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Working with Cameras in After Effects

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In this tutorial we’ll get you up to speed with everything you need to know to get started with cameras in After Effects.
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Auto-Generated Transcript Below 👇

Music (00:02): [intro music]

Caleb Ward (00:10): Hey, what’s up. This is Caleb Ward with school of motion. And in this after effects tutorial, we’re going to be talking about cameras. This is going to cover everything from camera nodes to depth of field. So if you’re ready to learn something new, let’s hop in.

Caleb Ward (00:24): The first thing I want you to know is that you can download the free project file used in this tutorial over at school of motion. You’ll just find a link in the description of this video. I find that whenever I follow along with a project file, uh, I tend to learn better. So, so that is free to you over at school of motion. So when we’re talking about cameras and after effects, we should just go ahead and get the first thing out of the way, uh, to create a new camera, uh, just go to layer new camera, or you could do option command shift C, and that will create a new camera as well. And this camera settings dialog box, it’s going to pop up. Now, when the camera settings dialog box pops up here, there are a lot of numbers and charts and this whole thing looks really scary.

Caleb Ward (01:05): I understand exactly what’s going on here. And I am still like what in the world, this is the craziest looking chart. Uh, I have ever seen. We’re going to get to all of these things, but first let’s talk about the different types of cameras. So in after effects, there’s a OneNote and a two note camera. And I think the best way to illustrate these camera types is to, uh, look at these charts here. So right here, we have a, an example of a OneNote camera and a one node camera operates very similarly to a camera in real life in that there is just a single point, uh, that the camera is operating around. So as you rotate your camera, you know, pan or tilt your camera, uh, the area that you are focused on, uh, is going to move with the camera as well. And so, uh, this is just a more natural way of using a camera and thinking about a camera.

Caleb Ward (01:56): And so whenever you’re new to after effects, a one note camera is typically where people start now, that is in contrast to a two node camera. Now a two node camera is a OneNote camera with a point of interest. So I’m gonna play this back. So you kind of understand what I’m talking about here. So, um, unlike the one node camera, as you move a two node camera around, it is going to auto orient itself to a point of interest. In fact, if we select our camera down here and kind of go to the dropdown menu, you see that we have a point of interest. This is a two node camera that we are operating with in our timeline right now. Um, now the interesting thing about working with the two note camera is that you can actually adjust the point of interest as well.

Caleb Ward (02:40): So if we play this back here, you’ll see that as we adjust the point of interest or camera orients, uh, to the position of the point of interest now, uh, this can be incredibly useful if you’re working with a logo reveal or titles that have a specific point of interest, um, it can also be a annoying sometimes if you’re working on a project that has a lot of complex 3d movement, and there is no specific, uh, area or point of interest that the cameras should be focusing on. So you probably have the question now, which node should you use. And that’s not actually a very easy question to answer because a one node camera, like I was saying before is more natural. And, uh, you know, if you’re working on 3d photos or compositing, or you want to generate realistic camera shake, uh, a one node camera is certainly a very useful tool, but a two node camera can also be very useful.

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By: School of Motion
Title: Working with Cameras in After Effects
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