Realistic camera movement

Hi there,

I’ve made a model of the interior of a gallery and I’d like to move the camera round the gallery. The camera movement must be as “realistic” as possible. I guess the aim is to mimic a reasonably smooth hand-held camera.

If you’ve attempted to make realistic camera movements in Blender, what worked best for you? Is my best bet to use Python scripting to add a little noise to the camera path? Or is my best bet to manually edit the camera path and manually add little jerks and stutters? Is there a way to use Blender’s physical modelling to endow the camera with a mass (and hence inertia)?

Many thanks,
Jack

Hi,

yes, that’s very possible. There might be many different ways to do it, but I used the following:

  • add a mesh with just one vertex
  • make it a softbody
  • animate this mesh instead of the camera (path, key frames, whatever)
  • vertex parent the camera to the vertex (in Object mode: select camera and mesh; enter edit mode, select vertex, ctrl-p)
  • voila, your camera has soft body behaviour now

You can do the same with another single vertex mesh and let the camera track it. This mimics the behaviour of a hand held camera following fast moving objects quite well (overshooting and such).

Hope this helps! Just ask if anything is unclear (don’t have time for excessive descriptions right now) :slight_smile:

Many thanks for the reply - that’s great news that I can use physical modelling for the camera’s path.

One quick question: is it possible to rotate a single vertex? In other words, would the recipe you’ve outlined above allow the camera to pan and tilt?

Many thanks,
Jack

hmmm, I’m not sure about rotating single vertices. But panning/tilting is definitely possible in various ways:

  • You can put a “copy rotation” constraint on the camera to get the orientation of the helper object, so the camera always looks “forward” on the path.
  • You can use a dedicated helper object animated separately and let the camera track it.
  • any other exotic ideas, anyone?

Here’s a little .blend that demonstrates these ideas. Please post your suggestions/findings here, I’d appreciate your feedback :slight_smile:

Happy blending,
Björn

Hi,

Thanks loads for the feedback! It’s very helpful.

I’ve just come from a meeting with my collaborators on this project and - unfortunately - we’ve decided to go in quite a different direction so I wont get a chance to get my hands dirty with using physical modelling for camera tracking on this project. However, I’m really excited by the ideas you’ve come up with and I’ll definitely re-visit this “physical modelling for camera motion” project as soon as I can. I’m just really gutted that I wont get a chance to try it out sooner.

Thanks again for all the help!
Jack

Hi Jack,

you’re welcome! Blender’s possibilities seem endless once you figure out how to connect its various features :slight_smile:
Hope you find the time to explore this soon!

Regards
Björn

no, a vertex has no orientation.
however when you make your mesh a triangle and parent the camera to all 3 vertices , just select them all before CTRL_P and your camera will behave as if mounted on the triangle.

BM

see also there
http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=97193