What the second (third, etc) camera layer is for?

what the second (third, etc) camera layer is for?

@merab Hi.Right now having extra cameras might not seems as useful for regular purposes and since people tend to animate a single “scene” on a single file, their use might not become obvious until experimenting.

When you export your animation you will notice the export dialogs have a “camera selector” option. This allows you to pick a camera perspective to export / record as your final video.

With this I can imagine various possibilities:

  1. You could use multiple cameras to “film” shots with different focal length value from the same animation plate.
  • In live action films it is common to use multiple cameras. Usually you shoot what is called a “master shot” which is usually a long shot or a full shot where all the actors, props and actions are shown for a particular scene. Afterwards using this as a guideline the director films close-ups to later edit into the film and help tell the story.

  • If we take this idea and apply it to Pencil2D and animation as a whole. Let’s say you Create your animation as a “master shot” where everything is seen in a long or full shot (basically characters can be seen full body). Then you add a second or third camera that will only film and follow certain actions during the scene. For example a character close up face, a mid shot, a particular object that’s important to the story, etc.

  • So this technique is similar to live action filming but using animation. The only downside is that you have to plan really hard how to do it, and usually you have to draw the master shot about 2 to 4 times larger than the original broadcast size; this depends on how close a close up shot will be, to avoid image quality degradation.

  • This way you can have all your editing shots that come from a single scene to explore storytelling possibilities in the editing room, instead of having to redraw certain actions at the appropriate size if the director (or yourself) don’t like the initial layout.

  1. You can use them as simple motion tween helpers, moving specific layers by playing with the layer visibility and the export order if you’re creative enough.
  • However In the future I personally would like to use different cameras as helpers in a more intuitive manner, so specific cameras can move specific layers and become sort of like “pegs” in commercial software like Toonboom Harmony, but this is an idea, not something that will happen exactly.
  1. Related to #1 & #2 We could use different cameras to effect different parts of a timeline be it for motion or for display (export). However right now you can only see the effect of a certain camera if you select it, and you must make sure other cameras are reset when a new one starts effecting the timeline, unless you want their effects to add to each other (which is also possible). In the future I would personally like to be able to see the camera “scope” as a clip that we can trim or extend and have the motion interpolation using a curves graph editor for more advanced motion and refined control.

When all is said and done, probably having multiple cameras will not benefit most users until they can clearly and effectively control each individual camera for obvious purposes, so right now it might be useless for you as well even though you can get the aforementioned points to work with enough patience and planning.

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