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Inside the After Effects Camera by ChrisZwar

Inside the After Effects Camera by ChrisZwar

Inside the After Effects Camera by ChrisZwar

One of the most powerful features of After Effects is the ability to work with 3D layers and a virtual camera.  While it is simple to add a camera to a composition and animate it, greater creative control over the end result can be achieved with a basic technical understanding of how cameras work, and what the various settings mean.

The aim of this article is to try and bridge some of the gaps between the creative and technical aspects of the After Effects camera.  It is probably most useful for those writing scripts and expressions that use the camera settings.  If you want to skip to the end, then there are a few copy & paste expressions on the last page.

When you’re using a virtual camera – in any graphics application, not just After Effects – it can be confusing to understand the slightly different terminologies in use.  Unfortunately there are several cases where different applications use different names for the same thing, so to begin with we’ll run through the basic principles of cameras and then we’ll discuss the way they apply to After Effects.

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