View Full Version : Camera motion path

11-24-2009, 09:49 PM
Greetings all,

I use lightwave for stills mostly, but my current project is a video introduction using a a camera fly-through among 3d text. I had to manually create the camera's motion path, and did alot of guess-timating. I hear there is no real way to edit the motion path in LW9-- is this true?

The fly-through involves rotation as well as following the path, like an airplane banking (rotating around z) before turning. The end result so far is not bad, but I figure there HAS to be an easier way to get it done.

What is the easiest way to create a smooth, fluid camera motion along a path?


12-08-2009, 10:52 PM
So... I guess there is no easier way in LW to create a camera motion path? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE LW and all of it's capabilities. I'm still a newb and rely on folks waay better with LW than I am to give me hints and "steer" me in the right direction. If there really is no easier way to complete a camera motion path, that's okay, I am happy with my result. I guess I'm just "making sure" I'm not wasting time manually adjusting the path.

Thank you all as a community for being there. GO LW!

12-08-2009, 11:14 PM
I guess I am not quite sure what you are asking.
The easiest thing to do is set a keyframe for the camera at the beginning, set a keyframe for camera position at the end, and then set as few keyframes in the middle of the timeline to get the camera to go where you want it to go
A more complex method involves drawing a spline,bezier,etc path in modeler and then exporting that line as a motion path, and then loading that path in layout

12-09-2009, 01:57 AM
Use the graph editor (ctrl + F2) to smooth out your curves.
For a smooth camera it is usefull to parent the cam to a null (master null),
use the null to move the cam and use the cam only for rotation.
You could take this a step further and put another null inbetween
cam and master null and use it for the rotation, so if you get into gimbal lock
(two axes line up so you can't rotate around a third axis) you could use the cam to rotate.

Setup would look like this:


CC Rider
12-09-2009, 09:53 AM
Nulls can be your friend for sure, but for simpler animations they can add unneeded complexity...For simpler animations, I usually "target" a null. Then animating the xyz position of the camera as needed. Animating the null takes care of animating most of the rotation attributes and gives you higher degree of accuracy aiming the camera. If you have a lot of banking etc, I can see where this may cause problems with the targeting technique, but if the camera is to stay upright it works great.
You may need a separate null to control the bank (z rotation).

If you do a search for complex camera moves with nulls you should turn up some good advice.

Good luck!

CC Rider
12-09-2009, 10:05 AM
You won't need to parent to a null to control the z rotation. (again for simple animations)
Just target your null and animate for aiming the camera which will control x and y rotation itself.
Animate X, Y and Z position and Z rotation on the camera itself. And you should be good to go.
Be sure to use the graph editor to smooth out the curves as mentioned above!