Animate camera blender

How to Easily Animate Butter Smooth Camera movements in Blender

With this easy camera setup in Blender, everyone can animate smooth camera movements in Blender.
In animation, cameras are often overlooked by the artists, who naturally, aim their focus towards the modeling of scenes, topology, lighting, and animation. 
By including a mixture of camera moves into your work, we’re able to add an extra layer of visual interest for the viewer to experience. 

For everyone interested in this, but who doesn’t want to struggle with complex rigs and/or constraints, I’ll share some things that helped me create smooth camera animations, without much effort

With this easy setup, everyone can incorporate that extra layer in their work, with easy controls and smooth results. That is why I would discourage you to use methods like constraints and paths or recording camera motions with the auto key. We’re just gonna do an easy camera rig easy to use clean and smooth. 

In this video, you can see how to set up this camera rig. How to clean up the camera movements in Blender. Create a focus pull with simple Blender settings. Easily recreate ‘vertigo’ camera animations, also known as the Dolly zoom. We even see how to effortlessly switch between multiple camera movements in Blender

Handheld camera movements in Blender

When the camera is shouldered by the operator often this will produce an uneven movement. These so-called handheld shots allow cameramen to pursue action in full. This creates a more prominent feeling of immediacy for the audience and will imitate the movement of a character in the first-person view.

With this setup, it’s quite simple to achieve a handheld feel. We’re only animating the empty, therefore we can add another layer on top of this camera animation by selecting the camera.  

Set some keyframes for the channels you want. Then you want to go into the graph editor there, I’m going to select the z rotation and bring up the N panel in the graph editor, on the right. 

Here add a modifier and choice for that modifier noise. That is going to create this graph that is displaced with a noise modifier. Ultimately, adding this shaking animation to the Z rotation channel now you can play with the stretch and/or scale

Focus Pull camera animations

Okay, let’s talk about focus! How do we focus and create depth of field inside of blender. In this camera setup, I select the Empty Cube, with that selected move the 3D cursor to selected.

At the 3D cursor add a new empty, and this time I’m going to choose the sphere.

Rename this to focus. I like to go into the object data properties and adjust the size a bit.

Go into the camera options, enable depth of field, what I like to do is I use the focus object. So, now we have a separate object to control the focus.

At this stage, you could animate the empty from object A to B and have a focus pull.

Dolly Zoom Camera movements in Blender

If you’re not familiar with the dolly zoom, the dolly zoom is the official name in the industry but it’s also known as the vertigo effect.

Basically, it comes to this technique, so for example, in my situation, I dolly towards the character while I zoomed out with the camera. The effect of that is that the character, in this case, stays relatively the same size, but the background and the perspective of the scene change. 

In this case, you can see that the hallway becomes a lot longer and feels more stretched.

In blender, with this setup, this is pretty easy to animate. 

All you have to do is go to a frame you want to start, so my starting frame is on frame 1, here we set up the camera as we want. Then we set a keyframe for location, rotation, and scale.
Subsequently, we move to frame 100, that’s the frame I chose, here we would scale inwards with the empty. Place a keyframe for the available keyframes.

To counter that animation we select the camera, go into the camera settings, and from there we set a keyframe, on frame 1 again, for the focal length at 82 millimeters. Move up the timeline back to frame 100, and we keyframe the focal length here to 24 millimeters.