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Extended Controls for Camera Gizmo
Confirmed, NormalPublicTO DO

Description

Currently, when switching to the camera view, it’s not immediately clear to users how to manipulate it. The camera must be selected, and it requires some difficult multi-step actions to be able to rotate or move the camera.

Additionally, from a camera operation perspective, users usually need a more optimized and precise way to only affect the pitch, yaw, panning, tracking and zooming, separately.

We can make this a lot easier by surfacing optimized camera manipulation gizmos right in the viewport when viewing the scene through the camera view:

Event Timeline

William Reynish (billreynish) lowered the priority of this task from 90 to Normal.Oct 14 2018, 7:58 PM

Sure, that could be added here too

A popover menu to pick currently active camera would also be very welcome.
Something akin to what we can currently do from the Scene tab of the Properties Editor.
It is currently hard to quickly browse through all cameras views in a scene.

@Duarte Farrajota Ramos (duarteframos): It's a nice idea, although almost completely unrelated to this design task. My original vision for this would be to not have a camera button here at all, but merge the camera selector with the active camera text on the top left of the viewport. This would also give you ability to switch cameras this way:

(disregard old icons etc)

I still think that would be nicer, because the camera toggle is fundamentally different from the viewpoint gizmo. The other buttons are manipulation widgets, but the camera one is just a toggle button.

Just though it could also integrate to the camera view gizmos, but your solution is indeed a lot more consistent.
It also turns the viewport text into something functional, instead of static text.

@Duarte Farrajota Ramos (duarteframos) Exactly right, that is the rationale.

Anyway, this design task is about something different: a new gizmo, specific to being inside the camera view, to manipulate the camera using camera/lens-controls.

Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) renamed this task from Camera Gizmo Todo to Extended Controls for Camera Gizmo.Aug 1 2019, 11:58 AM

@Arbaz Arif (AcidRain0) Appreciate the support for this, but please don't do that - this is not a forum. Hopefully this could be added for 2.83 if there is time. We'll see.

Since there is a discussion now and a hopeful horizon I would like to add that since we're talking about cameras it would be great to have Exposure & Contrast controls.

Also an ability to widen one edge of the camera like if we Crop in Photoshop would be helpful but probably a little tougher to implement. One would have to care about Offsets while changing Focal Length and also dimensions of the Rendered Image and to keep all these variables in check must be pretty hard to do.

It would be helpful though to be able to extend image or make a smaller crop of the image right from the viewport with simple controls.

Really looking forward to that quick camera change! Everyone I teach has problems with the current location in the Scene tab.

@Adam Preisler (Alphisto) This doesn’t add any extra affordance to switch cameras. This is about the ability to more easily manipulate the camera when inside the camera view, which is currently not so easy by default.

For easier switching of cameras, see the Outliner task here: T68498

Personally I prefer simply Walk Navigation (where you can also fly with TAB) which is in Blender.

I think by default the shortcut is Shift+F although not 100% sure, I have it as Shift+5 meaning it is extended perspective mode. However I see the advantage of this clicky solution when using tablets and not having a mouse. I just wish I could hide it because it's often just better to go G > Z+Z to for example move camera forward / backward because then the operation runs on Local coords.

In 3ds Max people tend to use this exact similar function, also called Walk mode there. It's somewhere to be clicked in lower right corner.

I just wanted to give my input, I think there's lots of these little shortcomings that would be good to address.
Especially Exposure control in Render Result for example.

Also related is the default location for Color Management being at the very bottom of Render tab is just such a flawed default setting because Exposure affects virtually everything unless you don't want to save anything visual out of Blender. I always move these to the top of the list because Exposure is so important.

The original design doc here has some issues I'd like to improve upon:

  • The icons for move/rotate were hard to distinguish
  • The gizmos were not very consistent with general move or rotate gizmos
  • We didn't use axis colors
  • When using Move/Rotate tools, no gizmos currently appears

Instead, we can simply tie this into the tool system:

This way it's clearer how to show or hide these gizmos, and they will appear in a more consistent way, with consistent use of axis colors and more distinct difference between move or rotate gizmos.

Move tool enabled:

Rotate tool enabled:

Transform tool enabled:

@Adam Preisler (Alphisto)

In addition to these gizmos, we could offer a toggle here to switch into Walk Mode more easily:

Walk mode is modal however, which has its own downsides - you must switch in and out of it. So it's not a replacement for making gizmos for manipulating the camera. It's also very keyboard-centric, which these gizmos are not.

Some silly comments...

I realize that the current look when viewing through the camera is meant to invoke the thought of looking through a camera viewfinder. But it has never worked that well for me as it just seems a bit too simple. Currently looks something like this, with a vignetting scrim all around:

I'd rather it add a bit more flourish to better mimic looking through a modern film camera or camera operator monitor. The darkest scrim at top and bottom masking off the area outside the camera sensor. Then a bordered area indicating the current crop proportions:

As for icons, I think they can be simplified. Basically there are only 6 major camera changes. They can be separated into two groups of three. And you can just use the same three icons twice as there is a nice symmetry between them. So a label for "Stationary" (or Tripod or similar) followed by three icons. Then "Movement" (or similar) followed by the same three icons:

Zoom

Dolly (camera movement forward and back)

Pan

Truck (camera movement left and right)

Tilt

Pedestal (or Boom up/down or Jib up/down)

If the intent here is to place various control gizmos around the frame/border of a camera locked viewport, could you also please consider being able to resize the frame itself with a gizmo?

When the viewport is locked to a camera, it's not immediately apparent to a user how to resize the frame (because you either have to know a keyboard shortcut, or know to unlock the viewport and then use the scrollwheel). Ref, the following papercut:

https://devtalk.blender.org/t/blender-ui-paper-cuts/2596/3836?u=eobet

Some misc mockups from the last time I was playing around in here, in case anyone wants to try improving on it.

Following shows the Active camera (orange corners) and with center guides enabled. The idea is that you could drag the camera by the (larger) corners. Top left is showing the current camera name and has arrows to jump to next and previous camera. Bottom left has buttons for fixed camera changes: tilt, pan, zoom. Buttons at bottom right are for camera movement: pedestal, truck, dolly.

Following shows the camera as inactive (grey corners), locked (red border), and with safe areas and "thirds" guides enabled.