Join Aaron F. Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with the perspective viewport camera, part of Cinematography in Maya.
If you've used Maya at all then you must know the keyboard shortcuts to manipulate the viewport. And those of course are Alt+left mouse, Alt+middle mouse, and Alt+right mouse buttons. Alt+left is tumble or orbit. Alt+middle is track, and also pedestal up and down. And Alt+right is dolly forward and back. But these tools are also available independent of those keyboard shortcuts.
You notice that currently the Select tool is active, and even though I dollied forward and back, the Select tool is still active. We can also use a dedicated version of those tumble, track, and dolly tools. You'll find them in two places. One is in the Panel View menu under View > Camera Tools, and you'll see Tumble, Track, and Dolly there. You can also find them in the general shelf, up here. And you'll see Tumble, Track, and Dolly as dedicated tool icons.
So if I click Dolly, then now the Select tool's no longer active. But the Dolly tool is active down here, shown in the Last Used Tool section. And now I can click with the left mouse button to dolly forward and back. Likewise with the track tool, simply left-click. And I'm not able to select anything while this is happening, because the Select tool is deactivated. And most interestingly, we can activate an option in the Tumble tool.
It's called Tumble on Object, and allows us to control how the Tumble tool operates. And to keep an object on the screen in the same place. So here is how it works. We'll need to activate it. Go to the Tumble tool, and then double-click on the Tumble tool, or go into its options from the View menu. I'm just going to double-click and I'll enable Tumble on Object and then close the tool settings. In order for Tumble on Pbject to work, we have to be able to select an object, and currently, all the geometry in my view here is on reference display layers, as you can down see here. They all have r's next to them.
So, Tumble on Object is active right now, but it won't work because these objects are not selectable. So, if I click on this character's face for example, we're still orbiting around the center of the screen. But if I turn off the referencing on Emma mesh layer and Walter mesh layer, now if I click on Emma's face, her face is going to stay in the same place on the screen as we tumble around. Or if I click on Walter's face, we'll tumble around his face instead, as you can see.
So this is very useful, both for setting camera angles and also just simply for modeling. So I recommend that you have Tumble on Object enabled at all times. It also works in component mode. So, if you click on a particular vertex in component mode, then you'll tumble on that vertex.
- 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