Trouble Setting Camera 'Track To' Manually

Okay, if I select the camera and then (with Shift+RM) select an object, then by pressing Ctrl+T and selecting ‘Track to Constraint’ from the resulting ‘Make Track’ popup menu, I can move the object around and the camera continues to ‘look’ at the object all the time. That works as documented. So, when I render the animation, I get what I expect.

However, suppose instead I select the camera and then go to the Object panels (with F7), and then on the ‘Constraints’ panel I click on ‘Add Constraint’ and fill in the constraint so it looks exactly like the Ctrl+T method/panel result above, I see the dashed line from the camera to the object okay. But, when I move the object around, the camera does not keep looking at it. The dashed line connecting camera to object does continue to show the connection, but when I render the animation, sure enough, the camera does not track the object.

So, what’s the diff? Is there some other value or option I have to set before the second method works the same as the first? I may not ever need the second method, but if someday I might, I’d like to know how it can be used successfully. One of the Intro docs I’m reading uses the second method, and from that document, I get the distinct impression it should work in the same manner as the first method.

Yeah. Turn Axis on in the Draw panel and you’ll see what’s going on. Cameras, traditionally, have used the z axis for the direction the camera is pointing, and x and y for the 2d image. This tradition was carried over into Blender for the cameras.

So, in the Constraints panel, you probably select z or -z to get the camera to point at the target. But next to it, in the which end is up selection, you probably also put z, which is the normal Blender convention. But, since the camera axes follow photographer’s conventions, having z as the up axis disables the constraint. So the camera does not track the target and the “auto track” box turns red.

Take a look at the axes for the camera, either x or y will be the camera’s up axis. Use that in the constraints panel and it should work as advertised.

Cool, that worked like a trained pig! Thanks!