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Camera Tracking - Lights and Objects in Carrara

Author: thedanman

Tools Needed

  • Carrara 5
  • Carrara 4
  • Carrara 3

Step 1 - Scene Setup

In this tutorial we will build a simple animation with a lens flare pan that moves behind some text (“Hello!”). Create a simple text object using the “T” text tool in the toolbar along the top of your working window. We will modify this text object to also track the camera so that we can manipulate it quickly without losing orientation.


Step 2 - Setting the "Point At" modifier to track the camera

Select the text object and click the “Modifiers” tab and the “+” button to select “Behaviors”→“Point At” this will bring up the next window for you to orient your pointing and also the selection of which object to track.


In this case we wish the text to constantly track the camera. Experiment with tracking orientations as they update instantly in your working window. For this text to track the camera correctly I selected “Y+” for the direction.


Move your text object around and notice how your object now dynamically updates its orientation to face the camera in the specified direction.


Step 3 - Light Tracking Setup

Using the same technique, create a light to be pointed at the camera. Repeat the same steps as outlined for the text object you just placed to enable the light object to also track the camera. For this demonstration I also enabled a lens flare.


Manipulate your timeline so that a keyframe for the light's movement is create past time zero. In this setup I established a new light position at time 2 seconds. Carrara automatically updates your keyframes.


Step 4 - Final Render and Tips

Here is the final render from my animation frame - as you can see the lens flare tracks the camera throughout the whole animation and enables you to have a consistent effect throughout your animation.


Tips: You can have lights track certain objects and then set the objects in motion of neat effects. Also try establishing cameras in your scene to track different elements. This will enable you to really take the director's seat in your animation and allow you to change perspectives quickly for different shots of the same scene.

Good luck and enjoy!