Wish: animate camera view angle (flow along curve + angle view control)


from time to time when I need to render a camera animation, I wonder how it could be made easier. It is so difficult to get a nice motion.

I have an idea and I think I know now what is missing. I would like to have the camera “look along”, but in addition, the angle of view should be able to be adjusted up/down and left/right. So the camera could fly through a scene and at some points the camera angle can be changed. Like driving a car and looking left and right … . Would it not be a camera animation in a natural way with smooth movements?


You are using Bongo for animation? Oh man, I feel sorry for you. To me Bongo seems even more outdated than some parts of Rhino.

In case you are rendering with V-Ray I can recommend you do this kind of stuff using Grasshopper. V-Ray already has some good Grasshopper components. Then add some components from other plugins too. I can recommend the “Camera crane” component from Heteroptera. With that you can change the camera in a Rhino Viewport.

That way you could fairly easily build something where you animate basically a target camera, meaning it has a track/curve the camera moves on, but then you could separately animate the target or the rotation of the camera.

Either way, I have long ago given up on trying to use Bongo for any sort of animation and have gone with V-Ray for GH instead. Even better is to just export everything to Vantage and do the camera animation there.

Good luck!

1 Like

Thank you for the hint. Looks like I need to spend some time if the summer is over and learn the Grasshopper stuff.

On the other side I hope Bongo 3 could get this easy stuff too.

well that is a bit rude, though rather honest, and the sad thing is i would even play with bongo if i had it for mac which was never established, while having bongo integrated as an essential part of rhino to have basic animation abilities seems long overdue anyway.

1 Like

Yes, it was a bit tongue-in-cheek. But from a UX and design perspective I mean that it just seems very basic and kind of strange. You can just really tell that Rhino was never really designed to be a DCC tool like 3DS Max or Cinema4D, but comes more from the CAD and modelling world.

The lack of a native timeline and object outliner always makes that clear. You can also tell with things like managing materials, environments and lights. It all looks very tacked on and the UX of them seems like it hasn’t changed in 30 years, while those areas are usually where other tools look the most interesting.

Anyways, I agree it should just be part of Rhino as a native plugin, that you can disable, just like all the other native plugins. Charging so much for it, means very few people use it. Nowadays it would be cheaper and more fun to just export from Rhino and animate in Blender.

@Micha starting with V-Ray for Grasshopper might actually be a pretty fun way to start with Grasshopper. The components will be familiar and everything is pretty simple to set up.

I think about a workaround for Bongo, but I have no idea yet. I would like to align a camera to an object, move this along a path and be able to turn it around x (red) and z (blue) like needed.

Here a simple test where I can align the camera to the short yellow line. The problem is that it turns around the green y vector. Is there a way to avoid the unwanted turn or an other general setup?

@marika_almgren Is it a bug that the line (yellow) of my previous example is not keeping Z upright?

I found a workaround: I create a box and align it per “look along Z up”. This is moving box with is keeping Z up. I created a point on front and back side of the box, set both points as child of the box. Now I can align the camera to this two points and get what I want - the camera is aligned to the curve and can be manipulated during the travel to look left/right.

Here’s an example of an animated camera following a path, with it rotated slightly downward (instead of just along the curve) and looking halfway down at the passing facades. It would be nice if Bongo would support this directly - along curve plus up/down and left/right.

Here my test file for people who like to see how the workaround is working:
Render Camera Animation 002.3dm (216.1 KB)

Here a new example file with nicer camera object (pyramid), only one point is still needed.

Bongo Example Special Camera Animation (Up-Down-Left-Right Along Curve).3dm (259.2 KB)

1 Like

I think it’s fantastic when a questioner himself finds the solution for his problem, with the (basic) tools Bongo offers.
I would not call this a ‘workaround’, Micha. Well done.

1 Like

How do you do the animation in Vantage? Can you do camera paths in the latest version of Vantage?

I am not sure about the latest version. Normally you do a camera animation by creating different cameras (or camera views). Then you drag each view into the timeline and it will interpolate between the views.

You can see what I mean here: https://youtu.be/uyQi4YIwVag?t=100

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

1 Like

I ignored Vantage yet, but your linked video impressed me. Is it possible to animate objects? Can Vantage be used with Bongo?