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Advanced Camera Animation

Download the Dataset test_station.zip (zip - 18007Kb) This Skill Builder shows you how to: Create and associate cameras to paths. Edit path based cameras. This Skill Builder assists those who make animations of parts or assemblies. It provides the most straightforward way to animate cameras. We assume that you are using Autodesk Inventor 2009. Steps you will accomplish in this Skill Builder: Create a camera. Animate the camera along a path. Edit the direction of the camera or target in relation to the path. Edit where the camera starts and finishes. Let’s get started. Prerequisites Download the Test Station.iam file accompanying this Skill Builder if you have not already done so. Locate the files in an accessible directory and activate the appropriate project file. The dataset has a path sketch part in place and constrained in the assembly. You can substitute your own part path sketch. Navigate to the location where you placed the dataset and open Test Station.iam. Notice that the file, CamPath_TestStation.ipt is included in the assembly. You can review the constraints and modify the paths if you want to experiment.

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Autodesk - Autodesk Inventor Services & Support - Advanced Camera A...

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Switch to the Studio environment. Click Applications > Inventor Studio.

Whenever you enter Studio for the first time for the current model, there is no active Lighting Style and no Cameras established. To create a camera, set the View to Perspective if it is not already set.

Using your preferred view orientation tool, Orbit or View Cube, set your vantage point to be somewhere in front of the test station and about the height of the monitor. In the graphics region, right-click and select Create Camera from View.

Positioning the view, and then creating a camera from that vantage point is the easiest method for creating cameras that are close to what you want. However, there are other controls for the camera that are not automatically set and you must edit the camera to set them. Because they are in the dialog box, they are available during the other camera creation method. Let’s explore that now. Click the camera command in the tool panel.

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Autodesk - Autodesk Inventor Services & Support - Advanced Camera A...

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The Camera definition dialog box is displayed. Do the following:

1. The Place Target command is active. Click the front of the monitor. The camera target is placed coincident and normal to the selected face.

2. Drag the cursor away from the monitor along the “direction” line that is displayed. Click along the line to place the camera.

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Autodesk - Autodesk Inventor Services & Support - Advanced Camera A...

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3. Next, click the Perspective view icon, if the view is not perspective. 4. Set the camera Zoom value to 45 degrees. 5. Check the Enable box for Depth of Field. 6. Below the DOF type list, check the Link Focus plane to camera target option. 7. Set the Near (blue preview) value to 35 in. The Far value will factor (and vice versa), so that it is an equal distance on the opposite side of the target.

It’s time to animate the camera.

Click the Animate Timeline command in the Studio tool panel. In the Animation Timeline, move the time position slider to 5.0 seconds. Or, enter 5.0 in the timeline edit field.

In the Animation Timeline window, set the camera to .

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Autodesk - Autodesk Inventor Services & Support - Advanced Camera A...

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Using your preferred viewing command, arrange the display so you can see the scene. Right click Camera1, either in the Scene browser or graphics display, and select Animate Camera in the context menu.

In the Animate Camera dialog box, select Camera1.

Confirm that the time setting is From Previous and goes from 0.0 to 5.0 seconds.

Click the Definition button next to the Camera list control to display the Camera dialog box. In the Camera dialog box, select the Target Path option.

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Autodesk - Autodesk Inventor Services & Support - Advanced Camera A...

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In the graphics display, select the 2D arc sketch geometry from the path model.

In the dialog box, select the Position Path option.

In the graphics display, select the 3D spline geometry for the path.

Click OK to close the Camera definition dialog box. Click OK to close the Animate Camera dialog box. In the timeline, move the slider control to frame 0. Now, slowly slide it to 5.0 seconds. As you do, watch the graphics area to see the camera move.

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Autodesk - Autodesk Inventor Services & Support - Advanced Camera A...

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Notice that the camera and the target move in opposite directions along their respective paths. To see if this is what you expect visually, set the slider back to frame 0. In the Timeline camera list, select Camera1. Notice the graphics display updates to show you what the view looks like from that camera. Once again, move the slider slowly along to 5 seconds. Or, click the Run command on the timeline. While this is one solution, it is not what was intended. In this instance, we want the target to move in sync with the camera from left to right. To modify the target’s use of the path we must edit the animation action. First, expand the timeline window using the Expand control to the far right.

You will see a blue bar in the timeline. This represents the animation camera action we just defined. Double-click the bar, or right-click and select Edit, to display the Animate Camera dialog box. In the dialog box, click the Camera Definition command.

Check the Target Path Reverse option.

If you want, use the timeline slider to review the animation again and review the camera to target relationship change. If the camera zoom is too close for the shot, simply edit the animation action again and increase the zoom value. Editing the Camera’s Path Use When the camera is assigned to a path, you will see a green triangle and red square symbol at either end of the path. The green triangle denotes the beginning and the red square the end. These symbols are handles to set the camera start and end position at any point along the sketch geometry. Click and drag to move the symbol along the path geometry.

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Autodesk - Autodesk Inventor Services & Support - Advanced Camera A...

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About 2D Sketch geometry A camera action uses one 2D geometry object. If you have a 2D sketch path that consists of three sketch objects, though contiguous, you must create three animation actions to use that path sketch fully. Consequently, consider using a spline, even in 2D, as it is a single object. Preview Render In nearly every case, we recommend doing a Preview Rendering of the animation to confirm everything looks as expected, except the lighting. To confirm that the lighting is what you want, step through the animation. At critical visibility points do a single-frame rendering to confirm lights and shadows are acceptable. Then, when satisfied that it is what you intended, do the final rendering with lighting and background.

The steps you performed: Create a camera. Animate the camera along a path. Edit the direction of the camera or target in relation to the path. Edit where the camera starts and finishes. Previewed Rendering. © Copyright 2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

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