Thursday, April 7, 2011

I've Got To Admit, It's Getting Beta

Almost forgot: Beta reviews were earlier this week!

One of the useful things I got out of it was a suggestion by Norm about how to handle tracking in complex environments. We talked a bit about how the characters in the "Harry Potter" movies are always running through forests (See? I had a reason for titling recent blog posts after those books), and the camera manages to track alongside them while keeping them in view and avoiding other trees. Essentially, think of it like this: instead of just trying to navigate the camera through the obstacles while looking at the target, imagine that there's a line from the camera to the target, and you're really trying to navigate the line through the environment. Since the camera can dolly in and out, the line should be able to get larger or smaller; it should also be able to be broken for a short time, as trees move through the view. Luckily, I have a shortcut: if the target is ever occluded for too long, I can just instantly cut to another angle.

Norm and Joe also told me about the new camera tools for Google SketchUp (Read more about them here!) These are still cameras, so they don't animate like mine. However, they do allow you to preview shots from different angles, and have options for things like focal length. So I definitely plan on checking it out, as it might give me some ideas for my project. We briefly discussed a future goal of turning my project into a plugin for SketchUp... But that's just for the future.

Also: This is probably the best blog post title that I will ever come up with. It's all downhill from here.

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