Setting Up Cameras

Maya: Camera Information


This page is a beta for setting up cameras in Maya. Shows a lot of info about cameras that’s usually unknown to most Maya users. Get to know your cameras in this fairly short class and it’ll eliminate troublesome issues going forward.

Some nice tricks here too that will help out a lot in production.

– Setting Resolution
– Creating And Looking Through
– Rotation Order
– Resolution in The Viewport
– Clipping Planes
– Popout Window Cams
– Focal Length
– Adv Camera Navigation
– 2d Pan And Zoom90

This Page Is Beta: Temp vids and some content may not match.

Setting Up Cameras In Maya (26 mins)

In this section we’ll take a detailed look at Camera’s in Maya

Video 1.1: Setting The Resolution (1:40 mins)

Video Notes

1. Setting the Resolution And Aspect Ratio
Window > Rendering Editors > Render Settings (shift 5)

Render using Mental Ray (drop down)

Common > Image Size > Presets : HD 720 (or HD 1080)

Video 1.2: Creating And Looking Through Cameras (1:15 mins)

Video Notes

Create > Cameras > Camera

To see through cameras…
(Viewport) Panels > Perspective > camera1
or middle click drag from the outliner

To select the camera press k while in the viewport
view > select camera
select it in the outliner

Video 1.3: Gimbal Rotation Order (1:09 mins)

Video Notes

It’s important that we change the gimbal rotation order while animating cameras.

In the attribute editor under Camera 1 tab
Transform Attributes > Rotate order > zxy (xyz is incorrect see gimbal page for more info)

Video 1.4: Resolution In The Viewport (2:55 mins)

Video Notes

view > camera settings > resolution gate

This can also be done in the attribute editor with more options…
In the attribute editor for the camera1 select the cameraShape1 tab

Scroll down to “Display Options” and open it
Change Overscan to 1.05
Change gate Mask Opacity to 1
Change Gate Mask Colour to black if you like. I use grey.

Fit Resolution Gate: fits the aspect ratio vertical or horizontal

Video 1.5: Clipping Planes (3:13 mins)

Video Notes

Clipping Planes

Video 1.6: Window Layouts With A Camera (2:13 mins)

Video Notes

To get a floating persp window
Panels > perspective > Persp
Panels > tear Off copy

Panels > perspective > Camera1

Video 1.7: The Focal Length (5:13 mins)

Video Notes

Select the camera1 and get into the channel box (if in attribute editor)
Under SHAPES cameraShape1 find

Focal Length (lens zoom wide angle)

This is your lens to zoom go up to large number like 100
For a wide angle lense go back to 21
The default lens is 35 which matches real world cameras.

Lenses have an impact on modelling and for story telling. Wide angles are good for scenic long shots and long lenses are great for portrait shots. While modelling faces change the camera to

6o lens value in Maya
15 angle value in mudbox

*Please note there are many complicated settings for matching to a specific real world camera. A 35mm lens on a Cannon 5D is completely different to a 35mm lens on a Cannon 7D for example. This is important while matching live action footage.

This short video on digital tutors is a good demo of how real world cameras and maya cameras compare with their settings…

Video 1.8: Advanced camera Navigation (4:46 mins)

Video Notes

The Camera Navigation menu is found in the
(Viewport) > View > Camera Tools >

The Fly Tool is a handy one, which allows us to look around from the camera pivot. Hold ctrl and you can navigate like a first person shooter.

Click twice in the channel box manipulator icon to allow us to middle click drag in the rotates of the camera as we’re looking through it.

Center of Interest in the camera shape node is the point of interest that we tumble around. By hitting f we are simply placing the Center of Interest in the center of an object.

Video 1.9: 2d Pan And Zoom (4:12 mins)

Video Notes

(Viewport) > View > Camera Tools > 2d Pan/Zoom Tool

Found in the Attribute Editor
Select Camera > (CameraShape in Attribute Editor) > Display Options > 2d Pan/Zoom

Zoom: \ (hold) left click
Pan: \ (hold) middle click
Toggle mode on/off: \

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