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In 3ds Max 2011 Essential Training, author Aaron F. Ross demonstrates how to use this top-tier application for digital content creation, widely used in diverse industries such as architecture, industrial design, motion pictures, games and virtual worlds. This course covers modeling with polygons, curves, and subdivision surfaces, defining surface properties with materials and maps, setting up cameras and lights, animating objects, and final output rendering. Exercise files accompany the course.
So far we've looked at manipulating camera position using a sort of third-person method. In other words, I can select a camera or target in a different view, like the Top or Perspective View, and manipulate that in one view while observing the results in another. But I can also manipulate the camera in a sort of first-person mode, and there are a couple of ways of doing that. One would be to use the middle mouse button. I can just select this camera Viewport and use the middle mouse, and that will let me track left to right, or pedestal up and down.
And you'll notice in this case that both the camera, and its target are moving. So if you look in the Perspective View here, you will see both the camera and the target are moving up and down or side-to-side. So that's just using the middle mouse button. You can also use the Viewport controls to position the camera, and the Viewport controls for a camera view are slightly different than for Perspective View. So let's take a look at those. If we go down here to our Viewport navigation controls, you'll see the Orbit Tool is available there, and I can use that Orbit Tool to make the camera orbit or arc rotate around its target.
And ironically, the keyboard shortcuts don't work inside a camera view. The only one that works is the middle mouse button. So if you try to orbit using the Ctrl+ Alt or Alt+Middle mouse button, it doesn't work in a camera Viewport. Likewise with dollying, if I want to move the camera forward and back, I need to use the icon. So I'll click on this Dolly icon here, and I can move forward and back. You'll notice in the Top View that the default behavior is to move the camera but not move the target.
So the camera is dollying forward and back, but the target is staying stationary. If I go forward too far, the camera is actually going to flip back around backwards. I will go back. There are a couple options here in the Viewport Navigation Controls. Any one of these icons, it has a little triangle in the lower right-hand corner, is actually a flyout and so I can hold that down, and I have got different options for the Dolly Tool. One of them is here. This will allow me to move the camera and the target at the same time so I don't have that problem of the camera flipping around backwards.
So this is Dolly Camera and the target at the same time, and I find that more useful. Finally, in camera operation, you want to pan the camera left and right, and that's rotating the camera while it stays in one position. So we don't change the position but only the rotation of the camera, and that's accomplished also through another button that's sort of hiding underneath the Orbit button.
So if I hold the Orbit button down, I have Pan Camera as one of those hidden icons. And for my money this really is much more useful than Orbit. So I am going to turn that on, and now I've got the ability to pan the camera. This is a much more traditional method of cinematography in which the camera is staying static, and it's rotating, and by the way, with the Pan Tool I can tilt as well.
So maybe more properly it should be called a Pan Tilt Tool. If you only want to pan or tilt in one axis, you can hold down the Shift key, and so as I'm holding down Shift now, I'm tilting, release the mouse, hold down Shift again, and I can pan while maintaining the same rotational angle for the tilt. So if you don't hold down Shift, you are doing pan/tilt at the same time. So those are our first-person controls for tracking pedestal, dolly, pan, and tilt.
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