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When you first start exploring 3D inside of After Effects, I'm sure you'll probably want to start adding some cameras to the scene. Before you add your first camera, you'll want to decide what layers you'd like to exist in 3D space. You can have compositions that contain layers that live in 3D space And layers that live in 2D space. And you can blend those two together into one scene. Now in order to enable 3D for any individual layer, you need to make sure that you have the switches panel. So go down to the toggle switches and modes panel and just click on that until you see our switches.
Now the right-most switch has a square over top. This enables 3D for any of those layers. Now to enable 3D for a layer, all you have to do is just click in the empty switch area. Now it doesn't appear as though anything has happened. But if we select layer one, you can I have these control handles. Now they happen to appear on the anchor point of that individual layer. So lets select the word pass layer four in the timeline, now we can go over to our switch and enable 3D and shown off, you see we have these control handles that will allow us to position the layer in 3D space.
Notice with text layers they appeared at the anchor point based on the fact that the text was left just the fact. I want to enable 3D for Layers 1 all the way through Layer 7. So you can quickly enable switches by clicking and dragging. Once you have all those layers in 3D space, now we can go ahead and add a camera. To create cameras, you want to go up to the Layer menu, then go to New And you can create a camera. You should this panel that opens up. This is your camera settings panel. There are two kinds of cameras you can create; one node cameras and two node cameras.
For now, I want to focus on a one node camera. Now if you look over to the right we have presets. If you click on these presets. You may recognize some of these numbers. They're based off of lenses that you'd find on a typical DSLR camera. Now if you're unfamiliar with DSLR photography I'll summarize some of these lenses for you. Fifteen millimeter is an extraordinarily wide lens, it's kind of like a fish eye. Twenty-four millimeter is still a wide angle but it's what I would call a normal wide angle lens.
50 millimeters, probably what you're most familiar with. It simulates the human eye. 200 millimeter simulates a telephoto lense. Like you would see at sporting events. Let's choose 50 millimeters. When you choose a preset, all these different settings in the middle will definitely update and change. Each camera has a unique set of properties. Even though I've chosen a preset, I can click and drag on any one of these parameters if I'd like to change it and make it a custom camera.
Notice the focal length of the lens is listed down here on the lower left side. Now you can enable depth of field, which would allow you to focus on individual layers or just a very tiny area in your scene. We're not going to get into that right now, so let's just make sure that that's disabled. The last thing you should look at when you're trying to choose camera settings are the units. Since we're dealing with video inside of After Effects, most everything is measured with pixels. So after I pick a preset I usually go to my units and then change them from millimeters to pixels.
After you switch it to pixels you'll have a better idea as to where you need to place elements in the scene if you want to take advantage of certain settings within the camera. Now, let's go ahead and click OK. Notice our camera was added to the scene and it's at the top of the layer hierarchy. It looks as though nothing's happened in the project but if you go to the bottom of the composition panel on the right side, you can click on this pull-down. I want to choose 2 Views. This will give us two different composition panels. There's a view on the left and a view on the right.
Between these two views, I want you to look in the upper left corner of each view. See how I have a word here that says top and then the one on the right says active camera? When you click on one side, you'll see little golden triangles in the corner. These are letting you know which view is currently active. You can switch to different views, so if you haven't already clicked on the left side, click on the left side. I want to change this view from the top view to the side view. So I'll choose the left side.
Now, in order to see the scene a little bit more clearly I'm going to zoom out. So I'll hover my mouse over the left side and just scroll out with my mouse wheel. You can also press Comma on your keyboard. Now when you're working with cameras, a lot of times it's important to be able to see where the camera is in the scene. So let's re-select layer one and you'll notice now I can see my camera. If you press the Spacebar, you can grab your hand tool and click and drag on the cameras to re-position the scene. Now I can see where my camera is. But notice the second I click off of layer one, the camera disappears.
Now, we can fix this issue. Making sure the left side is active, I want to go to the fly-out menu in the upper-right corner of the composition panel. Under view options, we can enable camera wireframes. Let's change it from when selected to say on. Now when I click OK, you can see I have the wireframes from my camera. This is excellent because it allows me to reposition the camera in the scene, and I can see exactly where that camera is. Now notice when I hover and click on the green y-axis handle.
I'm changing the view of that camera. This is a great way to animate through a scene. With a Single-Node Camera as I click and drag I'm moving the Camera and it's view all at once. Now, let's create another Camera. I'm going to go up to the Layer menu, choose New > Camera. This time let's choose a Two-Node Camera. When you click OK, notice there's a line now for this camera. I'm going to turn the visibility off for layer two, our first camera, so we don't get confused. This line points to an area of interest.
If you open up the camera options for camera two, under transform, there's a parameter called point of interest. If I click and drag on the z parameter for point of interest, notice I'm moving that line. This is a target that controls where this camera looks. So, unlike the one node camera, I can drag this target and point it at different areas within the scene, and it'll allow me to move that camera. From the point that it's actually looking at. If I hover over the y axis I can click and drag, and it'll move very much like the one node camera. But if I hold down the Cmd key as I click and drag, it'll make sure that the point of interest stays in place, and I can move the camera around the scene. This is the advantage of a two node camera. As we continue moving throughout the rest of this course you'll see advantages of each individual camera, but for now it's important to understand that there are two different kinds of cameras inside of After Effects. Before we leave I want you to activate camera one, layer two, and let's go ahead and trim the start point of our top camera. So I'm hovering over layer one and I'm going to trim back in the timeline. Now notice if I scrub my current tim eidndicator the scene is going to change from one camera to another.
When you have more than one camera in your composition in After Effects. You can actually create an animation where you're cutting from one camera to the next, just like a live production. So, when it comes to working with cameras and After Effects, just make sure that you go through the different settings. Choose whether you're going to use a one-node or a two-node camera. And then definitely pay attention to the layer hierarchy, if you're going to use more than one camera in the scene.
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