Using multiple cameras in a motion graphic gives you the ability to not only put the animation together, but also be like a director. How do you use multiple cameras to animate an infographic? In this movie, author Ian Robinson will demonstrate several techniques for adding multiple cameras to your animated infographic in Adobe After Effects.
- You might ask yourself what's better than one animated camera in a motion graphics project? Well you guessed it. Two or more animated cameras in a project. Using multiple cameras puts you in the position of a director more than a typical mo graph designer. Now truth be told, I usually use multiple camera set ups when I want to get another angle. And basically treat my graphics package just like I would treat a short form edit. So rather than having to just rely on one smooth camera move, we're gonna add multiple cameras into the scene and cut between the cameras to create alternate angles.
And then, I'll show you how we can precompose so we can just blend between one angle and the next. So to get started, let's make sure we have some layers that exist in 3D space. If I scrub through my animation here, you'll see I've got these lines that slide up, and I have some snow. But before I actually add any cameras, I need to make sure these layers live in 3D space. So let's toggle our switches and modes. And I only want any layers that are not the snow layer or the background layer to be in 3D space.
Because I want the snow to remain constant. So here, what I'll do is start with layer two and I'll click and drag down, making sure not to select the bottom layer. Now let's preview our animation. I'll press the space bar. And you can see that's really slow. So I'll press the space bar to stop play back. Now this is where audio is really important, especially if you're gonna be cutting between multiple angles. When I use audio, I like to use the audio to inspire me.
So I want to go ahead and take the audio from our project panel and drag it to the top of my timeline here. Now let's watch it back and see if we can make some adjustments. (electronic music) Okay, I'll press the space bar to stop play back. Basically, I just want to tighten up the time between when this first group of lines come up and the second group of lines come up. So I'll just click on layer five and drag it back to the left.
We'll have it start almost at frame 20 or 15. Let's check this out. (electronic music) Okay. Let's space it out a little more. Yeah. I like frame 22. Here we go. (electronic music) Perfect. That looks pretty good. Now if your system wasn't playing back in real time, don't worry about it. Just a rough edit right now. Okay. Now I want to create some more extreme angles. So what I'm gonna do is actually create multiple cameras.
So I want to create three different cameras. So let's go up under layer and choose new camera. And we'll go ahead and choose a one note camera with the 50 millimeter preset. Making sure the units are pixels, and then we can click okay. I like to keep my cameras towards the top of my layer hierarchy. Just underneath my audio. Now I want two more cameras so I'll just press command + D. Not once, but twice. It would be control + D on Windows to duplicate.
Okay, so let's reposition camera one. Okay, I'll turn off camera three and camera two. And with camera one, I want to go ahead and create an extreme angle where these lines are kinda shooting out from the floor. So let's press P and then hold down shift and press R. So we can see the position and rotation parameters for our camera. Let's get close to our graph. Hold down shift and scrub with the Z parameter. And scrub to the right so we get nice and close. Now I want to change the orientation of the lines and I'll do that by actually changing the orientation of the camera.
Let's scrub on the X parameter. And if you scrub to the right, notice it looks like the lines are tilting down. I want to get a number that's close to 90 degrees but not too close So let's set it about 65. And now so I can see those lines again, I just need to move down on the Y-axis. So I can have those lines pop up into the scene. Now I'm having a hard time finding those lines so I'm gonna hold down shift as I drag and if we drag to the right, now I can see those lines coming out.
And I don't like seeing the legend so I'm gonna go ahead and hold down shift and drag on the X parameter to the left just to kinda trim out the legend. A little bit up there is fine, a little bit over there is fine. Let's go ahead and check this out. (electronic music) Cool. Now instead of leaving it at one angle, probably about, I don't know, 105 or 110, I want to cut to a different angle. So I'll keep camera one the way it is but let's go ahead and enable camera two.
Notice the second I enable camera two, the default settings pop up again. So I want to start with the same settings I had with camera one. So I'll select camera one and press P, hold down shift and press R. And I'll just click on the word position and shift + click on the word orientation. I can actually copy those parameters. Select camera two and press P. Hold down shift and R. And if I paste, it'll actually paste those parameters to camera two. Which is great.
I'm always gonna see whatever view is coming out of my highest camera in my layer hierarchy. Now, instead of having the orientation on the X just be at 65, let's see if we orient the Z. I'm gonna scrub on the Z, and yeah, that's it. I want them to kinda come in from the right side. So let's change Z to a value of 90. And then we need to actually scrub on the X position, or, hmm, the Y position to kinda get those lines to come in from the sides.
And maybe if we scrub on the Z, we could make that angle a little more drastic. Okay, so that looks kinda interesting. Let's see what's going on here. When I duplicated my cameras, this camera automatically starts at frame zero. So I'll trim the start of that layer just by clicking on the left side and dragging to the right. Let's trim it so it starts around 111. Now press the space bar. (electronic music) That's pretty cool.
Let's check it out again. (electronic music) Okay. Now I've got one angle, and then it cuts just to the end of the other angle, which is a little interesting. And then I want to cut from here to a wide, like we had originally. So if I just enable camera three, you can see, okay, I've got that wide. It's slightly off kilter, but that's okay. Now, with camera three, honestly what I really want to do is have a duplicate of this comp because I don't really want to just cut to camera three.
See if I trim the end point to start around two seconds, let's look at what happens. (electronic music) It's a really hard cut. And what I want to see happen is kind of a fade from this scene into that scene. And there are no opacity options here for the camera. So in order to create a fade, I'm actually gonna go ahead and duplicate our multiple cameras comp. So let's select our comp here in the project panel and press command + D to duplicate.
Now for this one, so I'm not confused, I'll select the comp, press return, and we'll number it 02. So let's double click 02 to open that up. And I can just disable camera one and camera two and I'll just move camera three all the way here to the beginning. Now the reason I'm doing this is so I can actually still have some of this residual movement in my animation. So let's check it out. I'm gonna go to my multiple cameras comp, move my current time indicator roughly to around two seconds.
I can just turn the visibility camera three off and then drag the layer two comp into my timeline. Now we just click on that comp and drag it so it doesn't start until a little while later. And I want the white lines to already be up but I want the black lines to go ahead and still be animating. So I'll just drag it like so. And so this would be the first frame that I would see. So I'll just click on this left edge and drag it towards the current time indicator. So now we just need to add a fade.
I'm gonna hold down option and press T for opacity. And let's just drag that off to the right there. And then I'll change the opacity to zero. So let's see what we're looking at now. (electronic music) Okay. One of the dangers when you're dealing with precomps, multiple layers of audio. So let's turn the audio off for 02. And let's watch it down again. (electronic music) Cool.
Now the only thing I really need to do is just kind of a slow pull back on this graphic. And I can do that in my precomp. So if we open the 02 precomp, let's move our current time indicator to around 116 and press option + P for position, and option + R for rotation. Now we'll just move down the timeline here. And let's just move the position back on the Z axis a little bit there. And I want to go ahead and rotate on not the X, let's see, on the Y? Yeah.
We'll rotate a little bit on the Y and slide here on the X, just a little bit. Okay, so it has a little bit of dimension in its pull back. Okay? So now we can go back to our multiple cameras comp and press the space bar. (electronic music) Okay, that camera move is way too slow. So I'll just open 02 and I'll move these last two key frames a little closer, like so. And now we'll watch it down one last time and here we go.
(electronic music) I think that's pretty cool. And as you can see, when you have these multiple cameras, it really is a process of editing. Just like I was going back and forth and changing key frames, you can go back and forth from your different angles to create your own individual edit for your next motion graphics project.
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