Previz Camera Tools

No more mess with binding cameras to markers when setting up cameras for a scene. Work in the 3D View, add the cameras to the VSE, and watch the cut-timings playback in the 3D Viewport!

[SUP]Video Credits:

  • Rigged Car featured in the video is by Racoon Media(BlenderSwap)
  • The music “Backbay Lounge” is by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License[/SUP]


Previz Camera Tools sets up the Video Editor to control the camera selection in the 3D View on frame updates. Which makes it possible to edit the clip timings on the same screen and at the same time as editing cameras and everything else in the 3D Viewport. The ambition is that people with no Blender knowledge should be able to make a mise-en-scene with this panel alone, so some native Blender functions have been moved into the panel.

Workflow Time Lapse:

Run the script

  1. Install it like any Blender add-on or run the script in the text-editor in Blender.
  2. Find the functions in the bottom of the right-hand-side menu of the 3D View.

Main Functions

  • The button “Add Camera to Sequencer” will add a scene-strip in the Sequencer with the current camera starting from the current frame.
  • The checkbox “Link Sequencer to 3D View” will link the frame number and switch cameras in the 3D View. So playing the sequencer will play the sequence in the 3D View and the camera work can be edited instantly.
  • Cycle Cameras
  • Rename Camera
  • Walk Navigation
  • Focus Length

Some more functions added and script updated(v 0.2):

This looks very promising, thanks for sharing!

Incredibly useful, thank you.
Easy to use, and powerful.

Thanks for the encouragements. I’ve added “Current Camera” and “Camera Renamer” in version 0.3:

I would love to add these functions(but I need some help to figure out how):

  • Set in and out points(of the current camera) - to be inserted at playhead in Sequencer.
  • Select Strip > Select Camera & update 3D View(select cameras through Sequencer) - as a checkbox

Time Lapse of using Previz Camera Tools:

Thanks for this good thing

Thank you, I appreciate it.

New version out. This one with several native Blender camera functions inserted in the panel for easy access. Apparently, the OpenGL render in the Sequencer will have DoF rendering from next Blender release, so the DoF options are now added.

Current UI:


Btw. would “Sequencer Camera Tools” be a better name?

1 Like

Any feedback on the latest version?

all works fine, and the new features are appreciated.

Just for feedback, I have these messages in the console, but I don’t see bugs so far.

The cycle camera is cool, but could be improved by being replaced by a list of cameras.
Maybe the the code of “stored views” add on can help with that.
Just my 2 cents, I will not fall in the feature request complaint anymore :wink:

“Sequencer Camera Tools” seems ok, but I think that “Previz camera tools” can bring more vfx/director people to Blender.
Thanks again for your add on!

Thanks. I think I’ve now fixed errors.

A ‘Camera Selector’ is now included and the UI order has changed a bit.

Wow, that was fast !
So far, so good, it works like a charm, no more errors in the console.
And the camera selector…Nice gift from You, Tin2tin.
Awesome, respect and I’m grateful.

Great! Thanks for testing it.

I’ve been thinking - would it be better to make a more simple implementation of this tool? Just in the ‘Add menu’ add Scene>Camera option and in the ‘View menu’ add checkbox+‘Update 3D View Cameras from Sequencer’?

Would it have a better chance of being added to the Blender-releases that way?

However, if the devs decide that the scene-strips should not be able to access the current scene, that would be the end of this functionality:

Cool previz example:

1 Like

Thanks for sharing! Really useful!

Can I just say that Blender is a great tool for previz, even without any add-ons! We use it all the time now to previz complex movie-scenes. :cool:

I love the camera presets and the viewport performance with ambient occlusion etc!

A new test of Previz Camera Tools:


That’s truly unfortunate. I really appreciate your effort in creating this add-on. Blender has great tools that make it ideal for quick previs/animatics, but the scene management via a master timeline leaves a lot to be desired (Or rather, doesn’t exist).

It would be awesome if the functionality of your add-on (namely, dynamic changing of the 3D view depending on where the playhead is in the VSE) could be integrated into Blender, but across all the scenes, not just the cameras of one scene.
Ideal behavior would be like that of Storyboard Pro, where creation/deletion of a new shot/scene would happen on the master timeline, viewport loads the scene dynamically based on playhead position, and scenes could be easily duplicated and managed in the timeline. I would think a lot of people would love this feature.

You can’t change the scene(in the 3D view) without changing the contents of the sequencer too, unless sequences are separated from scenes, which I fear is quite a big operation into the dependency-graph, but I don’t know about that stuff.

But if you’re after doing storyboards all you need is setting up a camera pr. drawing so if you just keep clear of the previous drawings a scene can contain an infinite number of drawings and camera setups. Then Previz Camera Tools(not ported to 2.80 yet) can be used to add the cameras as scene strips to the sequencer where the timings can be edited in combination with audio editing. And PCT can also be used to switch between the cameras in the 3D View, where the drawings can be edited directly.

Here’s a script I did which converts “bind camera to markers” to VSE strips:

How to: Set up a camera pr. drawing, then in VSE Add > Scene and then in strip properties > Scene > Override Camera > Select your Camera.

Or use (2.79 only) which will let you add VSE strips directly from the 3d View.

If you want to test it quickly then download this wonderful Grease Pencil Scene:
And use this script: to auto-convert the “bind-camera-to-markers” cameras to scene strips in the VSE - and you will have the whole film in the sequencer.