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On the right track for targetting…

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Getting the camera angle just right is often the making or the breaking of a picture. A good scene can be ruined by shoddy cropping or distracting details or a "normal" camera lens setting. Try this method I picked up in the Real World Bryce 4 manual.

Every image has to have a primary focus point an object or point in the scene that the eye is drawn to towards automatically. I often ask myself what am I trying to say with an image and in most cases this is intrinsically linked to the focus point. 

  • First of all create primitive  object that will act as the camera tracking focus. I usually find a simple sphere will do. Name it "focus" and assign it a colour by clicking on the tiny Edit Family gadget next the sphere. (It is coloured grey by default)
  • Now comes the trick. Switch to the Director's view (the tilde key ~ is the shortcut) or even better switch to one of the orthogonal views. (left, right, top, bottom etc.) Believe me it makes the following step much easier! Now select the camera.
  • Point the mouse to the camera tracking icon (the icon just above the little black arrow – the Land Object icon)Camera Tracking now click and drag the mouse down until the focus sphere is highlighted. (a line will be attached from the camera to your mouse pointer and will remain there once you release the mouse button.)
  • Now select the focus sphere and click the Object Attributes icon [A] and check the Hidden option. This will make the object disappear when you render.
  • Now go to the camera view (Keyboard shortcut is 1 – on the top alpha-numeric row on your keyboard) and the focus sphere will be in the middle of your scene window. Now drag the sphere around and the camera will track this object always keeping in the centre of the filed of view!

Neat little trick that has often saved me hours of frustration. Of course don't forget to use the Memory Dots in the upper left corner of the Bryce interface to save potential camera angles. You have 7 slots to play with. …….

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