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Camera Switching in Carrara

Author: DanaC78

Tools Needed

* Carrara


Anybody who used Vue 5 Infinite might be aware of the camera switch, a feature that at a point in the time line, it changes from one camera to another, and it is rendered this way. This was one of Carrara shortcomings since it only allows you to render from one camera. However, there is a trick to simulate this that involves one camera, and fair knowledge of keyframing that camera.

Step 1: Set-up your animation

Due to the scope of the Tutorial, I am going to assume you have knowledge of how to animate in Carrara 5, or at least have the manual for reference to how. What I would like you to do is set up an animation so we have a good idea what you want to capture, and what angle. However, at this time, I would like you to leave the camera alone as we will cover that in the next step.

Step 2: Into the Sequence.:)

Now that we have the animation, and you have a base to decide what angle you want the shot to be, we can get started.:) Now, there is a tutorial to cover how to do this in Poser, but it is much simpler in to achieve in Carrara.

What I would like you to do is get into the Sequencer at the bottom tab of the screen. . If all you are seeing is content, click on the tab on the far left as noted in the picture.


At this moment, the Camera Object Time Line should be blank except for Frame 0, and if it isn't, I want you to click them all, and delete them. It will save your sanity for later.:)


Step 3: Pre-planning your shots.

One thing that said in the movie making process is that Preplanning saves time in Production, and this couldn't be truer. Also, you got an advantage over Poser and Vue by having a storyboard view (the little pencil highlighted).


You see every moment of the animation and can get a basic idea of where you want your camera to be. Take a moment to visualize this, and we will be ready for the next step.


Step 4: The Initial Shot


Another distinct advantage of the Storyboard Room, change of one frame will show you want happens in the next in regards to animation. So we will use this for this purpose. Once you find the frame that you want to change, revert back to Assembly.

Now you may be wondering why? After a few trials, Storyboard for camera motion is funky at best, and not as reliable for saving the camera's position. It is useful, for example, you know a point where your figure will be when the camera changes, but other than that, I wouldn't recommend changing camera in Storyboard. It is also much easier then sliding the timeline bar, or guessing with the time.:)

Also you might be wondering 'Shouldn't frame 0 be the initial shot?' Not always. Take for instance, a Poser import with Dynamic Clothes. Now, my personal preference is to have fifteen frames for calculations. So maybe I don't need the camera to start at frame 0, but rather at frame 14. It is up to you, however.


Once you are in assembly, point the camera to where you want the Initial Shot to be. Once you have that, we are ready to move on to the next step.:)

Step 5: Creating the End shot

Now that we have the initial shot, and from Step 3, you know roughly what point this perspective ends, select that frame. You have one of two choices:


* Move the camera a bit a camera movement. This will set a keyframe.

* You can go to the Sequencer, and click on Camera, then click on the Key.

Either one of these methods will give you what you want, a keyframe that will be the last frame before it changes to a 'new camera'.

Step 6: Set-Up 'Switcher'


With the Camera Object Still selected (normally no reason why it shouldn't), I want you to press the fast forward button. What this will do is progress one frame ahead.

After doing so, I want you to use the camera controls to move the camera around to a different point of view. This will setup a keyframe that will be the Switcher.


Now go to the last frame of this shot you had in mind, and repeat Step 5.

Step 7: Test


Now I want you to rewind to the beginning, and play. When it got to Switcher frame, did it change angles? It did? WOOHOO!! What happened was the keyframe was right after another, and it was it changed positions. Very handy.

From this point on, all you need to do is follow those basic steps to get this type of effect over and over again.:)

Step 8: For Editors

Sometimes, this switch can be a little rough, and you may have to separate it again to get it going. You may wonder 'Why bother?' It would be one rendered file to editor from instead of multiple, which can lead to some clutter with multiple files of the same scene, and some disk space usage. In most Video Editing programs, you can create multiple events out of one video file, so which sounds better?

Also, sometimes you know what frame it is, but not the time that the rendering left off at, or even when you are editing it in Vegas or Premiere. This prevents that sync problem.:)