Building a realistic camera look at rig


https://forum.reallusion.com/Topic376589.aspx
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By justaviking - Last Year
I wrote up a request for an improved "Look At" feature a long time ago.

I really hate the unnatural spot-on tracking that "Look At" creates.  We should be able to basically enter in "tolerance and damping" values to let the camera lag some, like Dragonskunk explained.

I wrote that up a longgggg time ago.  I wonder if it is in Feedback Tracker or was only in the forum.  I'll have to look.
(UPDATE - I looked, couldn't find anything from my in Feedback Tracker on that topic.  I wonder if I can find my old post.)


MORE UPDATE...

Here is a post where I link to an example of what I'd like:  https://forum.reallusion.com/FindPost360587.aspx
When I wrote that, I sure believed I had written up a formal request.  I might have "formally" written it before FBT was born, or else they're having a database issue and that's why I'm having trouble finding my request.  I'll keep looking...
By toystorylab - Last Year
I also think the most realistic "Hand-held Camera" would be the approach of René aka "the director1974" (ALIEN - the Message) as 4u2ges mentions...
But surely will need a bigger amount of work, will be more elaborate/lavish to do so.
The approach of Rampa is interesting and i will try this out in the next days...
By Dragonskunk - Last Year
I knew this would be a fascinating thread and quite amazing results.
I will try one of these camera rigs tonight.
By Dragonskunk - Last Year
I want to make a camera have lag when it looks at a moving subject.
Naturally a cameraman would not target like a robot there's missing a delay so I'm looking for a way for when a subject moves the camera would need to catch up with it.

I'm thinking of attaching a short cloth to the subject at one end and make the camera follow whatever is dangling from the cloth at the other end.
I just thought of this idea now and have to brush up on my cloth physics.
Can I bake a camera motion then place it delayed on the timeline?

Unless, does someone else has another way to automate a camera this way?
By 4u2ges - Last Year

>@4u2ges I don't know what you are trying to explain.<

What I have shown is a concept. Idea was not mine. I saw it first when thedirector1974 implemented it in his Alien clip. That was a brilliant walk into the command center.

https://forum.reallusion.com/FindPost361116.aspx
https://forum.reallusion.com/FindPost362530.aspx

OK, you said you do not want to have a robotic camera behavior. But the constrain (delay or no delay) gives you exactly that. Camera does point to one specific bone and following it with robotic precision. And if you have a delay with second invisible character, it is going to be a precise delay. Sometimes a camera man is trying to predict the next actor' movement and pan the camera in that direction. Now you have an advance instead of delay. Sometimes he does "overshoot" - trying to follow but gets slightly ahead. I do not see any way of doing that in iClone unless you manually key it and add an element of randomness. Spring by Rampa might work, but I want to see it.
My idea was, first to add a *shaky randomness*. If cameraman is holding a camera and is trying to following the subject there would always be a subtle shaking in all direction. So I attached a camera to a character spine, applied an idle motion to the character (you do not see that character because he is "holding" a camera).  There are plenty of different idle motions are out there, from subtle to energetic (subtle would work best I suppose). They can be extended, looped, smoothed.. etc. Once you have that in place, you begin animating the *camera* by rotating the torso of the *cameraman*, or moving him for panning, or he can even walk as thedirector1974 made him to. You roughly point the camera toward the actor on a timeline and the idle motion would do the job of delaying, overshooting, etc. Or you can do that with transition curves for the *cameraman* motion keys as you see it appropriate. Lot of work? Maybe. So feel free to use it of dump it Smile

By Rampa - Last Year
Dragonskunk (8/21/2018)
I'm itching to get to iClone but so much to do.
One thing I want to try is what if the antenna itself was the look at and parent to the camera.
I never tried a spring as a twisting effect. I guess it would have to be tiny to limit its effect.
I think this idea might have some weird side effects.

That was my next goal! Smile

The springs do not twist, so to do this you need a rotational spring turned on its side. Two bones are all you need, with the camera linked to bone 2. Make sure you have the axis you want pointing at the target be negative Y. I prototyped with an antenna spring changed to rotational. If you use the linear spring, each bone rotates to look at the target, so you lose the effect. The rotational behaves in a more standard way where each bone rotates off the rotation of the previous one.
By Dragonskunk - Last Year
Th
gordryd (8/24/2018)
Is there a spring setting I am missing somewhere?  I have tried all of the suggestions in this thread, but the spring item stays rigid in every playback (even downloaded Rampa's spring...)

The last bottom part of the Modify panel has all the spring setting check those settings.



By Rampa - Last Year
Dragonskunk (8/20/2018)
Rampa (8/20/2018)
Probably easiest just to set an ease-in transition curve on the constraint key for the camera, but it's not automatic.

A looking at camera has no keys.
What?

Guess I didn't think that one through well enough!

I thought some sort of automatic rig would be more interesting too. The target on the spring chain was the the first thing I thought of.
By animagic - Last Year
@toystorylab: That looks pretty convincing to me. Something to add to the toolbox.
By Rampa - Last Year
Probably easiest just to set an ease-in transition curve on the constraint key for the camera, but it's not automatic.
By Dragonskunk - Last Year
I'm itching to get to iClone but so much to do.
One thing I want to try is what if the antenna itself was the look at and parent to the camera.
I never tried a spring as a twisting effect. I guess it would have to be tiny to limit its effect.
I think this idea might have some weird side effects.
 
By Dragonskunk - Last Year
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/78ef7caf-230c-40b6-a662-2690.jpg
By Dragonskunk - Last Year
I though of an idea.

Add another avatar.
Give it the same motion as the subject you want the camera to follow.
Make it invisible.
Delay the animation from the visible subject you want to track.
Now the camera will have a natural delay.

@Justaviking I think what would work best with a camera is a speed limiter like this dialog:
Max rotation speed: [_2.0_] degrees per frame
I remember my tripod having a turning resistance of the pivot and tilt, it had a friction device that gave smooth transitions.

@Rampa I'll try that, see what happens and reply here.

@4u2ges I don't know what you are trying to explain.
By Dragonskunk - Last Year
Rampa (8/21/2018)
So this is with the default spring of the antenna thingymabob. It's a linear spring. That means the bones only move on X and Y. You can also set the spring to rotational in 3DX. Then it gets pretty drunk looking. There is a lot of variability adjusting the three spring sliders. This one is pretty tame, with no bounciness. Left it visible to show what's going on. Camera is targeting the sphere.



This is beautifully simple I gotta try this.
By Rampa - Last Year
So if the camera stays in one place and pans, the delay tracker tripod head works great.
If the camera is dollying, then it's better to use the bone object attached to the actor, as the camera will be dragged behind the tripod movement and end up looking the wrong direction. You can compensate a bit with a stiffer spring.
By 4u2ges - Last Year
Not sure if this is what you want.
I attached camera to the spine of a character. Then I applied an idle motion to the character.
All the rest is just tweaking his torso on a timeline (you can apply various curve presets as desired). And camera is tweaked only to zoom in and out.
All is done in preview camera mode, while watching the main camera plane in mini-viewport.


By Rampa - Last Year
So this is with the default spring of the antenna thingymabob. It's a linear spring. That means the bones only move on X and Y. You can also set the spring to rotational in 3DX. Then it gets pretty drunk looking. There is a lot of variability adjusting the three spring sliders. This one is pretty tame, with no bounciness. Left it visible to show what's going on. Camera is targeting the sphere.


By justaviking - Last Year
I appreciate the "spring" experiments.  Good stuff.
Looking at TSL's video, I'd like to remove about 90% of the vertical motion and then I think it would be awesome.
By Rampa - Last Year
Here's an idea to try. If you have one of the spring antenna props, attach a cube to last bone of its skeleton. That would be the top of the antenna. Select the antenna and set its spring settings to all minimum, sliders to the left. Attach the antenna to your character. Have the camera look at the cube at the top of the antenna.

With all settings at minimum, the spring will simply stretch a bit as the character moves, and then pull back to normal as it catches up with the character.
By Rampa - Last Year
Here is the same clip, but with a rotational spring. Also a bit more extreme on the sliders.


By Rampa - Last Year
Here is a spring delayed tracker for download and use. Think of it as a tripod head with adjustable delay. Now you don't need to attach anything to your character for the effect!
Have a look at the camera movement.


Load it in your scene. It is a blue arrowhead.
Create a camera and link it to the tracker. Then set the camera linkage to be to the last bone end of the tracker in the modify panel. Use the radio buttons to quickly align your camera to the proper location.
Right-click on the tracker and select "look at". Pick your chosen target. The tracker will point at and track the target. The camera will lag a little bit, and then catch up.
You can adjust the amount by playing with spring sliders of the tracker, or by translating the camera forward or back to increase the moment arm.
Have fun! Smile
By gordryd - Last Year
Is there a spring setting I am missing somewhere?  I have tried all of the suggestions in this thread, but the spring item stays rigid in every playback (even downloaded Rampa's spring...)
By Dragonskunk - Last Year
Rampa (8/20/2018)
Probably easiest just to set an ease-in transition curve on the constraint key for the camera, but it's not automatic.

A looking at camera has no keys.
What?

By toystorylab - Last Year
A quick Test according to Rampas suggestion...
Used "Antenna01" from Template Folder "Spring", attached to my character, camera look at "Spring04"...
Antenna scaled in Z-axis to 300, spring sliders:
https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/802d8408-5c1f-491a-9ae5-b539.png


By Dragonskunk - Last Year
This scene is what I wanted a more stable fluid motion to the camera.
The camera should follow the character but not laser aimed but subtle following of a character jumping in place.
I tried initially to attach the camera to a spring of a prop and have the prop look at the the avatar method.
But when the motion is too dynamic at any spring setting it didn't provide any significant difference to the camera's view.
So I tried the other method of putting the camera on look at to a prop ball attached to a spring of another prop that is attached to the character's hip. 
For a quickly moving character this works better.