Make Your Own Virtual Camera
Learn how at makeprojects.com/v/27.
“THERE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A CRAFT
services truck out front to make a high-quality computer-generated movie,”
says special effects expert Glenn Derry.
Planning great camera shots is the key.
To make your indie shine, Derry advises
using a device he hacked together with
James Cameron called a “virtual camera.”
It helps you compose shots in effects
movies, and even plan complex shots in
traditional live-action films.
The gadget, essentially an LCD screen
festooned with motion capture markers, is
something you hold while walking around
a motion capture studio. It lets you see
the animated world of a digital movie or
a mockup of a live set.
Derry has created a plugin especially for
MAKE readers to make a low-cost virtual
camera (note that “low cost” in Hollywood
Cintiq 12WX LCD touchpad Wacom ( wacom.com),
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller Microsoft, $50 list
price; available online for $30–$40
V120:Duo motion tracking camera system
Opti Track ( optitrack.com), $1,499
MotionBuilder Autodesk ( autodesk.com), $3,995
Custom plugin for MotionBuilder download from
terms means software and hardware that
add up to $7,000; but student discounts
and borrowed equipment would bring the
price down considerably).
“The indie filmmaker will take longer
to finish a film, and will need to bribe his
or her buddies in the CG class with beer,”
says Derry. “But this setup uses the same
concept as the stuff we use on Avatar.” ;
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