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Chapter 14. 3D Layers > Using Cameras

Using Cameras

You can view a composition from any angle by creating one or more 3D cameras. Cameras emulate the optical characteristics of real cameras. However, unlike real cameras, you can move these cameras through space unrestrained by tripods, gravity, or even union rules. This task summarizes how to create a new camera; the following sections explain each camera setting in detail.

To create a camera:

1.
Do either of the following:

  • Choose Layer > New > Camera (Figure 14.30).

    Figure 14.30. Choose Layer > New > Camera.


  • Press Shift-Option-Command-C (Mac) or Shift-Alt-Ctrl-C (Windows).

A Camera Settings dialog box appears (Figure 14.31).

Figure 14.31. A Camera Settings dialog box appears.


2.
In the Camera Settings dialog box, do one of the following:

  • Select a preset camera from the Preset pull-down menu (Figure 14.32).

    Figure 14.32. Select a preset camera from the Preset pull-down menu.


    Presets are designed to emulate a 35mm camera of the specified focal length. Although presets are named for particular focal lengths, they set various camera settings automatically.

  • Choose the custom camera options you want.

See “Choosing Camera Settings” in the next section for a detailed description of each camera setting option.

3.
To give the camera a custom name, enter one in the Name field of the Camera Settings dialog box.

If you don't enter a name, After Effects uses the default naming scheme.

4.
Click OK to close the Camera Settings dialog box.

The new camera appears as the top layer in the composition, starting at the current time and using the default duration for still footage (Figure 14.33). The camera's default position depends on the camera settings you chose. Its default Point of Interest is at the center of the composition (see “Using the Point of Interest” later in this chapter). You can also switch the 3D view to see the camera's positioning in the Composition window (Figure 14.34). (See “Viewing 3D Layers in the Composition Window,” earlier in this chapter.)

Figure 14.33. The new camera appears as the top layer in the composition, starting at the current time and using the default duration for still footage.


Figure 14.34. Changing the 3D view allows you to see the camera as a selectable object in the Composition window.



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