What are Camera Objects?
A Camera Object is a layer that lets you choose which part of your composition will be shown when rendering. With Camera Objects, you can:
- Simulate depth, focus blur, and Fog.
- Determine a Camera Object's size, position, and rotation and animate these properties using keyframes to create dynamic scenes.
- Create a project with multiple camera objects and cut between them.
- Parent layers to camera objects to create overlays.
- Parent cameras to other layers to track their motion.
- Add motion effects to simulate realistic movement.
How to add a Camera Object
On iPhone/Android, tap the Add Layer button, go to the Object tab, and tap Camera.
On iPad, go to the Object tab and tap Camera.
Tip: It's easier to see what a camera does if you have a few layers in your project before adding the Camera.
Viewing through the Camera with Active Camera View
Once Camera is first added, only the Camera's wireframe will be seen, as it'll be the default view. Therefore, only the wireframe will move while moving the Camera's position.
Left: Active Camera View is off.
Right: Active Camera View is on.
Tap the Active Camera View button in the View Options panel to see through the Camera. Moving the Camera's position wilit'll around the entire project in the preview area.
Active Camera View is located within the View Options Panel (Android & iPhone)
Active Camera View (iPad)
You can switch between the Active Camera View and the default view at any time, as this controls exclusively what you see in the preview area and does not affect the exported project.
In addition to panning horizontally and vertically on the X and Y axes, the Camera can move forward and backward on the Z axis and be animated with keyframes on all three axes. Moving a camera on the Z axis changes its distance from other layers. By setting other layers at different Z coordinates, you can move the camera forward or backward to create the impression of moving through 3D space and pan the Camera to create a parallax scrolling effect.
Zoom Distance / View Angle
As Zoom Distance and View Angle are related properties changing one will affect the other.
- Zoom distance is the distance from the Camera at which a layer the same size as the project will fill the screen. The larger this is, the more the Camera is zoomed in. For example, if the project is 1080p and a camera has a zoom of 1000, a layer that is 1080 pixels high and is 1000 pixels away from the Camera will perfectly fill the screen vertically.
- View angle determines how much of the project the Camera can see. This is the angle along the long dimension of the project. For example, in a portrait project, this is the number of degrees vertically that the Camera can see. Combined with the project's aspect ratio, this defines the Camera's field of view.
These properties are related because once a project is zoomed in, a smaller part of it is seen, and therefore the view angle decreases. This also means that the camera wireframe will appear to decrease in size because the wireframe represents the amount of the project at the Z=0 plane visible to the Camera.
Camera objects do not have a scale property. When you pinch in the preview or adjust the scale in Move & Transform, the Camera's Angle and Zoom Distance are adjusted.
As this may not be what you want, if you wish to feel depth where layers are at different distances from the Camera, you should try changing the CameCamera'soordinate in the Location tab under Move & Transform instead.
The numbers shown in the Scale tab represent the width and height of the wireframe. The dimensions of the part of the project at the Z=0 plane is visible to the Camera are based on the current View Angle and Zoom Distance settings.
Although this behavior seems similar to scaling a regular layer, there is an important distinction: Effects that operate on a layer will not affect camera layers, and cameras with parent connections are unaffected by the parent layers.
Focus Blur adds a blur effect to layers outside a defined focus range. Once on, these three settings can be adjusted:
- Focus distance determines the distance at which the Camera is focused. As camera objects can currently only look forward. This means the distance along the Z axis the Camera is focused on.
- Depth of field is the range around the focus distance that will be in focus.
- Blur strength is the degree of blur for out-of-focus layers.
All three settings are relative to the Camera's position, so if you move the camera forward or backward, different layers will move into or out of focus as they pass through the focus distance.
Enabling Fog causes the Camera to simulate a hazy cloud that envelops the layers within and behind it. Once on, these three settings can be adjusted:
- Color is the color of the Fog.
- Near distance determines the boundary of the Fog closest to the Camera. Layers closer to the Camera than the near-distance value are fully visible in front of the Fog.
- Far distance is the distant boundary of the Fog. The Fog partially obscures layers within the range of near and far distance. Layers farther from the Camera than the far distance value are entirely covered.
As with Focus Blur, Fog is relative to the camera position. Moving the Camera forward or backward will cause layers in the scene to move into or out of the region between the near and far-fog distances.
Active Camera / Default Camera / Multiple Cameras
You can add multiple cameras to cut to different views in a scene. Whichever camera object is highest on the timeline is the Active Camera, and whichever is lowest is the Default Camera.
The project will always render the view from whichever Camera is active. Turning off the visibility of an active camera will turn off its function, and the next highest Camera present on the timeline becomes active.
If no other camera is present on the timeline, the Default Camera will become active, extending infinitely in either direction on the timeline.
Adding Effects to Cameras
Adding Motion Blur to a camera is the same as adding it individually to each layer visible to the Camera: the layers will have Motion Blur applied based on both the Camera's movement and their movement. As Motion Blur can be quite a heavy effect, this can be a convenient way to manage it for your whole scene in one place, turning it off for better performance while editing and turning it on for better quality when exporting and sharing.
Other effects that change a camera's position and transform properties, like Auto-Shake and Oscillate, can be used to simulate realistic movement. Effects that alter a layer's scale do not affect cameras.
Effects that can be applied to camera objects can be found by looking for the Camera tag in the Effect Browser.
Parenting with Cameras
Parenting a layer to a camera causes it to follow the Camera's motion. This can be useful for overlays and heads-up displays, such as a camcorder’s viewfinder or a moving train’s window. This can also be useful for overlays that should remain fixed in place even while the Camera moves, such as subtitles and captions.
Similarly, cameras can be parented to other layers, causing them to follow the movement of whatever layer they are parented to.