?

I did exactly what you said in the default scene and it works. Can you get it to work in the default scene?

I can replicate your behavior if I set the Forward and Up Axes to be the same.

select the cam and it alt-g to clear it’s location.
X rotation of the camera should be 90°

It takes me 5 seconds to set it up, should I conclude that Blender is more efficient than Maya ? :smiley:
Or maybe it’s just that they are 2 different apps and you just need time to adapt…

1 Like

you need to have a bezier curve or circle that you can shape the way you need.
Then you place en empty where you want the camera start and parent the empty to the curve using curve follow path
Then you place the camera at the empty location and parent it as object
In the curve modifier you set the axis for the camera as you need or you cant point the camera to a specific object using a track to constraint
That should work…

I made a new scene and couldn’t get it to work. Sometimes the camera would not move at all, but the blue dashed line would follow the path of the curve at the far end, while the near end would remain stationary at the camera.
Another time I restarted Blender and tried again, and got different, but equally frustrating results–the camera moved, but it moved away from where I’d set it on the path curve, and was looking sideways to the curve and moving along it. None of the axis options would make the camera point along the curve.
Also, in Maya, I can make the camera bank as it goes around the curve by clicking the “bank” option under Maya’s Motion Path Attributes. Didn’t find such an option in Blender.
https://youtu.be/LloLUDl401Q

leave the default settings, and hit alt-G on the camera.

I’m not sure about what the bank option do in maya, isn’t it the equivalent of follow curve option ?

Cant make it any simpler then this. I don’t think Blender supports the banking option you describe.

  • select camera
  • shift-select curve
  • Object -> Parent -> Follow Path
  • select camera
  • Object -> Clear -> Origin
  • rotate it to point along the initial direction

The animation settings, if you need them, would be in the curve’s object data properties under Path Animation panel.

After you have followed the directions above and have the camera following the curve…you can add a Dampened Track Constraint to the Camera and have it target the curve or any other object in the scene, such as an empty the with the right axis selected it will always point at that object…