Snap to Null question

Jarrahv1 Website User Posts: 98

Hi Guys,

I'm using point layers to set up a scene and am parenting lights to them.  They're snapping to position fine.  But the camera i'm using to check the set up won't.  Is this normal?  The Null points are meant to serve as a quick set up for lights and camera positions (if i need to add more later)


  • Jarrahv1
    Jarrahv1 Website User Posts: 98

    It's changing Co ords... but the camera isn't actually moving

  • Jarrahv1
    Jarrahv1 Website User Posts: 98
    edited June 2019

    turns out the lights aren't snapping into position either :/

    and yes i had the camera on the top layer

  • jaedenpartridge
    jaedenpartridge Website User Posts: 1

    Suggest some of the best camera for birthday.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 19,005 Ambassador

    Hah! I KNEW I'd seen a post a few days ago that made me think, "Hmmmm, I should discuss why we don't want objects snapping to points when parented! We've covered that in your other thread, but I'll repost that discussion here in case other users stumble into this thread.

    As you've pretty much figured out a point is merely a set of position/rotation coordinates. Some other programs call them "nulls" or "null objects."

    That's it, just coordinates for position/rotation.

    Points are intended to be parented to layers (photo/video/plane/model) and effects parameters. Points can also be parented to other points, and can be used as "targets" for camera targeting/focusing.

    Points themselves have absolute coordinates. Anything parented to a point takes its own coordinates relative to point. So, if you create a camera, then a 3D point  then parent the camera to that point the camera now has position coordinates of 0,0, 1866 (in a 1080p comp). If you then rotated the 3D point on (say) 2 axes, move the point somewhere in 3D space, then look at the Camera position it will still say 0,0,1866. This is because the camera's position and rotation are relative to the point.

    Note that having parented objects snap directly to a point automatically is NOT desirable behavior. 

    The simplest use of a point is to parent an effect, like a lens flare, if adjusting a scene it's just easier and faster to grab a point and move it than to drill into the effects controls for the light flare and manually input numbers.

    Since points can be parented to each other points can construct complex animation rigs - perhaps I have a helicopter model set up. I would create a point, move it to the "center of mass" of the chopper (if needed) and parent the (entire) chopper to the point. A second 3D point would be parented to the first, moved to the base of the main rotor, then the rotor sub group parented to the second point. A third point would handle the tail rotor. The rotor points would be animated to spin the rotors while the main point positions the chopper as a whole.

    This helicopter example also shows why auto snapping to a point is undesirable. For the main rotor I only have to align the point with the center of rotation on two axes. If the object auto-snapped as soon as I parented the rotors  if I didn't have the point in the exact location it needed to be, the rotors would be dragged out of alignment and would need to be re-aligned.

    So points  while a simple concept, are one of the key features for any and all animations. Examples abound. @ZachAlan_Productions has done a neat shot of a walking AT-AT entirely in Hitfilm. I imagine his point rig was pretty complex. 

    This tutorial is the third in a series, but focuses on using point rigs to move the camera. The "virtual camera jib" is a good example. The point rig makes it fairly easy to recreate the type of moves from a real jib, because, well, you're moving the camera on a jib. Trying to recreate that type of motion by animating the camera would be difficult, if not impossible. 

    Sticking with cameras, @FilmSensei came up with a clever way of improving my point rig by adding another point to automate the "counterbalance." The below tutorial is my improvement on Jay's improvement on my original rig, but I do credit him with the initial concept. 

    Jay also uses points in a clever way in this tutorial to create a nifty way to extrude 3D Text.

    So, I think those three videos do a good job of showing the flexibility of the humble point.

  • bkdroid13
    bkdroid13 Website User Posts: 9


    Thanks for sharing this video. its very awesome

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