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Creating Screenshots and Movies

Introduction

Cameras

Cameras are objects that are used to specify locations and perspectives in the 3D space. When you select a camera, the 3D view instantly shows a picture from this camera. Cameras are used to quickly jump to a specified location in 3D in order to preview this part of your project or to take a picture.

For example, assume that you want to take pictures of a room from three points, change the color of the walls or furniture, take another series of pictures, and then compare them to choose the best color combination. In this case, you should set three custom cameras in the desired positions, and after changing the wall color, select a camera from the list and save a picture.

By default, five predefined cameras are present in any project. They provide views to your project from four sides and from the top. It is not possibile to rename or remove a predefined camera, or turn it to another point. These cameras are not shown on the floor plan.

The user can add custom cameras and adjust them as needed.

Movie Cameras

Another type of camera is a movie camera. Unlike regular cameras, a movie camera is not a separate object but a part of a movie track. A movie track is a path you virtually move along while shooting a movie.

Active Camera

You can access cameras and movie cameras in the Camera Properties tab of the Inspector, in the Site > Auxiliary Objects section of the Project Tree, and on the floor plan. Only the Inspector shows the default cameras.

To allow a camera to show its view in the 3D view, select this camera in the Inspector, Project Tree or floor plan. This is called an "active" camera.

The position of the active camera is indicated on the floor plan by a frustum which usually looks like a triangle.

Active camera:

Frustum

Active movie camera:

Frustum

The frustum gives you an idea about the view direction and field of view of the active camera.

To show or hide the frustum, use the View > Show 3D Viewpoint menu command.

There is always one active camera in the project. It can be a regular or movie camera, or a temporary camera when the picture in the 3D view doesn't correspond to any of your project's cameras. A temporary camera has no icon on the floor plan. The frustum shows its position and direction.

An icon in the top right corner of the 3D view indicates the type of the active camera.

Regular camera is active:

Camera icon

Movie camera is active:

Camera icon

No icon means that a temporary or predefined camera is active.

As soon as you start walking in 3D, the active camera will move along with you. The camera's icon in the 3D view is aimed to warn you that you can change the position of active camera. If you don't want to, just click on any object, ground or sky to deselect the camera. A temporary camera will then be used, and the icon of the camera will disappear from the 3D view. You can also lock cameras in the Project Tree.

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