2.4 Controlling the virtual camera


The fact that a depth sensor is capable of capturing the distance of each pixel relative to the sensor device enables a feature in Z Vector that we’ve come to call the “virtual camera”.

Clicking on the “Edit A” or “Edit B” button (available on the mixer panel) enables the controls for the virtual camera. From here the camera’s yaw, pitch, roll, zoom and field of view can be controlled (and animated if the animation controls are exposed by clicking the animation icon). Out of these, two sets of controls are provided for yaw, pitch and roll: slider based animation ready velocity controllers as well as knob type absolute value controllers. The two types of controllers can be mapped separately for more control over the camera.

The currently active camera parameters are always saved along with the visual profile. For more predefined control in live situations (for example to catch a detail on a performers upper body or face), four global camera save slots are also offered. The four (1-4) numbered slots are will override any camera settings that come with the profile. This feature can be useful for example when you’d like to keep the camera on continuous rotation, while switching or randomising visuals.

Shift left clicking any of the slots 1-4 will save the current camera parameters as a global preset under that number. Left clicking the slot (without pressing shift) will then load the saved preset.

Prior to moving to the next part in the tutorial series, let’s save two camera presets. Open and edit your camera controls. First define an input center that you’d like to focus on from your input by left clicking on a part of it (see the previous part of the tutorial series for more on this). Adjust zoom and FOV to your liking. Finally add some Yaw v to define a rotation on the camera. Save the camera settings to camera slot number 1 by shift-left clicking on the slot.

For slot 2 we will be doing a predefined absolutely positioned camera. Reset your camera settings by clicking “Front”. Adjust zoom and FOV to your liking. Then use the absolute controllers found under the velocity controllers, adjust Pitch to around -90 (-90 degrees, essentially moving the virtual camera “on top of the depth map”). Save the settings to camera slot number 2 by shift-left clicking on the slot.

Pro tip: When your render preview mode is in A, B, or the A/B mode (in any mode rather than live), you can do quick adjustments to the actual rendered view by shift – left clicking on either preview output. This can be extremely useful in cases where you’d like to, for example just slightly move the render viewpoint to another direction without touching the input point. Important: Just like the input center, this setting is global and is never saved anywhere.

Continue to the final part in the tutorial series:

2.0 Basics: Input parameters, the virtual camera and smoothing
2.3 The input center