8 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2015 6:54 AM by Rick Gerard

    Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??

    SpencerCarpenter Level 1

      This has been bugging me for years. I don't understand why adobe would make the cameras position curves separable but not those of the point of interest?

      This seems like a no-brainer to me, can someone from adobe please explain?


      It wastes time having to link the POI to a null whilst making the scene unnecessarily messy with unneeded layers as well as complicating the process of using Cineware.


      Another point is the lack of a colour palette. It's a basic requirement and don't feel we should have to pay for plugins to achieve this sort of functionality.

        • 1. Re: Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??
          Dave LaRonde Level 7

          Actually, your camera gripes are why people spend a little time building 3D camera rigs.  You can build them quickly, and they make AE cameras behave more like real-world cameras.


          I generally work with limited colors in my pallettes.  I'll make tiny-little solids in the appropriate colors.  Then I can open the solids folder and use the eyedropper to retrieve the colors.   Necessity -- the mother of invention.

          • 2. Re: Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??
            bogiesan Level 4

            You refer to Cineaware and I'm afraid that's not a tool I use so you could be right.


            I enjoy being able to build camera rigs that are linked to nulls; takes all the guesswork out of plotting complex camera moves that involve movement on all planes AND rotation. I'm not sure I could ever use the POI all by itself to do my moves. There are tons tutorials for creating rigs and there are many pre-rigged rigs for downloading. One of the better (complex and scripted and free) rigs is from the good folks at video copilot.


            Color palettes are easy to create and share across all Adobe products; I'm afraid I don't share the conviction of this declaration.

            • 3. Re: Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??
              SpencerCarpenter Level 1

              yes but why don't they just make them separable? When so many other features exist would it really be that hard?


              Im often working fast and find it slows me down.


              And the colour palette thing, cmon! Creating solids for the palette is rediculous in this day and age. Again would it really be that hard to include?

              • 4. Re: Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                On color swatches or themes have you seen this: Use Adobe Color themes in After Effects | Adobe After Effects CC tutorials

                I have this panel open all the time.


                On separating point of interest in a camera try this. Use the pickwhiup to tie the camera's point of interest to the position of a 3D null then separate values. You can now see the graph in both Camera>Point of Interest and Null>Position. You can edit the graph when viewing the Graph.


                In my experience there are lots of easier ways to rig and animate a camera, but if you really want to use the graph editor to fine tune things it's pretty easy to do.

                • 5. Re: Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??
                  SpencerCarpenter Level 1

                  Thanks for the info on the kuler extension. I must admit I'd missed that. It's still not as handy or quick as basic swatch editor though it's close.


                  Re the point of interest Im not satisfied with the 3d null workaround as a frequent user. I do it all the time but don't feel we as users should have to. Also don't forget you need to zero the position of the null to the camera's poi if you don't want the poi to jump to the null when you link it. In my view it's all unessecary and nonsensical.


                  On a side note Id be interesting in hearing what other camera rigs you use Rick.


                  Id really love to hear a response from Adobe on this as this matter is unresolved.

                  • 6. Re: Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I usually rig a camera to a null I name Dolly. If I need to animate point of interest I usually use an expression to look ahead of the camera path so that turns are anticipated like you would when you are driving. If the scene requires the camera to move through a 3D set then I use a 3D solid to draw a camera path through the set, then use the following technique to attach the camera to the path. You can use this technique to move a camera or a null or a solid through the scene.

                    Sometimes I'll attach the point of interest to a null and then just animate the point of interest through the scene. To tell you the truth there is no one standard camera rig I use in AE, just like there is no standard camera rig I use on the set when I'm acting as Director, or DP, or VFX supervisor. Each story you tell requires a different technique with the camera and there's not much sense laying dolly track and rigging a tulip crane when a simple pan or a gentle truck in or dolly right will do the job. Just as on a real set, the story you are trying to tell has everything to do with the blocking of the shot and the simpler you make the blocking the easier it is to get the shot to work the first time. I would say that I move the actors or layers about 70% of the time, the camera in a very simple move about 50% of the time, and the actors and the camera at the same time only about 20% of the time. I hardly ever move the camera through a set of more than a few layers or actors while booming up or down, panning left and right and dollying or trucking on a curved path.


                    I hope this helps. AE's camera is really easy to rig and move if you learn a few basic tricks. It didn't take me any longer to learn to move AE's camera than it did to learn how to move the camera in C4D or Blender or any other app that has a camera. None of the apps with virtual cameras are perfect and some moves are easier in one app than another. Just like using a camera in real life, it just takes practice to get really good at it. Step away from the camera for a couple of months and you're going to need to spend a little time practicing to get good at it again.

                    • 7. Re: Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??
                      SpencerCarpenter Level 1

                      Its great that you share your techniques on here and helpful for the community. I was aware of the techniques you've mentioned but I'm sure that will help other readers as its not obvious how to do that.


                      On the point of setting the target by an ofset copy of the camera path ive used that and it can work if the moves are slow and loose but often requires cleaning up as the two purposes don't mix fully.


                      I must say I don't rely too much on ae for any complex camera animation like situations where you need to blend from target based camera animation to 'free' rotations based animation (back and forth) or scenes that cover a huge 3d space scale and a micro one together. I know there are workarounds and techniques and ive used most of them it's just easier to use a 3d app for complex jobs in my view. Although the workflow with cineware still needs a lot of work as often you need to bake key frames etc its a step in the right direction.


                      Again I'd like to hear from Adobe about the original question, it would just make life a little easier and it feels like they are missing what's right in front of them.

                      • 8. Re: Why aren't the camera's 'point-of-interest' position curves separable??
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Only easier to use a 3D app for such moves if you are familiar with the 3D app. I will agree that the graph editors in 3D apps are generally easier to understand once you figure them out, but both take practice to use and for me, most of the time, the simpler the shot the better. If I need to focus on one particular spot then I just move a null there. If I need the camera to orbit something I just use an offset null as a parent. If I wanted to simulate a jib shot on a dolly then I'd create a rig using nulls on the hinge points and operate the camera like a jib operator would.