Path Animation Technique

Hello Everyone,

First, thanks for all the help so far, replies have been very quick.

I am trying to do a path animation through a building. I am able to constrain the camera to the path just fine, but I am finding that directing where the camera should look as it travels along that path is EXTREMELY difficult… my guess is that I don’t understand the proper technique. I’ve been trying to follow the technique specified here:

The reason this tutorial isn’t working for me is that I have a very dynamic and precise idea of where the camera should be looking at each point along the path. Every time I add a constrain to target point, it weighs in and changes the direction of all previous points, unless I go to each one and enter the weight as zero. It is prohibitively cumbersome to re-assign the weight to all object targets for each target that I add (There are 30-40 targets for the whole anmiation). This numeric control of where the camera is looking is impossible to get right.

The second technique I have tried is constraining the camera to travel along a path, and then adding keyframes with the ‘walkabout’ command on in Rhino. The problem I get here is that the view drifts out of being orthagonal. I tried putting ‘show camera’ in rhino, so that I might be able to drag the camera points around and just point it where I want it to look, but the camera points aren’t selectable, and Bongo doesn’t always save the camera position correctly— it feels like a bug.

I feel like there must be a simple way to do this. All I want to do is draw a curve in rhino that the camera should travel along, and then incrementally point the camera at different targets along that curve with smooth transitions in between. Any help would be much appreciated.


The tutorial you refer to uses a LookAlong constraint. This not only controls the position of the camera but also his direction (tangent to the curve).
A technique I feel comfortable with is based upon the “Camera To Path” constraint which defines only the camera’s location. An additional constraint “Target To Object” determines were the camera looks at. The object (a point) can accurately be moved around using straightformard keyframes (and eventually tweening settings).

An example model : Target To Object.3dm (76.4 KB)

As a general rule, I would not recommend one single long ‘tour of the building.’ You will end up with many boring sections and the audience will not be engaged.

Instead, create multiple, shorter paths and edit them together. This is easier to create, requires less rendering, and is more compelling to watch. If you have some soundtrack music, (highly recommended!) you can then make edit & transition decisions based on the music tempo.

Hello Luc and Schultzeworks,

I just wanted to reply to this thread and let everyone know what resolved the issue.

Luc-- you had mentioned that the tutorial I pointed to uses the ‘look along’ constraint. There are actually multiple tutorials on that page, so I apologize if that confused you. The latter one uses the camera to target constraint.

The problem I had was that I was creating multiple camera to object constraints, instead of creating one constraint and simply moving the target. Your example file was extremely helpful, because I noticed that the keyframes you created were all red,and the keyframes I was creating were all yellow.

The tutorial uses a LookAlong constraint for the camera to start with

and then combines it with various Target To Object. Because the LookAlong is already pointing the camera tangent to his path it is very hard to navigate the target by constraint-weighing.

Nice to hear that my sample put you on the right track.