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Understanding the differences between the Editor Camera and a camera object

From: CINEMA 4D R12 Essential Training

Video: Understanding the differences between the Editor Camera and a camera object

In previous movies, we've been looking at our scenes through something called the Editor Camera. It's a virtual camera that is created by the software to allow you to see what is happening in your scene. It's fine for modeling and demonstration purposes. But when it's time to actually animate, you need to be looking through a Camera object. The Camera object actually exists in your Object Manager. It can be manipulated, and more importantly, it can be keyframed. The Editor Camera cannot. So I've got a new scene here. I'm going to add a Cube to it. When I orbit around this, I'm using the Editor Camera. Once again, the Editor Camera really is just for modeling and just general use purposes.

Understanding the differences between the Editor Camera and a camera object

In previous movies, we've been looking at our scenes through something called the Editor Camera. It's a virtual camera that is created by the software to allow you to see what is happening in your scene. It's fine for modeling and demonstration purposes. But when it's time to actually animate, you need to be looking through a Camera object. The Camera object actually exists in your Object Manager. It can be manipulated, and more importantly, it can be keyframed. The Editor Camera cannot. So I've got a new scene here. I'm going to add a Cube to it. When I orbit around this, I'm using the Editor Camera. Once again, the Editor Camera really is just for modeling and just general use purposes.

If we want to be able to actually control our camera, so we need to add a physical Camera object to the scene. Underneath the Scene Objects is the Camera. There is also a Target Camera, we're not going to be using that. We're going to use a regular Camera object. When I let go over the Camera object, I get this green line that is now framing my object. This green line represents the camera. I'm not actually looking through my Camera object. When I back up, I'm going to use the navigation tools to back up and look at my camera. I can see that Camera object, and it came in at the same point of view that I was looking at the world through.

That's a very important thing. It's a really good rule of thumb, never add a camera unless you are in the Perspective view. The reason for that is that if I'm in the Top View, and I add a camera, I'm going to get a top camera. That's not necessarily what I want for rendering purposes. So it's always better to make sure you are in the Perspective view and then add your camera. Now that I have the camera in the scene, I want to be able to look through it. There is two ways to do that. I can go to the Cameras menu, and go to Scene Cameras, and look through the Camera. When I do, you'll see my view snap back to the camera's point of view.

Now I'm physically looking through this camera. The other way to do that is with the Active Camera icon. That's this little guy right here. You can have many, many cameras in your scene. There is no physical limit on how many cameras you can have in your scene. But how do you know which one you're looking at? This icon will tell you. You can uncheck it or check it to snap back and forth between the Editor Camera and the camera that you are looking through. Now that I'm actually looking through this camera, I can manipulate the actual Camera object. If I switch to the 4-way view, I'm going to back out in the Top, I can use the Move and Rotate tools to actually move this camera around.

You can see as I move the Camera object in the Top view, my Perspective view changes. That's because I'm moving the Camera object. I can also move the Camera object by navigating in the Perspective view. This is something you need to be really careful about when you're setting up a scene. Only do this when you're looking though the camera when you know exactly what it is that you're going to do. If I just use the regular navigation controls, just like before the one, two, and three keys, I can orbit around. I can dolly back and forth. You see that the position of the camera changes each time I do that.

I can also pan left and right. But each time I move, unlike with the Editor Camera, I'm physically moving the Camera object. It's a good idea to get into a habit of naming your cameras when you're working on a project. Like I said earlier, there'll be many times when you'll have a lot of cameras in your scene, and you want to be able to tell them apart. So they're not all just named Camera. So you can change the name of your camera and call it cube cam. You'll just notice that in the Camera menu, under Scene Cameras, it changes here as well. So I can uncheck it here and look through it, look through the Scene Camera, or I can uncheck it here and look through the Editor Camera as well using the Camera menu.

But the important thing is that the name of the camera is shows up here on this list. So I'll look back through it. The biggest advantage to using a physical Camera object is that it can actually be animated; the Editor Camera cannot. This makes it perfect for animations. So let's see what that looks like in motion. I'm going to set keyframes on the position for my cube cam and have it animate pass this cube. So if I go to the cube cam, now I'll click on the P column, and hold down the Ctrl key, and set keyframes for it at time 0. My slider is at time 0. Actually, before I set those keyframes, let's reposition the camera a little bit.

So I'm going to bring the camera so the cube is over here on the left-hand side of the frame. I'll hold down the Ctrl key, set a keyframes, and then I'll move my Time slider forward in time to frame 90. Now I'm going to move my camera to the other side. Move my cube to the other side of frame by dragging the camera on its X axis. Now I'll set another keyframe. It's really important to realize what these gray values here in the Perspective view mean. The Perspective view shows you these gray areas to indicate what will be inside the camera's field of view.

Anything showing up in this dark zone will be outside of the camera's field of view and will not render. So you want to be really careful about when you're moving your camera around to keep your object within the frame at all times, unless of course you want it to go off camera. Then you let it slide into that gray area, and you'll be good to go. When I hit Play, only the Top view is active, and that's because CINEMA 4D by default only animates the active view. I can tell this is the active view because of this white border around it. So if I click on a Perspective view that will switch the playback to the Perspective view, and I'll be able to actually see that animating and the other views will stop their animation.

So I'll just stop this playback here. The most important element here is that the Camera object gives us something tangible that we can precisely control in our animation and that's a really good thing.

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This video is part of

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CINEMA 4D R12 Essential Training

98 video lessons · 22007 viewers

Rob Garrott
Author

 
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 35m 20s
    1. Understanding the CINEMA 4D workflow
      2m 36s
    2. Clarifying the differences between 2D and 3D
      2m 2s
    3. Understanding how 3D software works
      2m 56s
    4. Navigating the viewports
      3m 45s
    5. Navigating using a three-button mouse and keyboard shortcuts
      7m 54s
    6. Touring the interface
      8m 20s
    7. Configuring project settings
      3m 26s
    8. Setting application preferences
      4m 21s
  3. 44m 41s
    1. Exploring the importance of object hierarchy
      7m 19s
    2. Creating, selecting, and transforming objects
      9m 5s
    3. Understanding object categories: Comparing active and passive objects
      2m 34s
    4. Comparing object types
      8m 16s
    5. Using the Attribute Manager to modify object attributes
      4m 45s
    6. Creating a basic model with primitive and null objects
      12m 42s
  4. 43m 12s
    1. Creating and working with splines
      7m 38s
    2. Selecting and transforming points on a spline
      4m 8s
    3. Modeling with splines: Sweep NURBS
      7m 58s
    4. Modeling with splines: Lathe NURBS
      7m 58s
    5. Modeling with splines: Extrude NURBS
      6m 29s
    6. Extruding and organizing paths from Adobe Illustrator
      9m 1s
  5. 1h 7m
    1. Understanding the basic components of 3D objects: Points, edges, and polygons
      7m 35s
    2. Modeling with the Knife tool
      6m 14s
    3. Modeling with the Extrude tool
      6m 25s
    4. Modeling with the Extrude Inner tool
      4m 17s
    5. Closing and connecting geometry with the Create Polygon and Bridge tools
      6m 38s
    6. Organic modeling: Creating a HyperNURBS object
      8m 18s
    7. Organic modeling: Setting up a scene and reference images
      8m 30s
    8. Organic modeling: Creating a simple model
      9m 43s
    9. Organic modeling: Adding the finishing touches
      9m 54s
  6. 27m 26s
    1. Working with deformers
      5m 47s
    2. Deforming objects: The Wind Deformer
      5m 23s
    3. Deforming objects: The Wrap Deformer
      6m 46s
    4. Deforming objects: The Spline Wrap
      9m 30s
  7. 49m 50s
    1. Understanding material channels
      4m 23s
    2. Applying materials: Projection methods
      8m 15s
    3. Creating materials: Reflective surfaces / shiny surfaces
      8m 37s
    4. Creating materials: Rough surfaces / bumpy surfaces
      7m 43s
    5. Creating materials: Transparent surfaces
      6m 56s
    6. Using alpha channels to create a label
      6m 11s
    7. Using selection tags to apply materials to part of an object
      2m 49s
    8. Texturing type using multiple materials
      4m 56s
  8. 32m 2s
    1. Understanding how lights work in the 3D world
      6m 24s
    2. Adjusting falloff to limit how light affects objects
      3m 32s
    3. Understanding light types
      7m 3s
    4. Creating and manipulating shadows
      5m 31s
    5. Creating light rays with visible light
      3m 42s
    6. Creating a simple three-point light setup
      5m 50s
  9. 40m 0s
    1. Understanding keyframe animation
      8m 45s
    2. Animating in the Timeline
      4m 24s
    3. Controlling what happens in between keyframes using the F-Curve Manager
      11m 25s
    4. Copying keyframes to create an animated pause
      5m 30s
    5. F-curve exercise: Bouncing a ball down stairs
      9m 56s
  10. 28m 45s
    1. Understanding the differences between the Editor Camera and a camera object
      5m 5s
    2. Exploring field of view and aspect ratio
      3m 17s
    3. Explaining parallax in camera movement
      2m 9s
    4. Creating a dynamic camera movement
      9m 27s
    5. Refining and previewing a camera movement
      8m 47s
  11. 30m 15s
    1. Understanding the render engine
      2m 2s
    2. Exploring render settings
      8m 25s
    3. Rendering: Still images vs. animation
      7m 35s
    4. Setting up multi-pass rendering for still images
      8m 37s
    5. Batch-rendering multiple files
      3m 36s
  12. 36m 30s
    1. Understanding the 3D animation workflow
      4m 21s
    2. Using the Compositing tag
      5m 18s
    3. Using the External Compositing tag
      3m 33s
    4. Setting up a multi-pass render
      8m 58s
    5. Importing elements into After Effects
      4m 46s
    6. Manipulating 3D renders in After Effects
      6m 46s
    7. Fine-tuning a composition in After Effects
      2m 48s
  13. 38m 37s
    1. Explaining MoGraph
      3m 14s
    2. Using the Cloner object
      7m 15s
    3. Modifying cloners with Effector objects
      7m 34s
    4. Creating animation with the Fracture object
      5m 24s
    5. Creating abstract shapes with the MoSpline object
      6m 47s
    6. Using the Tracer object to create paths
      3m 48s
    7. Creating realistic movement with MoDynamics
      4m 35s
  14. 26m 27s
    1. Understanding BodyPaint
      4m 48s
    2. Using the Paint Setup Wizard
      5m 31s
    3. Understanding material channels
      3m 56s
    4. Painting on a texture with brushes
      6m 18s
    5. Creating layers with projection painting
      5m 54s
  15. 37m 23s
    1. Understanding the dynamics engine
      2m 35s
    2. Exploring the difference between soft bodies and rigid bodies
      6m 36s
    3. Using connectors to create relationships between objects
      8m 19s
    4. Creating movement with motors
      8m 48s
    5. Creating bouncing motion with springs
      5m 32s
    6. Attracting objects with forces
      5m 33s
  16. 31m 52s
    1. Introducing XPresso
      5m 13s
    2. Creating a data slider to control XPresso data
      7m 11s
    3. Controlling parameters with the Range Mapper node
      10m 13s
    4. Controlling multiple lights with a single slider
      9m 15s
  17. 28m 21s
    1. Explaining basic particles and thinking particles
      4m 7s
    2. Creating particles with the Emitter object
      7m 40s
    3. Controlling particles with basic forces
      6m 24s
    4. Creating a liquid effect using Particles and Metaballs
      10m 10s
  18. 1m 6s
    1. Next steps
      1m 6s

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