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livespace josha

Video Camera tool improvements?

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Been working with the video camera tool, and found some places where it could be improved. It's a great tool, and been a life-saver, but I think it needs some tweaks!

- Tilt is limited to +/-20°. I'm trying to get a birds-eye shot, and I can't get enough negative tilt.

- the field of view box is way too short...I posted about this before, but 10' is way too short, especially when using a 170 and 200 mm lens

- It would be nice to be able to edit the PIO settings like you can with the Video Screen tool. (why does it default to 4:3 ratio?!?)

- I think the CCD/Sensor format needs to be in industry terms...usually sensors are noted as 1/3", 1/2.8", 2/3", etc. Usually the 35mm full-frame jargon is in reference to photography cameras (I'm a sound guy, so please correct me if I'm wrong on this!!) 

- a default library symbol for a generic PTZ would be great.

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...one more thing: 

- Can the lens zoom change in non-integer steps?

 

(is replying to your own thread the modern-day equivalent to talking to yourself?)

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I second all these points (the integer restriction on the parameters is super annoying!!) and have more to add:

 

-The Focus Point hasn't been terribly useful for me (Didn't even seem to work for me the times I tried it in 2020?) as this appears to automatically snap focus to the 3D center of the object the framing isn't always great. Would possibly work better if you could independently lock the Pan or Tilt to the Focus point so the pan always looks to the object but the tilt can be adjusted as needed? Or vice versa depending on the scenario.

-The Tripod needs to be parametric. There's been many times that I'm trying to line up a shot and its too low with the 48" stand, but too high with the 62". Sometimes I can get away with just cheating this on the Z height but I generally am showing camera position in my renders, not just the shot framing and cant just have cameras floating in the air or poking through the floor, or go to the effort to make custom tripods for various heights.

-The 2D Field of View line line are definitely way too short in most instances and should be configurable. Just make the line length a parameter and we're set.

-Need text options! I can give a camera a name and position but I have no means to insert that text by the camera for identification? Simple Text Options like the ones included with the Television tool would work just fine here.

-Need a PERMANENT link to viewports. This has been a frustration of mine with Vectorworks forever. It's not enough to convert a camera to a viewport, I need to have a viewport that is always connected to this camera object and updated automatically with changes. I do a lot of projects that show camera shots and story boards so if a camera position or focus changes I need to update it in multiple sheets and this is irritating.

-It would be great if there was some kind of saved view preset option here because I'll often need to show multiple shots from the same camera but it can only ever have one focus at a time. I generally just solve this with multiple layers/objects but its frustrating to be talking about camera shots with a client and have to hop out of one camera and into another to show a different shot. This could tie into the permanent viewport too, with the viewport referencing a specific camera and a specific focus configuration

-This would probably need to be another tool but it would be great to have a configurable Jib option as a stand type 

-This is probably getting too overkill for one tool but it would also be great to have the Camera Path tool baked in in some fashion to more directly create jib motion and dolly shots

-a minor annoyance: Why are is the VariCam 35 Body white? I'm not doing anything that requires the exact camera bodies that are going into production so I tend to just wind up with this as the default, but it's white and sticks out like a sore thumb and I have to change it in classes or the symbol or change the body. White versions of this don't seem to exist in any half assed Google image searches I do. 😄 

 

I also have a heap of bugs I've been needing to file a proper report for but was waiting to see if 2021 magically fixed any of these.... They hit a couple, but I still have some doozies here if they're of any worth to anybody else to jump on.

 

-I'm still encountering Symbol ghosting when using the tool. Example, insert any symbol (a chair symbol for example), switch to the video camera and it will show the outline of the previously used symbol as if you're inserting the symbol. Click and it will insert the camera but it will also leave behind the symbol outline which does not register as an actual object, cannot be interacted with and will only go away when you close and reload the file. (see image)

-Layer Height isn't being factored into tool at all and having a camera on a layer set to anything other than 0 will make viewing anything through this camera completely wrong.

-Mirroring a camera will break the Aim function because the object is mirrored. I end up with this whenever I'm quickly trying to mirror cameras across a center line if I don't remember to correct the flip.

-The Aim function is helpful in getting started but doesn't seem to give me a usable tilt in any attempt I make. In 2D it always sets tilt to -20 and 3D seems to always go to +20.

-The tool just does not play nice with the Multi View Panes and Mutli View Panes are made for this tool to see everything in 2D but have your camera views in other panes. I try to use this with a 2D view and a 3D camera view via the Activate Camera button and it will work fine at first but making changes can mess up the view panes. Like activating a camera in 3D and then trying to use aim in the 2D pane will completely break the view of the 2D pane and put it into 3D mode with a weird configuration.

-Field of View has some general wonkiness. Again with Multi View Panes. The 2D FOV will not get drawn if the 3D is active. I generally only use 2D Show Field of View and it will not show when a 3D view is active which is very unhelpful when considering sightlines.

-I just encountered this a few times in my 2021 tests, but haven't nailed down an exact cause to replicate it- Sometimes the drawn FOV breaks free of the plug in object and I had both 2D and 3D versions getting drawn as just individual line objects on the design layer not even lined up to their intended camera positions. These were entirely separate objects that I was able to delete so there's that at least.

 

 

Old issues that were MAYBE fixed from 2020 to 2021 since I can't seem to replicate them with my limited tests:

-The 3D Geometry of some of the camera lenses will end up in renders and block the shots. That was a super frustrating 2 hours of troubleshooting until I realized my renders were coming out solid cyan because it was rendering the camera lens. Looks like this might have been fixed or I just haven't hit the right settings to trigger the problem again. I was able to fix this by just turning off the camera classes in the viewport but sometimes I need to see other cameras in the shots to show when things aren't well hidden and this can get deceptive

-The imported camera symbols were Purgable and made a mess of your cameras if you purged the symbols out of the drawing. This one looks to FINALLY fixed in 2021.

Screenshot 2020-09-28 164311.jpg

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Great points! I should first say this tool is awesome, and proved to be a huge time saver. A couple of tweaks would really make this stand out. 

 

First and foremost would be to make the data fields (sensor size, zoom ratios, sensor format, angle of view, etc) match industry norms and verbiage. It took an afternoon in our warehouse with a few cameras and extensive googling to refine our workflow so that will produce accurate renders

 

 

11 hours ago, AlHanson said:

 (the integer restriction on the parameters is super annoying!!) 

Probably the biggest limitation IMO. A degree of tilt at 400mm is a massive change!

 

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-The 2D Field of View line line are definitely way too short in most instances and should be configurable. Just make the line length a parameter and we're set.

I've cheated and entered in a huge depth of field temporarily as a work-around

 

Quote

 

-Need a PERMANENT link to viewports. This has been a frustration of mine with Vectorworks forever. It's not enough to convert a camera to a viewport, I need to have a viewport that is always connected to this camera object and updated automatically with changes. I do a lot of projects that show camera shots and story boards so if a camera position or focus changes I need to update it in multiple sheets and this is irritating.

Agreeded! Didn't realize how frustrating this was until you mentioned it!

 

Quote

-It would be great if there was some kind of saved view preset option here because I'll often need to show multiple shots from the same camera but it can only ever have one focus at a time. I generally just solve this with multiple layers/objects but its frustrating to be talking about camera shots with a client and have to hop out of one camera and into another to show a different shot. This could tie into the permanent viewport too, with the viewport referencing a specific camera and a specific focus configuration

Agreeded. I'd use this for wide and tele lens limits to show the zoom range 

 

Quote

 

-a minor annoyance: Why are is the VariCam 35 Body white? I'm not doing anything that requires the exact camera bodies that are going into production so I tend to just wind up with this as the default, but it's white and sticks out like a sore thumb and I have to change it in classes or the symbol or change the body. White versions of this don't seem to exist in any half assed Google image searches I do. 😄 

Did you edit the 3d symbol component?

 

 

Edited by livespace josha

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