DriveWorks Pro 16: Using Cameras [send feedback...]

Using Cameras

Cameras can make 3D scenes more interactive and provide different viewing angles of a model.

Cameras can be added as an Entity to any Node in a DriveWorks 3D Document and multiple Cameras can be added to a single 3D Document. The display of each camera can be shown in the Preview Control by controlling the Viewport Size and Position.

Using the Camera Entity you can create any type of Camera in 3D. You can create the following:

  • Orbit Camera
  • First Person Camera
  • Third Person Camera
  • 2D Static Camera

Why add custom Cameras?

  1. Increased control over the Camera settings.
  2. Increased control over the Camera's limits.
  3. Create guided 3D experience.
  4. Increase 3D scene interaction.
  5. Create picture in picture 3D Previews.
  6. Immerse the user in your 3D content.

Orbit Camera

The Orbit Camera is a typical camera you would use in 3D or any CAD package.

This camera focuses on a certain point in the scene and orbits that location. The default Camera in a 3D Preview Control uses this camera method.

The Orbit Camera sits at a fixed point, rotates both vertically and horizontally and then moves (zooms) the camera into the model.

Node Structure

Each Camera position has a different Node structure and Entity use. An Orbit Camera's Node structure looks like the following:

In this Node structure you split out each element that moves.

Camera Horizontal - This is a Node that contains a Rotate Entity. This rotates the model in Y Axis and is moved based on the Primary Pointer Drag Horizontal input.

Camera Vertical - This is a Node that contains a Rotate Entity. This rotates the model in the X Axis and is moved based on the Primary Pointer Drag Vertical input.

Camera Zoom - This is a Node that contains a Pan Entity and a Camera Entity. This is the Camera Node. Pan moves the Node closer to the model in the Z Axis based on the Zoom input.

Each Node is parented so that the previous movement effects the next Node. So both Horizontal and Vertical movements effect the overall position of the Camera Entity.

First Person Camera

A first person camera is a Camera Entity positioned at the eye height of the object in the 3D Scene. A first person camera moves in a similar way to your own head movements and should closely resemble real life.

For first person cameras the Camera Entity must be attached to a Node that follows the moving Node. The Camera Node should be parented to the moving Node in order to move about. This means that when the Node is moved in the scene, the Camera Entity will follow.

Node Structure

A first person camera looks like the following:

In this Node structure you split out each element that moves.

Camera Horizontal and Pan - This is a Node that contains a Rotate Entity and a Pan Entity. This rotates the model in Y Axis and moves the same Node in the Z Axis. This Node set up allows us to rotate and drag the node forward. This gives us a turn and walk movement. These entities use the Primary Pointer Drag Horizontal input and Secondary Pointer Drag Vertical.

Camera Height - This is a Node that contains a Pan Entity. This pans the Camera Node up and down. It allows us to change the height of the camera. This is moved based on the Zoom input on the Y Axis.

Camera Vertical - This is a Node that contains a Rotate Entity and a Camera Entity. This is the Camera Node. Rotate moves the Node vertically allowing us to look up and down. Horizontal rotation is carried out by the base Node. The Rotate Entity uses the Primary Pointer Drag Vertical input.

Each Node is parented so that the previous movement effects the next Node. So both Horizontal Rotation and Pan movements effect the overall position of the Camera Entity.

Third Person Camera

A third person camera is very similar to a first person camera. The only difference is that the Camera Node is positioned above and behind the moving Node.

In third person cameras, you usually have a model of some kind that sits in front of the camera. Third person cameras are rarely used in Manufacturing 3D and are widely used in gaming.

2D Static Camera

A 2D Static Camera is often used as either static model views or aerial views of a scene.

2D Static Cameras are the easiest to set up in DriveWorks. You simply need a single Node with a Camera Entity added to the Node. You can then position this node anywhere in your 3D scene.

In most situations these static cameras use Orthographic Mode. This mode can be enabled on any Camera Entity.

Static Cameras usually have no rotation, are lifted above the scene and centered in the middle of the scene.

Hiding the Default Camera on a Preview Control

When working with Camera Entities you may want to hide the Default Camera on the Preview Control. You don't want to be rendering something that you can't see.

In a DriveWorks 3D Document there is a check box called Display Default Camera. Setting this to FALSE will hide the Default Camera on the Preview Control the 3D Document is used in.

It is worth doing this if you are using a Camera Entity thats Viewport fills the entire Preview Control.

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