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3D with Shade 8 Standard:

camera motion path along keyframes

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Here's what we want to accomplish in this first tutorial: placing a car from the model collection into the scene and spinning it around. Let's get started.

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Animation Settings

TO start with animations, open the menu:

    Rendering > Animation Settings

in order to access the timeline editor and animation options:

The animation settings appear in a floating window named 'Motion'. The default number of frames is 300. Perhaps you'll want to reduce it to a smaller number for initial testing. Let's try 60.


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Click the arrow in the upper left corner to close the settings. Click the [+] sign on the sequencer a few times to zoom to a larger view on the few remaining frames so you may easily recognize each tick mark along the timeline.

(click to enlarge)

Also, we'll want the system to automatically create key frames as we position the camera on just 4 points  along a circle around  the car. Be sure to check 'Auto key' and set the CFI (current frame indicator) to frame zero, the left-most position along the timeline:

In the top-down view, drag the eye point of the camera to a position in the lower-right of the car. If your scene of the model's car also a circle from the disk on the ground floor, it's easiest to position the eye on one of the points along the circle.

There's now a small blue point, a marker indicating that the frame is a key frame for something in the scene: the camera in this case. Move the current time indicator to another frame, say 20.

On to the second keyframe. Move the camera's eye point to the upper-right quadrant area from the car's center.

And here's the second key frame along the timeline. However, it was at frame 20, and we needed it at frame 15. Simply pick the blue key frame marker and drag it to the left, to frame 15:

If the motion path was only determined by these two keyframes, it would be a straight line path from start to end point. However, we will have additional points added, and the system will create a smooth interpolation, so that it turns out to be a circular motion path when we're done.

On to key frame #3, place the current frame indicator at frame 30:

The 3rd key position is in the upper-left quadrant of the car's center.

Three keyframes done, 1 more to go. Well, 2 more really. One more at frame 45, and a last one at 60 which will be the same position as the one from frame 0:

Now that we have entered 4 positions already, the system is able to calculate a Bezier-spline interpolation for the path. While you can see the rugged adges of the circular disk (dark), you also see the white line circle of the path.

And one more to the end, closing the loop. The fifth key frame is at frame 60.

You can now easily position the camera along any position on the circle by scrubbing through the timeline.

The camera eye will automatically position itself on the interpolated curve through the key frames.

This is also where the camera will be during rendering of the animation.

Although we're not quite done or ready yet, you may want to take a peek and do a test rendering of the animation.  Select

menu: Rendering > Create Animation...

Select the output format. This can be a movie file such as AVI or Quicktime, or Flash, or even an image sequence in many different formats.

If choosing the AVI format, select the desired Compressor (aka the codec). What's available will depend of course on which codecs are installed on your system.

Ane here you go, Shade is rendering your first animation.

Actually, the rendering shown above is not the right one - the background would still be plain black. Next, we'll take a quick look at a few ways to change the background, perhaps  to show the gradient colors like shown here.