simulating freehand camera with blender

I’m trying to render a CG effects shot. They want the Firefly/Battlestar Galactica free camera like motion and I was wondering whether there were any scripts or easy way of simulating this. I did a couple test runs with key framing and it look aweful.

Any suggestions?

I don’t know much about automated ways (for anything) but in a short scene it should be reasonably simple to manually draw a couple of IPO curves for the camera’s XLoc and ZLoc (Assuming it is looking/travelling along Y axis). Keep the transitions very small and spread out and offset to eaach other so the camera isn’t zooming and jerking around the screen.

Then, put an empty near (or within) your focus object (spaceship) and make the camera Track To it. Then add a bit of movement to the empty so the camera rotates a little as everything moves around. The keys may need a little tweaking depending on the action so that the camera lags a little behind the actual motion of the focus object. If the focus object is doing a lot of twisting and turning, you could maybe Slow-Parent the empty to it which will essentially automate the camera’s slow response in trying to follow the object.

Googled blender+camera jitter and this was #1 in results. :wink:

Don’t know how realistic looking it is but it looked pretty good to me in the simple test I just did with all the settings on minimum.

There are probably others out there.

Edit: mix it up with some keyframing like AndyD mentioned and you can probably get some good looking results with it.

Thing about google, I tried blender +camera plug ins, and +camera scripts, and about twenty other deviations on that theme and didn’t find anything…

Thanks, I’ll try that out. Both ways…

I may have them shoot a couple seconds of DV tape and send me and match using icraus…we’ll see

Yeah I got lucky cos I had seen the word jitter used before. Many here never try a search, but I should keep the winkies to myself cos Murphy’s law rules my life and I know better than to make assumptions. Sorry 'bout that.

I dont know about simulating it…why not just use the voodoo camera tracker, you can even use a webcam for the shots, then import it into blender via the blender python script…

the script larryphillips posted worked very well for me, thanks! although the roration jitter doesn’t work when the camera is tracking an empty, obviously…

Scripts like these should be included in the BLender official release. Save us time from hunting them down from the ether.

That code (well, the part that does the actual work that is) is actually part of the Blender python Noise module main documentation. I had actually created it because of something similar I wanted to do at the time.

Not sure if this will help you or not…

I seem to remember reading how in a recent movie, they wanted to do something similiar. First they had footage that they needed to add cg too, but it was all jerky.

So their approach was to import the footage into their camera tracking
software (Boujou I think), stabilized it, added their CG elements, then inverted the curves to reintroduce jerkiness to the entire scene. End result retaining the original handheld camera shake look, complete with matched CG elements.

Wish I could remember the movie… Sin City? I think it was in the latest issue of Cinefex if it helps anyone. ( the one with pirates of the carribean Part II)

So it is (or is not) possible to simply add some noise in camera location xyz and/or camera rotation?