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Learn how to use Point of Interest, Position and Camera Tools in Adobe After Effects 7.
Tags:adobe,adobe after effects,after effects lessons,after effects tutorial,animation,camera tools,digital motion graphics,point of interest,post-production,total training,visual effects
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Now if we just twirl up the camera options and open up transform, we are going to take a look at the point of interest and position options. Basically the main control of your camera is done through the position of the camera body and also its orientation towards the point of interest.
Imagine the point of interest as the subject that you want the camera to stay focused on no matter where you move in the scene. Well that is exactly what these functions do. If we come up here to the top view, I am just going to grab the camera tool by hitting the C key, hit it twice more so we can then use the track Z tool and zoom back down just so we get the whole composition, and then scroll up so we can see the camera as well.
We can see that with the camera selected, we have the body over here. This is our focal area that we are working with, this pink line that goes up the middle here and ends in the center of the scene. Now this is actually the line that shows where the point of interest is, and it is not very easy to see at the moment because we have many different layers intersecting in the center from the top view that will have a very similar color.
Well what we could do is come down to the timeline, just scroll all the way down to the bottom and turn on the solo icon for the stars layer and now everything else disappears and gives us a clear view of what is going on here. Now if we hit the V key and go back to the main selection tool for a second, the point of interest can actually be dragged around the scene which then changes the orientation of the camera allowing you to view the scene from different angles.
Now as you are dragging this around in the top view you may be wondering why the scene over here on the right hand side is not changing. Well these stars are not three dimensional. If you have a look down in the timeline, the layer that we currently have soloed is not 3D.
The icon is not been turned on over here and do remember that any layer that stays two dimensional is viewed face on by any 3D camera inside of After Effects. In fact, it is not even viewed by the 3D camera. It sits there at the same size it was created at the same angle it was created in the composition.
If we just undo our rotation for one second, come back down to the timeline and un-solo that so we still see our 3D elements again, we can now grab the point of interest in the center of the scene and drag it around, and now you see the result on the right hand side. As we drag this around only effectively on two axes, the X and the Z because we are looking at this from the top. We can not affect its Y value we are able to rotate around the scene with our camera staying in the same position.
Now again if we just undo that and come down here to the camera itself, there is a couple of things that we can do with regards to the point of interest and the camera body staying connected. If you drag one of the handles, in this case the X axis and drag one side or the other, you will see we are effectively doing a tracking shot where we just move in one direction. The point of interest is staying straight ahead and everything is locked together.
Again if we undo that and this time, instead of grabbing one of the axes, grab the camera body itself. Just come down here and click in the center. As we drag this around we are moving the camera’s position around the scene, the point of interest is staying focused on the center which is the default by the way, and the camera is automatically orienting itself towards that point of interest.
So there are a few different ways here to control the camera in the scene and the way that you set up an animate we will just call for you to use different ones at different times. Now another way to do it, if we undo to put the camera back where it was a second ago, we can also use over here in the active view our camera orbit tools. Remember before we actually had a physical camera in here, these camera tools were unavailable to us in the active camera mode.
Well now all three of them can be used to interactively position the camera