Zooming in from the air. . .

What would be an easy way to zoom in from far away on a landscape to a single character climbing a cliff. I’m talking about the way Sintel opens from a distance to the character close up.

Aside from simply moving and animating the camera with the LocRot keyframe, I can think of two ways to do this.

You could create a path that goes over the area you want to cover, and then move the camera along that path.

Or, more simply, you could create an empty, place it in the center of the character, point the camera at the empty, and then parent the camera to the empty. Now, if you rotate the empty the camera will always face the character, and you can control the distance to the object by scaling the camera.

Or you can mess with the distance of the lens itself in your favor.