Cameras present a scene from a particular point of view. Camera objects simulate still-image, motion picture, or video cameras in the real world.
The benefit of cameras is that you can position them anywhere within a scene to offer a custom view. You can open camera views in a view port, and you can also use them to render images or animated sequences.
Cameras in Max can also be. If you want to animate the point of view, you can create a camera and animate its position. For example, you might want to fly over a landscape or walk through a building. You can animate other camera parameters as well. For example, you can animate the camera's field of view to give the effect of zooming in on a scene.
There are two types of cameras in Max. They are Free camera and Target camera.
A Free camera has a single icon to animate. Free cameras are easier to use when the camera's position is animated along a path. The Free camera object offers a view of the area that is directly in front of the camera and is the better choice if the camera will be animated.
Figure 8-1: Free camera
When a Free camera is initially created, it points at the negative Z-axis of the active viewport. The single parameter for Free cameras defines a Target Distance—the distance to an invisible target about which the camera can orbit.
A Target camera has two icons to animate, the target and the camera. Target cameras always face their target. The camera and the camera target can be animated independently, so target cameras are easier to use when the camera does not move along a path.
Figure 8-2: Target camera
The target can be named along with the camera. When a target is created, Max automatically names the target by attaching “.target” to the end of the camera name. You can change this default name by typing a different name in the Name field.
Creating a Free Camera
On the Create panel, turn on Cameras. On the Object Type rollout, click on Free. In the Top viewport, click to place the camera icon.
The camera direction is directly away from you. Clicking the Top viewport aims the camera downward, clicking the Front viewport aims the camera at the scene from the front, and so on.
Clicking on a Perspective, User, Light, or Camera viewport aims the free camera downward, along the negative Z axis of the World Coordinate System.
In the Parameters roll out, change the Field of View (FOV) parameter to in- or decrease the camera’s field of view.
Creating a Target Camera
On the Create panel, turn on Cameras. On the Object Type rollout, click on Target.
In the Top viewport, click to place the camera icon, then drag toward the center of the object. Release the mouse button to set the target point.
Right-click on the Perspective viewport to make it active, then press the C key on the keyboard. This is a keyboard shortcut for Camera View. The Perspective viewport is replaced with the Camera Viewport. Notice in the bottom right that the Viewport navigation controls have changed. There are different controls for cameras than for the Perspective viewport. The viewport now shows what the camera "sees".