Join George Maestri for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding lights and cameras, part of Up and Running with MotionBuilder.
- Motion Builders supports lights and cameras. And you can either create them in Motion Builder or you can import them them through FBX. And as with any scene lighting and camera angles can really add a lot to the scene. So let's go ahead and add some lights and cameras to this scene. So let's take a look at this. We've got this character here and he's doing a kick. So right now the angle here is kinda blah. It's not all that interesting. Maybe if I got a little bit lower we can get a little bit more of an interesting angle.
But to really add something to the scene I might want to animate the camera as well. So let's go ahead and add a camera. We can do this in the Resources Panel under the Asset Browser. So I'm gonna go ahead and open up the Elements Tab and we've got a number of elements here. In fact I'm gonna slide this over so we can see them. And one of them is a camera, a light, and we have a bunch of other ones here, but I'm just gonna go ahead and click and drag a camera into the scene. Then you can see the cameras right here.
So I'm gonna expand this here so we can see. And we have camera settings and we can change those to whatever we want. And this camera also shows up along with the standard producer camera. So if I change my view here. I can go into a perspective view and just add my camera. So I can have multiple cameras and I can animate those cameras. So let's go ahead and take this camera and let's try and get a nice angle here. So I'm actually gonna scrub over to the end of this, and let's get our hero shot towards the end.
Now when I'm working with cameras I do need to know my aspect ratio. So I'm gonna go ahead into my camera settings here and what's our picture format? Well for this one let's just do standard HD. So I'm gonna go ahead and click on HD, and that will restrict my view so I can see exactly what the camera is seeing. So It's gonna go ahead and add dark on either side. Now this is kind of small screen so it's gonna be a little bit tiny here but bear with me. So once I get that kinda final shot. I want my character here and then as he animates I want him to go basically from one side of the screen to the other.
So I'm gonna have to move the camera just a bit. Maybe I can make this a little bit of a better angle here. Let's go ahead and try and get that shot. So I want to get a view of him kind of moving horizontally. But I also want a really good final pose shot here. So something about like this maybe. So once I have that final shot I kinda need to figure out where he's landing here somewhere around 50 or so.
And so what I can do is I can keep that camera selected and I can key it. So I'm gonna go ahead and add a key here, and it just shows up on the timeline. So now I'm gonna go over to my very first frame, and let's go ahead and get that first frame. So again I want him to kind of move right to left across the screen. So I'm going to set another key. We can also auto key this if we wanted, and let's go ahead and play this back. So now we're getting a pretty good motion here, but actually I kinda want to again move this camera over just a little bit more, and make sure that I key it.
So there we go. So there's my final shot. So now I've got my camera and my camera is animating. Now if I want I can also play with the camera settings. I've got a number of different ways to do this. I have what's called a Camera Interest, and that's basically a null object where the camera points. And that's kind of like a target in Maya or 3ds Max. And then I can also decide what is displayed in this window. Do I want to show the camera label? No.
Do I want to show the access or the grid? I can also turn on a safe area so I can see what my video safe is. And then if I want I can also create a backing plane. So if I want this to be against an image or some footage I can bring that in here. There's also a front plate so you can actually do an overlay. Also render options. When you do a final rendering do you want to use any aliasing? Enable real time effects which are special effects. So we won't get into those, and do we also want to do things such as depth of fields? So if I want to I could create depth of field and create basically a focus distance and so on.
Now in addition to cameras we can also create light. So let's go ahead and add some light into the scene. I'm actually going to go into a four pane view here, and its gonna be a little tight here. But let's go into our elements here, and I'm just gonna click and drag a light into the scene. Now I'm gonna turn on my display to Models Only so that way I can see how the light affects my character.
And then I'm going to go ahead and double select my light. Let's go and expand this so we can see it. And then I really want to get that hero shot. So right there I want to make sure my lighting is exactly the way that I want. So I'm going to move my light. As I move this light it does affect the lighting in the scenes. So I'm going to go ahead and move it so that he's kinda lit from the front so we have a little bit of shadow on his right side.
So something like that, and I'm going to go ahead and hit Control 1 so we can see this a little bit better. So now we have kind of more of a dramatic lighting for this scene. And if we want we can take the light and effect it. So right now this is a point light. We can change it to any number of different types of lights. Infinite, spot, or area light. I'm gonna keep it at a point light. We can also do attenuation to make the light fall off with distance. Now we can also change the intensity of the light as well as the color.
So if you wanted to make it a little bit more orangey or something like that you can do that. So all of this together makes for a much more dramatic scene. In fact I'm going to go into my preview layout here so that way we can see this a little bit better. So now we've got this character... going like this and it's a much more dynamic scene. Now these lights and cameras will export because they will export through FBX so you can bring them into places like Maya, 3ds Max, Cinema 4d, and so on.
So as you can see adding lights and cameras in motion builder can really add to a scene.
- Creating hierarchies of objects in MotionBuilder
- Working with the Transport Controls
- Animating with keys
- Animating character and control rigs
- Importing and retargeting motion data
- Cycling motion data
- Finishing scenes for export