You can switch in and out of of camera view by pressing Numpad 0. In camera view the rectangle shows the limits of what will appear in the render.
Pointing the camera
The easy way to point the camera is this:
- Select (right-click) the camera that you want to move.
- Move your eye until it has the view that you want the selected camera to have.
- Press Ctrl-Alt-Numpad 0
- Press F12 to do a render - you may find that your field of view is not wide enough in which case you will need to move the camera further away from the objects it is pointing at. A good way to do that would be to switch out of camera view, select the camera, make sure the transform orientation is set to 'normal' then use the 3D translation manipulator. Don't forget to switch the transform orientation back to global when you have finished moving the camera.
- Press Escape to close the Render window.
Another way to point the camera is this:
- Go to camera view by pressing Numpad 0.
- In the 3D view window, open the properties panel by pressing N, then turn on the option 'Lock camera to view'. Adjust your view in the normal way until the camera frames the scene as you wish. I recommend you turn off 'Lock camera to view' once you have finished moving he camera.
Making the camera track an object
If you have made an animation you may well want the camera to automatically turn so that it is always pointing at the moving object. We will make the camera track an object by using the ‘Track To’ constraint.
In Object mode, select the camera (right-click it) then open the ‘Object Constraints’ panel. Choose ‘Add constraint’ then ‘Track to’. Type the name of the object that the camera should track, such as ‘Cube’. The camera looks along its -Z axis so choose this for the ‘To’ option. The top of the camera is in the Y direction in its local coordinates so set ‘Up’ to Y. These directions may be easier to understand if you switch the 3D manipulator on and set it to display local axes. Don’t forget to switch back to Global axes after you have seen the camera’s local axes.
Don’t forget that you can press Alt-A to run your animation or to pause it.
‘Track to’ is just one of many available constraints. Another useful constraint is the 'Floor' constraint which can stop your character’s feet going through the floor - this may be explained later.
You can have more than one camera in your scene but only one camera can be 'active' at any one time. The active camera (identified by a solid triangle) is the one that you look through when you press Numpad 0 and that is used for rendering. To make a selected camera become the active camera you need to press Ctrl+Numpad 0. The active camera (identified by a solid triangle) is not necessarily the 'active object' (identified by a bright orange outline).
Switching active cameras during an animation