Out-Of-Sync Panning

GrayMotionGrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,368 Enthusiast
edited September 4 in Practical Filmmaking

The goal: Out of sync panning. The sweeping "half-pivot around the edge" at the end of the clip is the camera move I'm really trying to perfect.

The question: I assume that I can use a "Tripod setup" camera parented to a Move point, Y-Pan point and a X-Tilt point. Would it be better to use a "behavior follow" or manual make the turn and animate the pan slightly?

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Best Answers

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador
    Accepted Answer

    Greg, you want a tripod rig aligned to the same move point as the camera, the tripod, parent to a point like a million units out. Target the camera to and parent the tripod rig to the "Sensei Point" (cuz @FilmSensei first came up with a version of this). Now you have azimuth /altitude control of your target.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador
    Accepted Answer

    @GrayMotion I just had this odd idea flash into existence. I have a (virtual) meeting in 15 min, so this is a bare sketch. Hopefully I'll remember.

    Ok. Parent camera to a point. Set up the Sensei Point as described... Set the FIRST frame of the animation (including target) and LAST frame of animation. Now set the CENTER(ish) frame. Leave all keys on LINEAR by the way. Continue skipping through the timeline and refining keys (new position and target keys). You can be a little sloppy here, but, again, leave every thing in linear keys.

    Here's,what I THINK is the clever bit - needs to be tested...

    Create a second move point put it at the same location (on first frame) as original move point. Same with the Sensei Point. Now parent the camera to move point 2 and target target point 2, then *drumroll* (here's the secret sauce step) add a FOLLOW behavior to the second move/target points where they FOLLOW the first. I'm thinking setting the follow percentage will act to "smooth out" the motion from the original linear keyframes! If I'm right, even though this is a strange flow it'll actually be faster than refining the original keys...

    Kinda see what I'm thinking?

Answers

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,720 Ambassador

    @GrayMotion I would think the "tripod" setup would work. I assume you've seen Mike's (Triem23) comments on how to do that. But you could also do it with a target point that the camera always points to, like you would with a stationary camera following a point as it moves across the screen- such as a spaceship flyby.

    But in this case create a parent for the camera and the target point. Move the parent to move the camera (and the target). While the whole rig is moving animate the position of the target and the camera will point in that direction as the whole setup moves along.

    Just a thought.

  • FilmSenseiFilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,297 Ambassador

    Target the camera to and parent the tripod rig to the "Sensei Point" (cuz @FilmSensei first came up with a version of this).

    "Sensei Point"... Cool!

  • GrayMotionGrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,368 Enthusiast
    edited September 5

    Thanks Lynn/Mike... @Triem23 @Stargazer54

    I'll give both suggestions a go and see which one works best. They're "almost" (I know - only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades) identical and kinda what I was thinking for a fly-though shot. I did forget about the "Sensei Point" though so that might give me more control over the smoothness of the pan. I do realize that the pan has to end at what I want framed at the end of the shot so I'll have to think the shot through first.

    While I'm at it I think I might also try using Blender and have the rig follow a curved path around the half pivot and keyframe the pan and see how that looks.

    I'll report back by the end of the 3 day weekend and give the Accepted answer that works so that others can benifit.

    Again, thanks for the refresher tips.

    P.S - Yep. Very cool @FilmSensei I'll be adding that term to my official Hitfilm language. 👍

  • GrayMotionGrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,368 Enthusiast

    I went with Mikes suggestions although Lynn's would work too.

    I still have problems getting the pan to end up on the final shot when using a curved path for the camera move. It's harder than I thought. I still haven't perfected that move yet. When I return in a few weeks I'll work on my "Hot Moves" again. I won't be whooped! 👍

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 2,720 Ambassador

    @GrayMotion Never give up! Never surrender!

  • GrayMotionGrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,368 Enthusiast
    edited September 10

    @Triem23 Mike!! I think you're onto something. For 10 minutes of fiddling I got a decent out-of-sync pan on a half pivot. Of course the geometry (and animation speed) is wrong for the shot. Needs work (sliding camera at the end - final pan point is off) but the mechanics of your suggestion is sound!! 👍

    -I had to start low and go high due to the geometry I was working with.

    -Sensei point -500 Y frame 1 and 25000 Y end frame

    -The Sensei Point is at -300000 Z at frame 1 and -500000 Z at end frame.

    -Sensei Point is at -150000 X at frame 1 and 300000 X at end frame.

    -The Follow behavior(s) are at default

    In a few weeks I'll be back on this (with proper geometry)

    Thanks ole man 👍


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador
    edited September 10

    @GrayMotion Nice! I think my brain has been kind of mulling this question in the background for a few days... The "Follow" behavior is an enhancement of an older method I've used which is a bit fiddly, but works well for animating planes and spaceships. (long story short you animate the move point without worrying about object facing, then you duplicate the move point, move the duplicate forward in time by two frames - this is now the "facing point" - then have the move point orient to the facing point. That always made the object face where it would be two frames in the future. For a spaceship/jet plane, this basically takes care of x/y facing, and all you animate is Z.). I was trying to simplify for camera movement.

    It's a technique I stole from a long-ago (late 80's) article for Cad-3D where you had to create the spline, duplicate and offset the pline, then write code in CyberControl to tell spline 1 to look at spline 2.... Ah, Cad-3D only had linear interpolation, so there was another method someone else came up with where you'd have a 2D spline where the y-axis went to as many units as there were frames in the animation. Let's say 1000. You'd put an object on it's animation path then build a second x/y curve (remember y=frame number) then write code to pull the y-value from the control curve and place the object on that frame of the position curve. I'm not explaining it well, but it was using a curves spline to feed an axis value as a frame number back to the first spline to overcome the lack of interpolation curves/value graphs for movement. And it's a technique I'm still adaping 30+ years later. But in Hitfilm you do it with parenting, orientation and behaviors rather than writing custom code.

    Anyway, I haven't had a chance to play with this myself, but I'm glad your tests seem to indicate that the principle is sound. I think adjusting a spline where everything is linear keypoints will make it easier to control position and facing without messing around with values, and I'm glad the follow behavior is kinda "smoothing out" the linear bumps. That recent test looks good. The camera move feels nice and smooth without any linear interpolation "bumps."

    Last thought - you say the very ends is sliding. You might have to "cheat" a bit and make the comp shot a few frames longer than you want it to be so the "follow spline" has time to catch up to the "control spline" at the end. Then you can trim (or not render) those last few frames? Not certain yet, since I haven't played with it yet.

    Sorry I'm a bit rambley. I'm tired today!

    Last trivium. Cad3D on the Atari ST is literally the grandfather of 3DS Max. Cad 3D's primary developer, Tom Wilson, was one of the original coders on Autodesk 3D and 3DS Max....

    If you were to look through the whole "Cad-3D" ecosystem, Cad 3D, Cybermate, Cybercontrol, Cyber Paint, Cybersculpt... Spectrum 512... Well, that's where my initial experience came from. I mean, the college had Cubicomp, but that was during class/lab time for a couple semesters. Cad-3d is what I had at home.

  • FilmSenseiFilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,297 Ambassador
    edited September 10

    I learned the Follow Behavior from you, @Triem23, and I have used it several times in projects and tutorials alike. Here are a couple of examples...


  • GrayMotionGrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,368 Enthusiast

    I wanted to follow up on this a bit with another refined example. I put a grid on the floor and modeled a curved tube to help the viewer focus on "around-the-end" movement. There is an every so slight notice of the middle "move" keyframe on the camera for the around the corner.

    The Sensei Point 2 controls the pan and has a follow behavior with an attraction strength of 40% to follow Sensei Point 1. The Sensei point 1 starts at X:300 Y:0 Z: -300000 and ends at X: 13102000 Y: 0 Z:94406

    What do you think... does it "look" like an out-of-sync pan from the forward movement???


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,275 Ambassador

    Yup. Looks like a smooth shot from a real camera op!

  • FilmSenseiFilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,297 Ambassador
    edited November 21

    This is really a brilliant idea! I think I would be inclined to parent the "Sensei Point 1" to a Rotating Center Point and keyframe the Y Rotation of the Rotating Center Point (essentially creating an inverted Snorricam like rig that rotates). Then I would create the Sensei Point 2 and have it behavior follow Sensei Point 1. Finish by aligning the Camera to Sensei Point 2.

  • FilmSenseiFilmSensei Moderator, Website User, Ambassador Posts: 2,297 Ambassador

    Here is a sample shot of my thoughts from above...


  • GrayMotionGrayMotion Website User Posts: 1,368 Enthusiast
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