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Changing the focal length

From: Motion Control 3D: Bringing Your Photos to Life in Three Dimensions

Video: Changing the focal length

Let's say you've placed a camera, and you've animated, and it doesn't just feel right, or you'd like some more options. Fortunately, you can easily duplicate a camera and change its focal length. In the timeline, I'll select the Camera and press Ctrl+D. Whichever camera is on top will take priority in the mix. But I can go ahead and turn off this other one for now, and by double-clicking on that top camera, I could bring up the settings. This allows me to change its focal length. For example, I can go with a wider angle and click OK.

Changing the focal length

Let's say you've placed a camera, and you've animated, and it doesn't just feel right, or you'd like some more options. Fortunately, you can easily duplicate a camera and change its focal length. In the timeline, I'll select the Camera and press Ctrl+D. Whichever camera is on top will take priority in the mix. But I can go ahead and turn off this other one for now, and by double-clicking on that top camera, I could bring up the settings. This allows me to change its focal length. For example, I can go with a wider angle and click OK.

Doing that dramatically changes the scene and its composition. Let's go ahead for something a little less extreme. We'll go to 80-millimeter, and you see it further punches in on the action. Now, I'll just twirl this down, and using the same keyframes, I can make some tweaks, I'll just delete those two and start here with my Position and Point of Interest. We'll go back to 2 Views, and I can frame this up so I can clearly see.

And because the zoom is so much longer, it's very easy to adjust the camera. Let's just pull that out a bit. That's good. And we'll come to the end here, and that looks great. Now, notice that the depth of field is much, much more dramatic. That's because we zoomed in here, and it's behaving different. Instead of being really wide-angle and having the camera closer, we've pulled the camera back, and we've adjusted the zoom level to really put the separation here.

When you do this, the depth of field effect is going to be enhanced. So if you really want solid depth of field, that gives you that shallow look, use a zoom lens and really punch in with the longer lens. All right. That looks good. Let's just come down to Camera Options. We'll make a small tweak. Frame that up. That's good, a little wider, check the beginning, adjust our zoom, and let's pull the Point of Interest over and the Position a little bit.

There we go. As I drag through, I could see our movement. That's looking great. And we'll just refine that by using the Depth of Field controls. There it is. Let's set the Focus Distance, so it's right. We're going to start on the grass, then at about 2 seconds we're going to adjust the Focus Distance and rack focus over to our subject.

And at the very end here, I just need to make sure that it's set correctly, and you see I've framed them up. There we go. Let's take a look. That's good. We'll do that at a higher screen resolution quality so it's a little clearer. Starts on the grass, rack focus is over to our subject by keyframing the focus distance, and then it completes the camera move.

And the cool thing is is both of those camera moves are stored in the same composition. So, by duplicating the camera, you could tweak it, modify it, add a different focal length, play with the camera move, and really create the look that you're going for.

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