Join Donovan Keith for an in-depth discussion in this video Kinetic type animation with the Camera Morph tag, part of Camera Animation with CINEMA 4D.
- While many of the techniques I've covered so far in this series are on how to create smooth and flowing shots, in this video, we'll cover a common request for motion graphics, snappy camera moves. Instead of setting a series of key frames, we'll create a series of carefully positioned cameras and animate between them, using the Camera Morph tag. So, here we have the end result, and it's in a style of animation called kinetic type. We've got moving typography. And what you'll notice is that the camera is starting out focusing on one word, then another, then another, then another.
And this is accomplished by creating a series of camera objects that are focusing on our type, and then morphing between them, with our camera morph object. So, let's go ahead and recreate this. Go to the Start file and add a camera to your scene. Now, we can go in here, and we can look through our camera, and we can try and frame each of these pieces of text manually. And that can be pretty effective, but there's a technique that I've found that is really quite useful. If you drag your camera under your object, you can zero out its position.
And then, if you set the parent object and tap the O key, it will allow you to frame your object exactly. And if you just dolly out a little bit, it'll clean up those edge mats that you see along the edge of your frame. Now, something that isn't really gonna be an issue with this small amount of type is the naming of our camera. But it can sometimes be helpful to link the name of your camera to the parent object. And I'm gonna do that right now, so I'm gonna select my parent object. I'm gonna go to the Basic tab, click on the Name, right-click, and choose XPressions, Set Driver.
And then gonna click on my camera object, click on the Name, and choose XPressions, Set Driven (Absolute). And now, you'll notice that the camera has been automatically renamed to match the parent object. I wanna go into the XPresso tag on my object here and click on the left-most node. And that is the parent object. I'm gonna change the Reference Mode here from Absolute Reference to Relative Reference, which basically means that if I duplicate this camera and put it under some other object, it's gonna get its name from that object it's under now.
And in order to zero out my camera's position, what I wanna do is use Reset PSR, which you see is already docked into my interface. If you wanna dock it into your interface, shift, C, and type in Reset PSR, and then you can just drag it out into your interface, wherever you'd like it to be. Alright, having done that, I'm gonna look through my next camera here. And I'm gonna press PSR zero. I'm then gonna select the parent object, tap O, and dolly out a bit. Let's do that for each of these next objects.
Select it, frame it, tap O, and just before that, let's PSR zero, and then select the parent, and then tap O. There we go. And let's duplicate it one more time, for fun, right? PSR zero, look through it, tap O. Let's try that one more time. PSR zero, select the parent, tap O. There we go. So, we now have each of these cameras in each of these locations. But I actually wanna break up this phrase here, "is at right angles" into two separate words.
So, I'm going to delete my XPresso tag on this, 'cause I wanna manually name these. And I'm gonna duplicate one camera here. It's gonna be "is at". Dolly in, and move over to just frame up "is at". "Right angles", I'm gonna dolly in and focus on "right angles". And so now, I can preview my animation by clicking on each of these cameras. "This text is at right angles." "Fun, right?" OK, let us now animate between them, using the Morph Camera tag.
So, select each one of these cameras. I'm holding down command as I do that, command or control. And then I'm gonna go to Camera Morph. And that creates a new camera and a Camera Morph tag on it. And it's in Multi Morph mode, with each one of your cameras, in turn. And you can reorder them in here, and you can do that easily, because you know what the name is. Now, looking through this camera, we can animate through this blend and see that full animation. It's looking pretty good. It's a little bit soupy, so what I wanna do is add individual key frames for each and every camera.
So, at frame zero, I'm gonna add a key at 0% to go to frame 20. And I'm gonna go over to the point where it looks like it's straight on, which for me is 25%. And it's just sort of a product of the math. We get to do on even 25% increments. The next one is gonna be at 50%. The next one after that is gonna be at 75%. And the final key frame, I'm gonna put at 100%. And let's press play and see what that looks like.
It's looking pretty good. It's a little too fast, so I'm gonna select all these keys. Let's just drag it out a bit, in terms of time. Press Play, "This text is at right angles." Looking pretty good, still a little bit soupy. So if you go into your Animation Layout, you can select all of those keys. And I'm just gonna grab the right handle. And I'm gonna drag it over to the right. Now, it's right now doing both handles. I don't want that. I'm gonna hold down the shift key to get just my right handles and the command key to drag it out in the direction it's headed.
And what that should do is hold a little bit, snap, hold, snap, hold, snap, and you can adjust the timing further, if you would like. But, that gives you the gist of the thing. Now, in addition, you can adjust your Interpolation to, say, Linear, if you want a cleaner snap between each one of those. Or you can choose a different sort of smooth, like Soft number 2. While this style of camera animation is, perhaps, a little cliche at this point, it's good to know how to do it.
In addition, you can use the same techniques to create different snappy and smooth camera movements that are less distinctive. And the key to that is just not moving the camera at 90 degree angles. While this style of animation is, perhaps, a little played out at this point, it's good to know how to recreate it. In addition, you can use these same techniques to create a variety of snappy and smooth camera movements.
- Animating simple camera moves: pans, zooms, and more
- Animating custom camera rigs
- Smoothing camera moves with Align to Spline
- Simulating first-person point of view
- Adding sweeping crane shots
- Creating trailing cameras and fly-through shots
- Moving the camera with the Camera Morph tag