Need Camera to Follow Mesh

http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/4281/camerab.png

Hi, I want my camera to constantly follow the sphere no matter where the sphere moves to. I tried a “Track To” constraint, but it didn’t work. How can I make this work? Using Blender 2.5.

With the TrackTo constraint the camera should follow the object. I remember the trackTo was broken some time ago, but is working again for a few weeks already. Which build are you using?

Hi, thanks I am using build 2.5.11 R26000. I will download a newer build and try it. Maybe you can tell me how to use the track to constraint to target my mesh. Here’s what I read in a tutorial.

Select the Camera, then select the “Track To” constraint, then in the track to space type in the name of the mesh you want to follow. The camera should then point at the mesh.

OK, I am obviously doing something wrong. I just downloaded an newer build (26335 mac) and when I perform the above steps the camera flips away from the mesh instead of looking at it. I can still see a dashed line going from the camera to the mesh, so the constraint is working but the camera is still not pointing at the mesh.

Any ideas what I am doing wrong? Do I have to have the camera in a special position like 0,0,0 before I add the constraint?

when I perform the above steps the camera flips away from the mesh instead of looking at it
You need to set the correct axis in the constraint. Try this:

To: -Z
Up: Y

But a faster way to apply TrackTo constraints to objects would be this:

  • select the camera
  • shift select the sphere
  • press Ctrl + T and choose TrackTo Constraint

Awesome Sago, this was so helpful and I got it working but in the first method I am a little confused as to how you know to select: To:-Z and Up:Y? I don’t see how choosing these (To:-Z and Up:Y) are relevant to the position of the camera? Could you explain.

Track To constraint documentation
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual/Constraints/Track_To
To show an objects axes, select Axis from the Draw panel (F7). The Camera has an axis like any other object so it could be pointing towards or away from the mesh depending on the orientation of the camera.

Richard

Thanks Richard :slight_smile:

How do I see the X,Y, Z axis of my camera and cube so I know which “To” and “Up” settings to choose?


OK I think I understand. In the wiki example (see above) Cube A’s “X” axis is pointing to cube “B” so that is the “To” part of the equation and Cube A’s “Y” axis is pointing “up” so that is the “Up” part of the equation.

Just to clarify, then. If the “Constraints Panel” is supposed to relate to the cube example (see link) then it is incorrect because the “To” says Y when it should be “X”. diagram http://wiki.blender.org/uploads/5/5c/TrackToConstraint.png

The Constraints panel doesn’t match the example, this is for an object called ‘Suzanne’ rather than ‘cube’ and it needs the object name to be tracking to put in the OB box. This just shows an example of the constraints panel.

Richard

I didn’t think so but it does explain it well. I understand the theory, my only confusion is how to tell which “To” and “Up” settings to choose when you select the camera or object?

The “To” and “Up” is only related to the object that has the TrackTo constraint (e.g. the camera).

“To” is the axis of the object that will point towards it’s target.
“Up” is the axis of the object that will point upwards.

If Suzanne’s face is pointing towards it’s Z-axis, but you want the back of her head to track an object, you set “To” to -Z.
If the top of her head is pointing towards the Y-axis, but you want one of her sides always to point upwards, you set “Up” to X or -X

Thanks Sago & Richard. I played around with this for about 45 min & now I understand. (I’m kinda slow getting this stuff. lol.)

I just had to frame it differently in my mind. For example: the face you want to point to the object is the “To” etc. Now I understand. :slight_smile: