Cinematography in Maya
Illustration by John Hersey

Cinematography in Maya

with Aaron F. Ross

Video: Creating a Camera and Aim

Maya's Camera Toolset is really the gold standard for 3D. And maybe use the wireframe view. Press the 4 key.
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  1. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 2s
  2. 27m 32s
    1. Working with the perspective viewport camera
      3m 10s
    2. Undoing camera movements
      3m 19s
    3. Using the Zoom tool
      1m 28s
    4. Using the Fly Tool
      2m 38s
    5. Displaying and moving orthographic cameras
      4m 17s
    6. Setting clipping plane attributes
      2m 56s
    7. Hiding the ViewCube
      3m 23s
    8. Using bookmarks for alternative orthographic views
      5m 4s
    9. Creating new preset orthographic views
      1m 17s
  3. 50m 2s
    1. The importance of renderable cameras
      1m 55s
    2. Creating a Camera and Aim
      3m 4s
    3. Increasing Locator Scale
      2m 41s
    4. Moving the Camera and Aim
      4m 12s
    5. Enabling the Resolution Gate
      4m 21s
    6. Setting display options
      3m 14s
    7. Creating node presets in the Attribute Editor
      4m 52s
    8. Framing shots
      7m 4s
    9. Adjusting focal length and the field of view
      7m 38s
    10. Locking attributes
      2m 40s
    11. Setting drawing overrides and hiding connectors
      3m 54s
    12. Using a manipulator to set clipping planes
      4m 27s
  4. 29m 35s
    1. Understanding the Camera Sequencer
      3m 43s
    2. Creating shots
      5m 16s
    3. Adding image planes
      4m 35s
    4. Moving and trimming shots
      3m 22s
    5. Ripple editing and stretching time
      3m 9s
    6. Creating an ubercam
      5m 13s
    7. Playblasting a sequence
      4m 17s
  5. 41m 31s
    1. Choosing the right camera for the job
      4m 51s
    2. Avoiding common pitfalls in camera animation
      4m 10s
    3. Rotating in Gimbal mode
      4m 42s
    4. Setting rotation order in the transform node
      5m 24s
    5. Animating a pan and a truck
      5m 45s
    6. Keying a truck in only one axis
      7m 13s
    7. Animating a tilt and a pedestal
      3m 29s
    8. Animating a dolly and a zoom
      5m 57s
  6. 36m 29s
    1. Animating a truck-pan move
      5m 36s
    2. Animating a pedestal-tilt move
      1m 52s
    3. Animating a zolly, or zoom-dolly, move
      3m 23s
    4. Animating a crane shot
      5m 22s
    5. Animating a handheld camera shot
      9m 42s
    6. Animating an aerial shot with an editable motion trail
      6m 19s
    7. Using the default Turntable camera
      4m 15s
  7. 34m 53s
    1. Rendering an isometric view
      5m 32s
    2. Projecting a texture from a camera
      4m 34s
    3. Understanding the Film Back
      7m 43s
    4. Emulating a view camera for tilt-shift effects
      3m 56s
    5. Adding distance blur with Depth of Field
      4m 32s
    6. Measuring with the Distance Tool
      4m 2s
    7. Animating a rack-focus effect
      4m 34s
  8. 57s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Cinematography in Maya
3h 43m Beginner Feb 17, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

While Maya's cameras offer you a tremendous amount of creative freedom (even more than real-world cameras), their controls can be complex. This course helps you learn how to expertly adjust them. Aaron F. Ross covers viewport display, controlling orthographic cameras, framing shots, editing with the Camera Sequencer, simple and compound camera moves, and many different special effects. Start now and learn how to expertly position and animate cameras in your Maya projects and give your audience a window into your 3D world.

Topics include:
  • Getting the most out of viewport cameras
  • Controlling camera attributes such as clipping planes
  • Setting display options such as Resolution Gate
  • Adjusting focal length and field of view
  • Previz editing with the Camera Sequencer
  • Setting rotation order for predictable camera animation
  • Animating simple camera moves such as pan and dolly
  • Mastering compound moves such as crane and handheld shots
  • Understanding the Film Back attributes
  • Achieving isometric and tilt-shift effects
  • Projecting a texture from a camera
  • Rendering depth-of-field and rack-focus effects
3D + Animation
Aaron F. Ross

Creating a Camera and Aim

Maya's Camera Toolset is really the gold standard for 3D. And Maya offers several different types of cameras for you to choose from. I want to recommend that if you have a non-moving shot, if the camera does not move over the course of time, that you want to use something called a Camera and Aim, which gives the camera a look-at point. And the reason I recommend the Camera and Aim is because it's hard-wired to make sure that certain undesirable results do not occur.

Namely, the Camera and Aim is designed to always maintain a level horizon line in a standard shot. Which means that the camera won't be tilted side to side. If you use a camera without an aim point, you have to take some special steps to ensure that this doesn't happen. It's also known as the Dutch tilt. We'll look at that later in the course. But my recommendation to you is for a locked-down shot that's not moving that you use a Camera and Aim. And if you want to do an animation you'll use a Standard Camera.

Okay, so let's look in the menus. We go under Create we will see Cameras and we have a lot of choices. So you'll see Camera and Aim, which gives us a look-at point. You'll see Standard Camera which does not gives us a look-at point. And these are sometimes called a one node and two node camera. There's also one called, Camera Aim and Up. Which we won't be looking at in this course, and I don't actually recommend using it because it just makes your life more complicated. It gives a look-at point and also a up-node, so you can make sure your camera doesn't flip upside down.

But really, I never use Camera Aim and Up. I only ever use Camera and Aim and a Standard Camera. There's also a Stereo Camera, by the way, which is for stereoscopic 3D if you want to do a separate left and right eye. Right now, we're going to create a Camera and Aim. So, just click on Camera and Aim. And it's created at the origin. Right now, my scene is very large. You can see in the front view, that something is highlighted. But because I'm zoomed in on this character in the top view we don't see anything because we're not looking at the origin.

So, let me dolly back with the mouse wheel, and then I can also use ALT and Middle Mouse to get closer to the origin and I can dolly in. As long as you have not deselected the Camera and Aim, you can also press the F key to frame in a particular view. I just want to get in very close to this, so I'll continue to dolly in and use Alt and Middle Mouse. So you can see now that we've got a camera and an aim point. We can see that in the perspective view, too.

Get in close on that. And maybe use the wireframe view. Press the 4 key. And we can see that there is a separate Camera and Aim point. Now it's very, very small and it's located at the origin, but in the next movie we will adjust the size of that camera icon so we can see it better relative to the rest of the objects in our scene.

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