Blender Camera Rig Add-on
Posted: 2022-11-17 | Updated: 2022-11-20
I am starting to create a bunch of tools for Layout Artists to use whilst working in Blender. Similar to my Maya Simple Camera Rig, I have started first by building a Blender Camera Rig. This is not going to be as 'simple' as the Maya rig as I plan to build a whole bunch of functionality into this rig. So watch this space for updates!
The goal here was to lay the foundation for a simple camera rig, that accomplishes as much as possible. Lets call it the Minimum Viable Product. It is intended to be used by layout artists seeking a fast, capable camera control system. It is fully functional, however not yet production tested. I am hoping this camera rig can be dropped into any pipeline as it has no dependencies, however my future scripts will be designed to function with this camera rig specifically.
Install / Setup
The quickest way to use the script is to download the file from my GitLab Repo install the .zip file as an Add-on in Blender and enable the Add-on.
Thats it! Its setup and ready to use.
Hit F3 and start by typing 'Create New Camera Rig'. It will prompt you for a name and traditionally this would contain a
sequence number followed by a
shot number. I generally use something like
Cam_XXXX_XXX where the 'X' represents the seq & shot number. Placing
Cam_ at the start makes it easier to spot in the Outliner.
Once you press Ok, you will have a new camera in your scene:
Sadly right now the controls do not have any colours. I am actively working on solutions for that issue. Let me explain each control for you though.
Lets run through the controls from the top of the hierachy to the bottom
- local_ctl - this is a curve with no visible controller, its generally left untouched but can be used for complex camera moves. I am planning a future tutorial on that topic.
- COG_ctl - Think of this as your Tripod. Use this to place your cameras starting position & rotation.
- dolly_track_ctl - This is for moving your camera forwards/backwards and sideways.
- crane_ctl - This is for moving your camera up and down.
- pan_ctl - Used for rotating left and right.
- tilt_ctl - Used for rotating up and down.
- roll_ctl - Used to rotate the camera onto its side. Used for a dutch tilt for example.
- focus_ctl - The control that lets you animate what point is in focus for controlling Depth of Field. The rig automatically enables Depth of Field on creation.
- renderCamera - Finally we have the camera itself. Here is where you would setup any lensing such as Focal Length, fstop and the size of your Film Gate, etc.
Here is a quick intro video showing the installation & basic controls of the rig.
Note: The plugin has been updated and will now appear as 'Blender Layout Tools' not 'Create Camera Rig' when Installing.